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The Lion King (1994)

Well I finally did it!

I watched (possibly) the biggest and most shamefully unwatched movie on my “Films I should’ve seen by now but haven’t” list.

The Lion King (1994)

I couldn’t really tell you why I haven’t watched this film till now. It’s never been an intentional thing. I think that when it came out I was just at an age where I was starting to grow out of Disney’s animated films. After that it became a film I felt I should watch rather than one I wanted to watch. Either way I got there in the end! 🙌

If like me you’ve inexplicably never seen this movie all these years, it’s one of Disney’s most loved animated treasures.

It stars the voice talents of James Earl Jones (Coming to America), Jeremy Irons (Die Hard with a Vengeance), Jonathan Taylor Thomas (Home Improvement), Matthew Broderick (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off), Whoopi Goldberg (Sister Act), Rowan Atkinson (Johnny English) and Nathan Lane (The Birdcage) among many others.

This is what it’s about according to the internet:

The Lion King follows the adventures of the young lion Simba (Jonathan Taylor Thomas/Matthew Broderick) the heir of his father, Mufasa (James Earl Jones). Simba's wicked uncle, Scar (Jeremy Irons), plots to usurp Mufasa's throne by luring father and son into a stampede of wildebeests. But Simba escapes, and only Mufasa is killed. Simba returns as an adult to take back his homeland from Scar with the help of his friends Timon (Nathan Lane) and Pumbaa (Ernie Sabella).

Obviously, when you choose not to watch a film for 20 odd years you can’t complain about hearing spoilers, and that’s the case with this for me. I already knew going in most of what was to be expected but it didn’t ruin my enjoyment of it. I really did enjoy it too. 🦁

There’s something about the older Disney animated movies. I love the new computer animated ones too but the older films have a real cosiness and warmth about them. I don’t know if it’s a nostalgia thing but I definitely feel it. In fact I think I decided to watch this film last night because I was feeling somewhat “Christmassy”. I got home from work (late), made myself a cup of tea, switched the Christmas tree lights on, kicked my feet up on the recliner and decided to watch something that fit my mood. This was it.

I can see why people like this movie so much. It has an endearing and inspiring story, fun characters (my favourites being Rafiki and Timon) some great music, and like most other Disney animated movies it’s just an extremely easy and enjoyable watch.

It felt different to most of the other animated films I’ve seen though. Having mainly seen the older ones like Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast which have a similar tone, this one felt very much it’s own thing. Again, maybe that’s why it stands out to a lot of people. It might also be that the others are based around fantasy and enchantment. None the less I enjoyed it.

Fun Fact: my sister recently highlighted the fact that Simba’s parents, voiced by James Earl Jones and Madge Sinclair also both played Akeem’s (Eddie Murphy’s) parents (again, King and Queen) in Coming to America (1988).

I thought that was kind of cool. 👌

I’m keen to watch the more recent “live action” version of this film now. I’ve heard mixed reviews about it but not having the sentimental attachment to the original like a lot of people, I think might enjoy it more. 🤷‍♂️

Anyway, I’m just glad to have finally ticked this of the ever growing list.

Seen it? Of course you have! Let me know below.👇

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