Director: Jon Favreau
Cast: Donald Glover, Seth Rogen, Chiwetel Ejiofor (VOICES)
Release Date: October 22, 2019
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 8.5/10
Disc Rating: 8.5/10
Disney and visionary director Jon Favreau invite you to experience a grand, epic adaptation of the award-winning, global phenomenon, The Lion King. Brought to life like never before with an all-star cast.
The beloved Disney animated masterpiece comes to stunning life in director Jon Favreau’s live-action adaptation of ‘The Lion King’. Return to the kingdom like never before and accompany young lion cub Simba and his unique friends and family as his young carefree days as a cub turn deadly when he’s forced to tackle fear, betrayal and the painful loss of his father which sends him on a quest to find his true purpose in life. As he meets new friends and comes across curious situations along the way, his uncertain path eventually leads to love, as well as the realization of his rightful place in the kingdom.
Disney’s new live-action adaptation of ‘The Lion King’ does a spectacular job of bringing all of your favorite moments and songs to dazzling life and delivering a touching, humorous and unforgettable adventure in its own right that may not have much new to say or contribute to the popular tale, but certainly does an impressive job of getting each of the beloved details and tidbits from it just right. Directed by the talented Jon Favreau who also directed Disney’s 2016 live-action adaptation of ‘The Jungle Book’ (easily still one of the most impressive and jaw dropping films among Disney’s various live-action adaptions of their animated properties) and he does a wonderful job at the helm of this new ‘The Lion King’ movie, passionately guiding along the action and heart within and doing a remarkable job of bringing the tale to life in a live-action manner while still creating everything (aside from one shot) digitally from scratch, down to every branch on display. The film is further complimented by a well selected voice cast that includes Donald Glover, Seth Rogen, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, Alfre Woodard, Billy Eichner, John Kani, John Oliver, and of course the irreplaceable James Earl Jones reprising his iconic voice-role of Mufasa.
Fans of Disney’s animated masterpiece in particular and Disney fans in general will both want to try and find time to check out this new live-action adaptation of ‘The Lion King’ which is a touching, faithful and visually breathtaking new take on the popular animated classic and certainly well worth a watch at the very least. Those who may have missed the film during its theatrical run yet are contemplating a blind purchase of the Blu-ray release should also be quite satisfied with the result.
Overall, Disney’s new live-action adaption of ‘The Lion King’ is a beautiful and faithful recreation of their animated classic, carefully guided along by director Jon Favreau and further boosted by a wonderful and well selected voice cast that brings all of the unforgettable scenes and songs from the original to brilliant life while nary missing a beat. This live-action adaptation of ‘The Lion King’ is definitely highly recommended for fans of Disney’s animated gem that serves as its inspiration, along with anyone even mildly interested in this new live-action take. It does a great job of getting nearly the entire tale right, although at the same time without offering much of anything new or unique to the story (something many will either love or dislike). Altogether forming into a beautiful and immaculately crafted recreation of the beloved Disney classic that nearly everyone should at least find a good few things within to love and enjoy.
The Blu-ray release of Disney’s live-action ‘The Lion King’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing a 1.78:1 Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks wonderful as a whole and delivers a clean and richly detailed presentation from start to finish with no notable faults or problems to be uncovered throughout. It holds up beautifully even during the heavily populated, fast moving and darkly lit sequences, never causing anything onscreen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is a great high definition video presentation that more than delivers and should easily satisfy both fans and newcomers to the film.
The Blu-ray release features a 7.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This multichannel soundtrack makes for a great compliment to the onscreen fun and beauty, providing a crisp, clean and quite active audio presentation throughout. It repeatedly takes advantage of all seven available channels in order to send the musical numbers booming throughout the various speakers, along with animals rushing past (the stampede moment is a great example), nature effects and plenty more, all while making certain that any dialogue or other audio elements that might be occurring simultaneously remain clean and fully audible. Overall, this is a pretty fantastic 7.1 DTS-HD MA soundtrack that contributes its share of extra fun to the viewing experience and sounds smooth and sharp throughout.
The Blu-ray release of Disney’s live-action ‘The Lion King’ film offers a nice collection of bonus content including the option to view the film in ‘Sing-Along’ mode, as well as with an ‘Introduction by Director Jon Favreau’ (approximately 1 minute). The release also treats us to an ‘Audio Commentary with Director Jon Favreau’, in addition to various behind the scenes Featurettes that include interviews/comments with the cast and crew, plus behind the scenes footage and more. They include ‘The Journey to The Lion King’ which is broken down into 3 separate Featurettes within including ‘The Music’ (running approximately 13 minutes in length), ‘The Magic’ (running approximately 21 minutes) and ‘The Timeless Tale’ (approximately 19 minutes). Also featured is an inside look at three key song sequences from the film exploring what was required to bring them to life in ‘More To Be Scene’ (approximately 10 minutes combined). The release also includes a couple of ‘Music Videos’: ‘”Spirit” Performed by Beyoncé’ (approximately 4 minutes) and ‘”Never Too Late” by Elton John’ (4 minutes), plus a ‘Song Selection’ and a ‘Protect the Pride’ promo/advertisement (3 minutes).