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Movie Review: The Lion King

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Winner of two Academy Awards for Best Music, both Original Score and Original Song, The Lion King would have won Best Picture had it not been an animated film. Arguably the greatest full-length animated Disney feature of all time, The Lion King is a drama of epic proportions, and a film that forever extended the boundaries of the animation genre. Hans Zimmer creates an original score that is second to none in cinematic history, and Elton John’s hit single “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” swept the nation upon the film’s release. With powerful and often mesmerizing visual sequences, the use of a timeless plot device, and brilliant direction, the film will stand the test of time as one of the best movies ever produced.

The Lion King takes place in Pride Rock, a serene jungle paradise on the African plain. In Pride Rock, every animal lives as part of a harmonious ecosystem, ruled by the greatest animal of all, the strongest and wisest lion, King Mufasa. When Mufasa’s wife gives birth to the lion cub Simba, the young heir’s Uncle Scar hatches a plot to overthrow his brother and take the kingdom by force. Forming a conspiracy with a pack of wild hyenas, Scar’s evil plan is to lure Simba and Mufasa into a valley where the hyenas stir up a herd of wildebeests which end up trampling Mufasa and leaving him clinging for his life on the edge of a cliff. With Mufasa’s life hanging in the balance, Scar seizes the opportunity to send his brother hurling to a bloody death.

With the king gone, and Simba too young to defend the kingdom, Scar and the hyenas ascend to power. Pride Rock is soon reduced to a desolate wasteland as its newest rulers ravage the landscape, while Simba is forced into exile. Fleeing to a faraway land free of predators, Simba befriends Pumbaa and Timon, a warthog and meerkat who live carefree lives feasting on grubs and insects. But as time passes, a chance encounter reunites Simba with his childhood destiny. Can Simba return to Pride Rock and reclaim his rightful position as king, or will he succumb to the temptations of an easy life, free from conflict and responsibility?

Widely regarded as the greatest animated film in Disney’s arsenal, and certainly the best of the computer-generated era, The Lion King is a cinematic masterpiece in any medium. If you tend to shy away from animated films as childlike or simply just not your cup of tea, you would be well advised to make an exception for The Lion King. It’s quite simply an extraordinary epic, replete with dazzling choreography, well-blended musical scores, and characters the audience loves to root for. In one particular scene, the Disney animators’ use of Leni Riefenstahl’s patented camera angles to capture the hyenas marching in lock-step under the singular review of Scar creates an abundance of subconscious images reminiscent of Hitler and the Third Reich. This illusion plants a manifestation of evil in the mind of the viewer that is instantly connected to Scar and his evil intentions. That’s the type of symbolic and all-engrossing power Disney utilizes in this wonderful masterpiece – loved by children, yet replete with deeply probing themes and breathtaking visual images for the adult audience — a perfect 10 of a movie.

Britt’s Rating: 10.0/10

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About Britt Gillette

  • blahblahNyborg

    Shark is correct; this movie is a turd. Simba runs off at seven years old and apparently does nothing but play around with his comedy chums until he is old enough that his mother mistakes him for his father. Then he becomes king, having been taught nothing about leadership, manhood, power, generativity or anything else involved in ruling an empire other than that he now owns everything. This film is astoundingly lacking in any substantial message or meaning and panders to the wet-eyed foolishness of people who don’t trust their own intellect. Also, The soundtrack is clumsy and confused and the interaction between characters is incredibly naive and saccharine. Having said that, I quite enjoyed it

  • Lela

    the greatest film ever produced!

  • Giulia

    well I just gotta say that is one of the best movies ever, a classic, an amazing movie with great songs and also a wonderful and beautiful story. I just can’t understand and stand ignorant people who actually believe in this stupids ‘messages’ that some people (who has nothing better to do in their boring and stupid lifes) say that see. Please check out an psycologist or maybe an asile, just check your brain out, believe me there’s something REALLY wrong with that.

  • Trevar

    i’m 18 and i watched this movie for the first time in like 5 years and it made me cry not on just the part where mufasa dies but. even on the intro because it shows that they took images from OUR world OUR earth showing much life and how we are all connected, and we need to do our part to take care of it and shark, “it’s mostly about aristocracy, conformity, patriarchy, & misc. Christoid/God crap” this is the stuff that makes us human and if you can’t feel these things… my heart and soul weeps for you. i believe that we need more movies like this to influence people with these emotions mainly kids because the fate of our world is in the hands of kids their generation and while we have all this stupid crap on TV poisoning the minds of these kids idk how much longer our world is going to last..

    the only thing i don’t like about the lion king is on the special edition the added song/songs weren’t necessary.

  • Paulina argaña

    The Lion KIng makes you feel in lots of ways. IN Love, happy, sad, desperate and others is a film that went into my mind and though I´ve grown I still remember it and keep loving it.

  • aalam

    it was a great movie afterall!all u people who call it vulgur at some place jus go and fuck around the world.

  • Brodie

    Best film of my childhood. Love it. Fair enough to those who dont like it though.

  • Brendan

    I love this movie! It’s The best movie ever!

  • Jenny

    You all smell this movie is da best!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Hannah

    you have my total agreement with everything you have announced about the lion king.
    people before me, have no idea, even if a good movie hit them on the forehead !

  • Becca and Jade,

    Shark is a lot older than the both of you put together. Now that he is back commenting here, I’ll let him mash up with his own teeth, though.

    And Shark, ever late to the party that I am, I’ll tell you this much. We milked that film for all it was worth in raising our kids.

    It talks about responsibility, self recognition, understanding oneself, fulfilling one’s duty. Whatever that is, it’s not fascism. It’s the core of values that maked decent young men out of children. And that is what I see today – two young men who are responsible, understand themselves, seek to fulfill their duty, AND WHO ARE NOT LIKE A LOT OF AMERICAN KIDS – SPOILED MALL RATS WHO NEED SEX, CIGARETTES AND OTHER STRONGER DRUGS FOR ENTERTAINMENT, AND WHO ARE AS DEEP AS AN EVAPORATING MUD-HOLE!

  • becca and jade

    oiii shark at the top you friggin idiot you can gorge your eyes out with a melon whatever as much as you want to you morbid little sod i like lion king and i bet im older than you you fukin numskull shut up!!!!! carry on sayin lion king is shit and ill shit on your head

  • Shawn


  • Rae

    i have to say one of my favorite disney movies. Great movie in general and the music is fenominal!

  • kay

    this is the BEST disney by far. it is so good, so shut up all you people who hate it.

  • Keely

    I like how u hav put your review together. I agree with everything u hav said in it!

  • tiff sharpley

    the lion king is the best movie ever all [Gratuitous vulgarity deleted by Comments Editor] say other wise are jelous [Gratuitous vulgarity deleted by Comments Editor].

  • jameson

    Great movie… [Gratuitous vulgarity deleted by Comments Editor] shark u are suck how can u tell anything about “about aristocracy, conformity, patriarchy,” if u don;t even know what is it!don’t U? i bet u u’ve been crying like a baby watching it. do not be shy!! it’s touching and that’s the point. [Gratuitous vulgarity deleted by Comments Editor]

  • lionkingboy

    this movie is good u all suck, conformists

  • Drizzt

    All of u are sadist this is a great movie

  • troll

    child programs program children…Disney or Sesame Street – choose your poison


  • Shark

    Hate to rain on your naive, tasteless, ill-informed parade, but to anyone with a brain, this movie is a massive piece of shit. The implicit messages — mostly about aristocracy, conformity, patriarchy, & misc. Christoid/God crap — are despicable.

    Best irony: the predators, prey, and competitors along the food chain singing “Can You Feel The Love Tonight”.

    Oy. I’d rather gouge my eyes out with a rusty melon baller than to watch this piece of facist propaganda.

    Shark’s Tag Line = “The Lion King: Leni Riefenstahl meets Walt Disney at the San Diego Zoo”