Sunday, March 28, 2010

#82 The Lion King - the only non-PIXAR Disney animated cartoon on the list

1994. dir.Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff, starring Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Matthew Broderick, Jeremy Irons, James Earl Jones, Moira Kelly, Nathan Lane.

Seen it before? Yes, like a million times thanks to my sister.

It's funny watching something you haven't seen in ages...especially when it's an animated feature. You might remember the plot - think Hamlet, evil uncle wants to rule the country but young heir ruins his plans...solution - get rid of the king and the kid...but you forget the players. In this case I forgot that Matthew Broderick was the adult Simba or that Moira Kelly was the grown up Nala...Whoopi Goldberg and Cheech Marin are hyenas and Nathan Lane is Timon. Hilarious!

The backdrops are magnificent. It makes you want to visit Africa or at the very least watch Planet Earth and focus on the African animals. I personally loved the songs. Because, after all is said and done, this is a movie for KIDS! The songs are catchy to the point of whimsy. They are written in a way that kids can easily pick up the tune. What kid do you know who grew up in the 90s didn't learn "Hakuna Matata?" Even Daniel started singing it after watching the song on the tube.

As for plot holes...Sam pointed out a few but left out the one thing he harped on the longest (probably) and that was the part about how Simba could make a good king when he had just finished singing about how great it would be to be king and not care about everyone...I tried (in vain) to point out that the reason he would make a good king (later) is because Mufasa (James Earl Jones) taught him/showed him what it was like to be a good king. Just because a kid says something like, "I'm going to be a great ruler and not listen to anyone or care about anything but myself" doesn't mean that he's not going to change his mind when he's an adult.

Fun facts -
James Earl Jones and Madge Sinclair are reunited as, fittingly, the king and queen of the lions.
Timon and Pumbaa were originally supposed to sing "Can you Feel the Love Tonight" to each other...but Elton John thought it would be ill advised
Some of the Disney people were calling this movie "Bamlet" since the story resembled the movies Bambi and Hamlet.

See it again? Yes
Own it? Once it comes out of the vault I will! =)

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