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Lion King, The (2019)  (DVD)


Stars: Voices: Donald Glover, Seth Rogen, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Alfre Woodard, Billy Eichner, John Kani, John Oliver, Florence Kasumba, Eric Andre, Keegan-Michael Key, JD McCrary, Shahadi Wright Joseph, Beyonce, James Earl Jones

Director: Jon Favreau

It's third time lucky for Disney this year. After the studio's less-than-wonderful remakes of Aladdin and Dumbo, director Favreau delivers a visually stunning remake whose computer-generated imagery is worthy of all the awards going.

Favreau’s extraordinary visualisation of a (largely parched) East African landscape adds potent - and credible, if a tad over-baked - force to his animal-driven revamp of Hamlet (conveniently, Shakespeare's classic has long been out of copyright, which finds bad lion Scar plotting to kill his brother Simba, the son of Mufasa, the king of all lions, who replaces him as heir to the throne. When Mufasa is killed in a wildebeest stampede, Simba is conned into believing his is responsible and he runs away, leaving Scar to become king.

This is one of the very rare remakes that not only works but actually outdoes the original, thanks in large measure to the superb computer animation that recreates (an inevitably Hollywood style) its vision of Africa so convincingly that I half expected the cinema to fill with dust.

Alan Frank

USA 2019. UK Distributor: Disney. Colour.
114 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: PG.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 14 Nov 2019