The Lion King (1994)

Of all of Disney's animated classics, The Lion King is hands down the most celebrated. I, on the other hand, was never so fond of it as a child. So today I decided to rewatch it and see how I'd feel about it and I still don't think this is Disney's greatest film. 

The Lion King tells the story of a lion cub named Simba (voiced by Jonathan Taylor Thomas) who one day will become the king of the Pride Lands. However, his uncle Scar (voiced by Jeremy Irons) is desperate for the crown himself and would do anything to get it, even get Mufasa (voiced by James Earl Jones), his brother and king, killed and let Simba believed he is to be blamed for his father's death and Simba runs away from the kingdom. Years go by and, while Simba (now voiced by Matthew Broderick) has found new friends in meerkat Timon (voiced by Nathan Lane) and warthog Pumbaa (voiced by Ernie Sabella), the kingdom is falling apart under Scar's tyrannical leadership.

The story is very simple and not that original as many people say --I'm specifically talking about the Japanese manga series Kimba the White Lion as not only the name of the main character is very similar but the characters as well. Both have a sage baboon, a hornbill, despicable hyenas and an evil lion. Not to mention an iconic scene from The Lion King being identical to one from Kimba the White Lion-- and I truly struggle to see how it could appeal an adult audience as it is very little exciting. 

As for kids, it's a whole different story as the film deals with themes of family, love, friendship, loyalty, and betrayal. Also, it teaches what being brave means, that you can either run away from your past or learn from it, and that you gotta put your past behind. 

Buena Vista Pictures
The characters are pretty good and make up for the lack of a strong story. Timon and Pumbaa are so lovable and truly wonderful as they provide the film with some good humour probably only adults will appreciate. Scar is an excellent villain, both menacing and so fascinating that I've been rooting for his since I was a child. And Jeremy Irons' voice work is so spot-on! Simba, on the other hand, isn't that likeable and makes for a pretty boring hero.

Just like any other Disney flick, The Lion King is beautifully animated --the African savannah, in particular, is truly breathtaking-- and it has pretty catchy and fun songs.


  1. Can you feel the love tonight? Tonight!

  2. This was a fun movie to see but Disney loves to kill off parents, don't they? Loved the warthog and Meerkat. The voice overs were great and, to tie into Ebert, Siskel and Ebert discussed this film and Siskel was over the moon with this film. He kept talking about Hakuna Matata...Youtube it, it's kind of funny because Ebert thought Siskel was being silly.

    1. You know what's the first thing I did after rewatching this? I read Ebert's review. I'll check out the video as soon as I have some free time. Thanks for the suggestion!