Movie Ratings, Family Movie Reviews & More!

The Lion King

Released

Latest Home Video

Oct 04, 2011

MPAA Rating:

G


Run Time:

89

Director

Roger Allers

Rob Minkoff

Cast

Jonathan Taylor Thomas

Matthew Broderick

Jeremy Irons

James Earl Jones

Studio

1994 Walt Disney Studios

Official Website >>

Still shot from the movie: The Lion King.

Read Review

Reviewed by

OverallA
ViolenceB-
SexA-
LanguageA-
Drugs/AlcoholA
Run Time89

Making the Grades

You could hardly declare Disney's Lion King as a benchmark of creative storytelling. Instead this animation claims all of the Mouse House's best tricks: Kill the parent, leave the child to struggle, supply a couple of comic-relief sidekicks, and bring the whole show to a stellar ending where protagonist meets antagonist. But like my favorite chocolate cake, which also contains all the typical ingredients, I enjoy watching this movie repeatedly for many reasons.

First, I could contentedly listen to James Earl Jones read a phone book. Providing the voice of Mufasa, father to the often-rebellious Simba (voiced by Jonathan Taylor Thomas and Matthew Broderick), Jones's vocal pipes are perfect for delivering soft-focus morals and guidance to his cub (and young audiences.)

Wandering aimlessly after his dad's death, Simba looks for the easy life and becomes particularly enamored with Timon (Nathan Lane) and Pumbaa (Ernie Sabella). A meerkat and warthog whose apathetic personalities redefine "couch potato," the trio musically states their "no worries for the rest of your life" philosophy. Yet even after growing accustomed to eating worms instead of big game, Simba eventually recognizes his responsibility to return home and accept the challenge of saving his family from the menacing dictator Scar (Jeremy Irons). The experience allows all three friends to grow and accept their place in the "circle of life."

Besides the positive messages, Elton John's score takes the honor of one of Disney's best. Melded with the cutting-edge animation technology of its time, the music flows with the many vivid colors and wafting grasslands until it creates a visual feast. The usually static backgrounds are moving, and depth of field is employed to create a sense of realism not seen on the screen before this movie's release.

With the exception of the planned murder of Mufasa by a stampede of wildebeests and the eventual showdown between Scar and Simba, this film is clear sailing for all but the youngest family viewers.

Original Theatrical Release Date: 24 June 1994

September 16, 2011: The Lion King in 3D will be showing select theaters.

Discussion Ideas After The Movie

Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about The Lion King.

Talk about the movie with your family…

What are some challenges in your life you have been unwilling to face? Does avoiding them ever make the situation go away? When you face them, have you ever discovered the obstacle was not as big as it first appeared?

How could Simba have avoided the tragedy that took his father’s life?

Trailers & Clips

Canadian Movie Ratings

BC
SK
G
AB G
MB G Frightening Scenes.
ON G F- Family
QC G
NB
NS
NL
PE
G

Canadian Home Video Rating: G

Watch @ Home

Details on home video releases of The Lion King...

Home Video Notes: Lion King 3D

Release Date: October 4, 2011

The 3D version of this classic Disney title becomes available to home video on October 4, 2011. The 4-Disc 3D Combo Pack includes Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital Copy. These bonus extras are offered:

- Never Before Seen Bloopers

- 4 Never-Before-Seen Deleted Scenes

- Deleted Song

- The Morning Report: Extended Scene

- Disney Second Screen

- Pride of The Lion King

- The Lion King: A Memoir - Don Hahn

- Disney Sing Along Mode

- Interactive Blu-ray Galleries

- Audio Commentary

- Disney’s Virtual Vault: Classic DVD Features Powered By BD-Live!

October 7, 2003, The Lion King Special Platinum Edition: DVD Release


Roaring into the market place once more (this time on DVD), The Lion King Platinum Edition offers a gorgeous restoration and re-mastering of the movie that conquered the world.

Much of the promotional hype has centered on the insertion of a new song taken from the hit Broadway adaptation. (Both the enhanced and original versions of the movie are on the disc.) Unfortunately, this amounts to “much ado about nothing.” The addition of The Morning Report extends the running length of the film by about 90 seconds. While it is “cool” that Sir Elton John and Tim Rice authored the punny tune, and that extra artwork was done to make it seamlessly fit, it is certainly not the reason to buy this re-release.

However, anyone who loves this tale will not be disappointed by the purchase. First, the movie didn’t look this good when I first saw it in the theater. The colors burst off the screen, and the most subtle artwork details are evident. And my techie husband Rod is convinced the digital surround remix also seems more alive than even the earlier Dolby 5.1 laserdisc release. (The disc also has a “Home Theater” sound mix that will wallop your subwoofer.)

The claim, “There is more to see than can ever be seen, more to do than can ever be done,” isn’t much of an exaggeration. The two disc set is offers interviews and audio commentary with the animation’s key creators, as well as information about the musical score, the work involved in making the film’s international début and the process behind converting the story to a stage play. For younger audiences, this edition also supplies sing along tracks, a music video (featuring the Disney’s Circle of Stars|not necessarily a selling point), some simple games and animal facts (these include mild animated and live-action animal violence, and flatulence humor).

Because I am technologically impaired, I found navigating a little confusing. The “extras” disc provides two menus; one listed by location, the other by topic. It took me a while to figure out both of them lead to the same clips just ordered differently. But even with my confessed shortcomings, I didn’t miss the self-promotional nature of much of the commentary|and you can bet your kids won’t either. Expect to be asked a few times when The Lion King 1½ will be coming out.

No one can contest the phenomenal success of The Lion King. The story speaks to our universal desire to be accepted, while illustrating the importance of taking responsibility and living up to our potential. So if it’s been a while since you and your cubs have visited this realm, you might want to pounce on this Platinum opportunity.

Add Your Comments

Commenting is restricted to members only.
Please log in below or, if you're not yet a member, please register.



Forgot password? | register

Please note: So we can maintain a website with content appropriate for all ages, we moderate all comments and will edit profanities, slanderous remarks and other inappropriate language. For these reasons, your comments will not appear immediately.

There are currently no comments on this review. Be sure to add yours with the form below.

You May Be Interested...

Watch Newest Videos