The cartoon movie was showing when my two elder sons were in kindergarten. They loved the movie and watched it numerous times on CD. When the musical came to Singapore, they were in their teens. The experience was still magical. When this movie came out, I suggested a family movie night. The sons were game. However, I decided a weekend movie night was too expensive when the two empty-nesters (with one senior citizen) could watch the movie at half the cost. So we ditched the sons and went on our own. 😁
The storyline is the same as the original but the real animals – okay they’re animation but they look really realistic – are so cute. Mufasa with his handsome mane, and baby Simba is adorable on first sight.
Critics have slammed the animals’ inexpressive faces which feel out of sync with the cast members’ voice over and I agree. This takes some getting used to.
While the male lions (Mufasa, Scar and Simba) have distinct features, they were hard to tell apart when they were fighting. I also have trouble distinguishing the female lions as well as the hyenas.
Because the story is familiar, there wasn’t so much tension as compared to when I first watched the cartoon. However, the jokes with Timon and Pumbaa were still laugh out loud funny. The songs too were singalong familiar. (Hakuna matata, Circle of Life, The Lion Sleeps Tonight.)
I have an aha moment though rewatching this movie. Do we choose live life as sung in the song Hakuna Matata –
It means no worries for the rest of your days
It’s our problem-free philosophy,
Or do we stop running away from our problems and fear and face it head on, together with all the worries and other baggages?
13 key members of the movie team went on a two-week trip to Kenya to study and observe how the lions actually behave in their natural environment, as well as the animals’ struts and gaits.
My husband, Michael, went on a Kenya safari last October and he felt an immediate bond with the animals in the movie. Do you see any resemblance between the animals in his photos and the movie’s characters?