The first Lion King movie was originally released in 1994 as Disney’s traditionally animated film. In 2019, this film has been produced again by adapting it in a three-dimensional (3D) format.
Directed by- Jon Favreau
Produced by- Jon Favreau, Jeffrey Silver, Karen Gilchrist
Screenplay by-Jeff Nathanson
Edited by- Mark Livolsi, Adam Gerstel
The righteous Mufasa is the king of Pride Land, and the royal couple gives birth to a cub, Simba who’s the heir of his father. But the father-son duo fall prey to an evil plot to annex the throne. Mufasa falls in that trap and dies in a wildebeest stampede, whereas Simba escapes. Many years later, Simba returns to claim his throne and save his homeland.
This is the story of our childhood. Many of us grew up with this story which is inspired from Joseph and Moses of Bible. Hence, it has a special place in our hearts.
The most challenging part of this film is that the story is already known. Hence people are more intrigued to watch a new interpretation of it. Which it has successfully done but only visually. The upgraded effects and graphics of the movie are breathtakingly beautiful and most importantly real. There’s a scene where an elephant in the jungle is moving in a herd; and when he steps on a puddle you feel the splash of water come on you. Similarly, the movement of fireflies seems to be near at hand, and they would appear to be flying right on top of you. And this is the magic of “photo realistic animation”. But when it comes to emotions, it lags behind. It somehow keeps feelings at bay. It manages to keep you engaged throughout the film but does not stay thereafter. As an audience, you see more but feel less. Contrast this with The Jungle Book, where the audience developed an emotional connect with the characters.
Keeping that aside, there are a lot of good things about the movie, like the voice overs by our very own desi actors. And this is why I preferred to watch the dubbed version. To begin with, Shahrukh Khan as Mufasa. I saw the voice over recording clip on YouTube beforehand and immediately got hooked. Ashish Vidyarthi as Scar. I think Vidyarthi is one of those first villains in Hindi film industry who had a separate fan base who used to hit the theatre just to see him. And he does nothing different in this film as well. The voice of Scar is roaring and mysterious which overpowers what we see on screen. Asrani as Zazu, who’s the advisor of King, does a brilliant job both visually and audibly. Two of the most interesting characters are Timon, Simba’s best friend voiced by Shreyas Talpade, and Pumbaa the third-best friend voiced by Sanjay Mishra. Both have the most fun and laugh-a-minute dialogues. Sanjay Mishra is one of the finest actors in today’s time. This film proves that he is not only a treat to watch visually but can also make an impact with his voice.
And last but absolutely not the least, the sound of Aryan Khan as Simba. And oh my! What a voice! He sounds just like his father. The same gravity and enchantment in his voice but with a lot of freshness. Usually star kids are launched on the big screen as lead actors, but how Aryan is different is now we all know. His voice evoked a lot of anticipation in me to watch him on screen. How and when, this only time would tell. And if he can live up to the expectation.
All in all, “Lion King” is a visual treat which you should not miss. At least for the sake of Aryan Khan!!