Disney’s live-action adaptation of the 1994 classic The Lion King has been making all the right noise for weeks. Now, the first reactions to Jon Favreau directorial The Lion King are out.
Dennis Tzeng, VP of Production, Collider Video, tweeted, “#TheLionKing combines gorgeously realistic CG with heart, humor and the same story/beats of the original. It also captures the same magical feeling of the animated movie and remains faithful to its spirit. Most of the voice acting works well and the music once again stands out.”
According to Chris E Hayner, Entertainment Editor at Gamespot, Timon and Pumba are show stealers. He wrote on Twitter, “I just got out of #TheLionKing and really dug it. My fear was realistic animals wouldn’t have the charisma of the cartoon, but they’re very good. Timon and Pumba steal the show. Some of the song/choreo arrangements don’t work as well as the original but still a really fun flick.”
Erik Davis, Managing Editor at Fandango, called The Lion King “a game-changer for visual effects”. He tweeted, “#TheLionKing is visually immaculate & a game-changer for visual effects. It’s absolutely stunning in every way. The music shines (Glover & Beyoncé take it to another level), the performances are great (Timon, Pumbaa & Scar steal many scenes) & the emotions run HIGH. Truly great”
Beatrice Verhoeven, Entertainment journalist at The Wrap, was also in awe of The Lion King. She tweeted, “Oh man #TheLionKing delivers. It’s a visual masterpiece that will leave you smiling and crying the whole time. It’s a true testament to the lasting effect Disney movies have on all generations. Timon and Pumbaa steal the show. And BEYONCE!!! #LionKing”
Adam B Vary from BuzzFeed News wrote on Twitter, “Yes, Beyoncé is good in #TheLionKing — really good! Nala’s role is indeed bigger, and Bey suits it perfectly. There’s a moment when she tells Simba he’s “disappointed” her, and reader, the way Bey bit the “t” in that word chilled me and thrilled me. The movie? Welllll… #TheLionKing is a landmark *visual* experience. I’ve never seen anything like it, and I think it’s going to change how we look at movies forever. As an *emotional* experience, though…I’ll put it this way: It turns out lions can’t really emote.”
Rachel Heine from Nerdist posted on Twitter, “Absolutely blown away by #TheLionKing. Incredible visuals and voice work. Cried all my makeup off. Timon and Pumba brought me back from the edge. Would die for baby Simba.”
Germaine Lussier from Gizmodo tweeted, “The Lion King is a wonderful adaptation of an iconic classic. It has a few small changes which enhance what was already great and everything else is right on point. The CG can be slightly distracting at times but the emotion quickly covers that. Loved it.”
Steven Weintraub, Editor-in-Chief at Collidor.com, wrote on Twitter, “Been lucky to have attended a number of world premieres but not sure I’ve ever heard as much clapping during a movie as I did tonight at #TheLionKing . Was like being at a rock concert. Movie is going to make so much money… A few other things on #TheLionKing
Slashfilm.com editor Peter Sciretta tweeted, “#TheLionKing is a breathtaking visual cinematic achievement. I can’t believe this is a CG animated movie. Timon and Pumbaa steal the show. It’s a good Disney remake but was it necessary? Maybe not, but it’s enjoyable and families are gonna love it.”The visual effects/animation in the film is INCREDIBLE. For the first time in maybe my entire life as the movie started I got really emotional. Just hearing the music wrecked me. While it’s a story you know, it’s soooooo well done.”
Terri Schwartz, Entertainment Editor of IGN, over a series of tweets wrote, “Just walked out of #TheLionKing. Overriding reaction: SIMBA IS SO CUTE. But really, if you’re hoping this will be a near-exact adaptation of the animated movie with some absolutely jaw-dropping visual effects, you’ll get what you’re looking for… There’s enough new content to make it feel fresh (plus some genuinely hilarious new jokes from Rogen/Eichner — no one made me laugh harder) and they really nailed recreating the most iconic sequences. I found myself walking out immediately wanting to watch the original… Beyoncé and Donald Glover are fine if underused but honestly I thought the comedians and especially young Simba JD McCrary stole the goddamn show. He’s so charming and brings great energy to, again, the cutest goddamn baby Simba you can hope for.”
The Lion King features an exciting voice cast. While James Earl Jones will reprise his role as Mufasa, the team also includes Donald Glover (Simba), Beyonce (Nala), John Oliver (Zazu), Alfre Woodard (Sarabi) and Chiwetel Ejiofor (Scar). Timon and Pumba are being voiced by Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen, respectively. Eric André, Florence Kasumba and Keegan-Michael Key have voiced Azizi, Shenzi and Kamari. The young Simba and Nala are being voiced by JD McCrary and Shahadi Wright Joseph, respectively.
The film is all set to release on July 19 in English, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu.