9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on July 25, 2002
Those people that are saying Lion King was a rip-off of Kimba the Lion are only jaded anime otakus that seem to think American animation is always ripping off Japan.
Not true. In fact, The Lion King was an adaption of the famous Shakespearian play Hamlet where the main character(which the play is titled off of)'s father, the King, is killed by his jealous brother. Told by his father's ghost to avenge his death, Hamlet does so, the similarity ends with Disney's trademark happy ending (in Hamlet, everyone dies at the end).
This movie, though not my favorite of all the Disney animated features (that title belonging to The Hunchback of Notre Dame), is superbly made and has earned it's recognition as one of the greatest animated features of all time very easily. I'd go as far to say that if Walt were alive when it was released, he would have been proud.
The music, acting, animation and overall story are all blended together seamlessly into a movie you have to be completely abnormal not to love.
Buy this movie, you won't regret it, even after the upteenth viewing.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 3, 2003
Why did Disney ruin this film by adding a terrible song, cutting dialogue, and making a terrible extras disc!
Its sooo bad, it took me half an hour to find the deleted scenes, and i cant even find the original release on my dvd! (If anyone knows exactly where the original theatricial release is then pleaaaase tel me - email me firstname.lastname@example.org - i'll be forever in your debt)
But aside from the terrible dvd, the actual picture quality is great, and the original film is a classic, (although i do acknowledge that everything disney releases they call a classic)
However, you may like the added song but i felt cheated by disney that theyd changed my favourite film, so it depends on your feelings about the original whether or not you buy this dvd
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
The Lion King comes to blu ray as MPEG-4 AVC 1080p 1.78:1. I have the first taste of the high definition picture of the Lion King when I watched the trailer of this movie in the Tangled blu ray disc. In the trailer, the picture was simply stunning. Now watching the entire movie in 1080p confirms the fact that the video is pristine and razor sharp, nothing short of spectacular. Colours are bold, vivid, pure and brilliant. Black levels are deep and inky, and contrast is impeccable. Detail and clarity are exceptional. The line art is sharp and clean, and noise is nonexistent - it's just plain beautiful and stunning. (5/5)
The DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 shows great dynamic range and wonderfully extended lows. The dialogue and atmospheric effects are placed perfectly throughout the soundstage, with absolutely wonderful dynamics, not a second of distortion, not a single off or odd line or sound. Distinction, directionality, localization effects, they're all top notch.
The Lion King is one of the rare movies with 3 Oscar nominated songs. The other movies with 3 Oscar nominated songs are Dreamgirls and Enchanted, but they did not win the Best Original Song. The Lion King did with "Can You Feel The Love Tonight"...a rare feat...3 Oscar nominated songs and won!! As the matter of fact, Hans Zimmer also won an Oscar for Best Music, Original Score.
The voice casting is another triumph, with Matthew Broderick as Adult Simba, James Earl Jones as Mufasa, Nathan Lane as Timon, Jeremy Irons as Scar, Robert Guillaume as Rafiki, Rowan Atkinson as Zazu and Whoopy Goldberg as Shenzi. (4.5/5)
The Lion King has an original budget of $79 million. And its latest Worldwide Box Office Receipt is currently at $783 million!!!
Did you know that the Lion King was originally titled "King of the Jungle"? It was supposed to be about African lions living in the jungle until the production team realized that lions don't live in the jungle.
A few weeks before the film opened, Elton John was given a special screening. Noticing that the film's love song had been left out, he successfully lobbied to have the song put back in. Later, "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" won him an Academy Award for Best Original Song.
Did you also realize that the animators were so impressed with Jeremy Irons's performance that they worked Irons' features into Scar's face.
Rafiki's Swahili message "Asante sana, squash banana, We we nugu mi mi apana" does not mean "You are a baboon, and I'm not." It really means "Thank you, Squash Banana, You are a Dog, and I'm not!"
When Mufasa tells Simba about the Great Kings of the Past if you look at the stars in the wide shot you can see Mickey Mouse.
In summary, the Lion King remains one of Disney's most beloved animated films. There's love and loss, betrayal and redemption, friendship, innocence, the clash of good and evil. The story is expertly paced, with the heavier, more emotional sequences always given the proper build up, while maintaining a tone that makes even the toughest of moments appropriate and accessible for all ages. It is still a wonderful, family-friendly Disney classic with memorable songs, amazing animation, and a compelling story, with top-notched video and audio. And, looking into the future for Disney's Platinum Releases for 2012, The Lady And The Tramp and Cinderella are coming....
This blu ray disc (2D) is highly recommended.
Finally, I notice that Amazon.ca has a tendency to put many standard DVD reviews in the blu ray section, thus it may create confusion among readers, thinking that they are reading the blu ray review. Be careful, read the date and title of the review beforehand, so that you don't waste your precious time.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 9, 2004
Disney's THE LION KING (1994) is, as if anyone really needed to tell you, a true modern Disney classic. I first saw it when it was released in late 1994; in fact, I saw it during the first weekend! This was something I never did with any Disney film before or since, but I had seen the full five-minute trailer a few times during the two-month buildup to its release and it looked incredible. It didn't disappoint; in fact, it turned out to be one of the greatest films of 1994---and that was a *busy* year for great films! In fact, if it weren't such a busy year for great films (PULP FICTION, FORREST GUMP, THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION, IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER, etc.) then THE LION KING would have easily garnered a Best Picture nomination. Better than the great ALADDIN (1991), even better than BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (1992)---which *did* get nominated for Best Picture---this film was state-of-the art in every way: The incredibly vivid visuals, especially during the opening sequence and the awesome Wildebeest stampede, the DTS digital sound, the voice-over actors, even the script...it all came together in a whole new way, to create a film that was probably even more for adults than it was for kids---but one in which the kids enjoyed immensely as well. This animated masterpiece provided a great theater experience, even with all the kids there!
Well, it's just as great on VHS, especially considering our 51" widescreen TV and Surround Sound capabilities (*smile*). I imagine it must be even greater on DVD, but we will have to wait till later in the year to be able to get the Special Edition DVD, which I badly want! This is just one of those films that make you smile; it is so special in so many ways.
But why is it so special? I mean, it's basically Hamlet for kids---and not even young kids, considering the adult themes of betrayal and murder---and tells a relatively simple story. Ah, but its Shakesperean thematic model is filled by a story that *is* original in its characters, in its setting and in its ability to awe us with its sense of wonder and purpose. One last thing: we can relate to its main character Simba (voiced as a cub by "Home Improvement" actor Jonathan Taylor Thomas, voiced as an adult by Matthew Broderick), who runs away from a past he can't face and harbors it as a guilty secret till he is able to face down his demons in adulthood. Come on, most of us can certainly relate to that in one way or another!
You know the story, but here it is again: Simba, after a restless but happy cub-hood, runs away from home when his majestic, all-powerful and seemingly invincible father, the Lion King Mufasa (majestically voiced by James Earl Jones---as if it could have been anyone else!), is betrayed and murdered by his brother, the evil and scheming Scar (creepily voiced by Jeremy Irons---as if it could have been anyone else!), who guilts the young Simba into leaving and never coming back. Of course, Scar then becomes King, much to the chagrin of Queen Sarabi (voiced by the illustrious Jamaican actress Madge Sinclair, in what would be unfortunately her final film role). Meanwhile, Simba goes off to the forests where he meets a couple of best pals---a wisecracking Meerkat named Timon (Nathan Lane, in a piece of inspired casting) and a big, flatulent Warthog named Pumbaa (Ernie Sabella, also inspired)---who teach Simba the value of "no worries" ("Hakuna Matata") and who shine in all of their scenes. Simba grows up with them into a life of no worries. Eventually, the young girlfriend he left behind, Nala (voiced as an adult by Moira Kelly), finds Simba and tries to convince him to come back to Pride Rock and fulfill his destiny. Simba has long been resigned to his present fate, and refuses to do so---until he is confronted by a wise baboon named Rafiki (Robert Guillaume, in yet *another* piece of inspired casting!), who shows Simba that his father truly lives on within himself. Simba returns to Pride Rock to reclaim the kingship, evil Uncle Scar doesn't want to go lightly, and in a truly climactic scene, Simba avenges his father's murder and takes his place in The Circle of Life, becoming a dad himself in the very last frame!
I know I didn't have to go through all that, but I wanted to; it's just a great film with great songs (the magnificent "Circle Of Life," the Oscar-winning "Can You Feel The Love Tonight," "I Just Can't Wait To Be King" and "Hakuna Matata"---all written by Elton John & Tim Rice), and it is still such a pleasure to watch it a whole decade after its original theatrical release. Don't let the G-rating fool you; with humor so hip and violence so intense (especially in the climactic fight scene), it's really not for young children. I still feel that it should have received the PG-rating. Still, no matter what the rating, THE LION KING is a must-have, for *any* film library.
MOST RECOMMENDED, AGES 8 & UP
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 13, 2010
Now first of all, I like to say that at first I wasn't into loving this film, because my brother and my twin sister would tease me for liking Timon the meerkat ("...sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G..."). And after that I started to hate the film; why even listening to the film's songs reminded me of the teasing of my brother and sister. But it wasn't until in 1995, that I "re-watch" the film, when we got it on VHS and fall in love with it.
Anyway this film is a another jungle classic from Disney about a lion cub named Simba who is destined to be king. But a tragedy forced him to flee, guilt-ridden, while his wicked uncle takes the throne. It would take some convincing and the courage to face his past to make Simba the king he was born to be. So that's all I could tell you folks, you will have to see the film for yourself how it ends.
Overall, I really love this film. And I don't have any particular scene, and also the musical soundtrack was excellent.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 18, 2012
What is there to say about The Lion King that has not been said. it is one of the greatest movies of all time and will always be a classic and also one of the, if not the best, Disney movies since 1928. Really if you have any thoughts about not buying this discard them RIGHT AWAY the only reason you should not buy this is if you dont have the money at the moment because this is a movie that should be enjoyed by all and continue being one of the best for generations to come.
on May 8, 2004
When I first saw this film, I was more impressed with the experimental animation, especially in some of the most violent scenes of the film. The movie is lush with eye-catching colors, realistic images, and detailed textures. It was not until I watched the film several times that I caught on to the depth and impressiveness of the story, as well. The Lion King is epic and Shakespearean. It borrows from one of Shakespeare's most famous, Hamlet. Scar is the jealous brother of the king, Mufasa. He plots the murder of the king and cleverly directs the blame upon young Simba, the king's son. It is not until many years later, after Simba is visited by his father's ghost, that he returns to the kingdom where Scar has taken Mufasa's place as king. Simba vows to avenge his father's death and with the help of two tiny but strong friends, succeeds in reclaiming the throne and defeating Scar.
Disney proves in this film that their films are not mere children's stories directed to young minds. Though they have released a few stinkers over the years, Lion King remains one of, if not the most impressive animated films of all time.
on April 27, 2004
The good news about The Lion King DVD is that it is the BEST DARN DISNEY MOVIE EVER MADE and it's getting the royal DVD treatment I've dreamed of.
Now here's my never ending string of bad news: the DVD is ripping off the film's most beloved fans such as myself.
1. THERE IS NO ORIGINAL THEATRICAL VERSION! The OTV is actually the reanimated version done for Imax release (the Morning Report was only made for the dvd release) So technically there is no version that you saw in the theaters back in 1994 of the VHS you bought in 1995. This has got to be the worst cheat that the Disney Company has ever placed upon its consumers and I regret not writing an angry letter (I hope you all did). I saw the Imax version and the reanimated sequences were done very poorly. I doubt that with the exception of the dust incident that none of the errors from the original LK were fixed
2. FEATURES ARE POOR! I definitely say this regarding the deleted scenes. There are only 3 and all of them star Timon and Pumbaa (pushing the release of LK 1.5 a bit?) I was very disappointed that they didn't have the good deleted version of "Can You Feel the Love Tonight". Honestly I'm sick of Timon and Pumbaa, though I did like the Lion King 1.5 If you go to [...] you will find tons more deleted scenes then what this dvd rip off provided
There are too many things for kids, and a stupid music video plus the organization of Disc 2 is done very poorly. I think they should've done something better than a round the world thing (if you go outside of Africa or North America you'll only get slideshows of posters in different languages) There are no original theatrical previews of the film either. I heard some good thing about a making of special that appeared on the LK Laser Disc but not on the DVD Then you get some stupid stuff about African animals that I wouldn't care less about. there needs to be more stuff for fans and less stuff for kids.
3. THE MORNING REPORT - Well this number was very very unneccessary compared to BatB's Human Again. It was never even a originally deleted sequence but the animation got in smoothly. The bad news is that Simba has no whiskers throughout the number and it's too obvious. If they did not add Simba's whiskers in the new sequence on purpose then I need to go find these animators and knock some sense into them!
4. Menu - DEAR GOD WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?! A CGI ZAZU! AND NOT EVEN A GOOD ONE! And a poorly done 2D drawn background! Does Disney really hate 2D that much?!!!
You know who's to blame for all of this his name is Michael Eisner!!! And until we get him out of Disney there's no hope for the future Plantinum Editions of Disney films. These people cant make up their minds on whether to call these Special Editions or Plantinum Editions. It sounds as though Plantinum Editions sound better but you only get Special Edition like stuff with a Plantinum Edition fear.
For the sake of being a true Lion King fan I got the Collector's Gift Set. WARNING: MY GIFT SET CAME THROUGH AMAZON AND GOT DAMAGED UPON SHIPPING. IF THIS HAPPENS TO YOU THROW THE BIGGEST FIT AND GET YOUR MONEY BACK!!! I regretted not doing this cuz I wanted to see the new dvd. However I didn't know that stores like Best Buy were carrying the Gift Set for much cheaper than I paid here.
So here's my advice for people getting the Aladdin Collecters Gift Set in October: DO NOT PREORDER HERE! Check with Best Buy or other good stores and they might have it available for $5-10 less than you would pay here and you wont have to pay for shipping that might damage your precious gift set. Dont make the same mistakes I did!
on March 5, 2004
"The Lion King" is a great animated film. It has a captivating story, a stellar cast of characters, and good songs. The animation is beautiful. The opening sequence is one of my favorites. It is a true modern masterpiece.
You probably know the story, so I'll skip the synopsis. One thing that does bother me is that the editorial review says that this flick is too violent for the little kiddies. What? A simple explanation can put an end to any confusion or fears that your child might have, unless your one of those parents who use the DVD players as a babysitter. My two year old understands that bad things happen in the world. She might not understand that Mufasa dies in this flick, but she knows that Simba is sad and angry about it. Don't let the PC police get in the way of letting your children see a modern classic.
The DVD is loaded with extras. Commentary on just about everything, music videos, and even short explanations on the animals in the movie. The "Circle of Life" video featuring kids from the Disney Channel is okay, but an obvious promo for the Disney Channel. As usual, there are a ton of trailers for flicks coming soon to a theater or DVD rack near you. The Safari game is one of the better games I've seen on a DVD. Granted, the menus may seem confusing to some folks in the crowd, but if you take just a little time to learn how to use them(I picked up the general mechanics on one try), you'll find that there are a lot of extras worth looking into.
The voice talents in this movie are great. Matthew Broderick and Jonathan Taylor Thomas are perfect as Simba(young and old). James Earl Jones was born to play Mufasa, albeit for a brief time in this movie. Whoopi Goldberg, Cheech Marin, and the gentleman who plays "Ed" are great as the sniveling sidekicks to "Scar." Ah yes, "Scar" is a perfect villain in "The Lion King." Jeremy Irons is downright vile as the jealous uncle. His performance is flawless. Of course, Nathan Lane stole the show as "Timone," and Rowan Atkinson, as "Zazu," had the driest of wits in this film. The voice talents of the rest of the cast were good as well.
Overall, a grand movie worth owning. Its a modern Disney flick in the classical vein, and that's rare today.
on March 4, 2004
The Lion King is an excellent family film. Released in 1994 and until 2003's Finding Nemo it was the most successful animated film of all time! Great story-telling and unforgettible characters light up this Disney Classic.
Simba is the young cub who is someday to be King. But his jealous uncle will stop it nothing to be King before Simba. After Simba's father is killed in his early childhood Simba flees. Years later he must choose. His new life in paradise or go back and face his past.
Amazingly enough this story was incredible to most audiences! I saw this movie when I was much younger and it was incredible. At the time of it's release it was the most beautifully animated film ever.
The characters in the film are memorable. Timon and Pumbaa are perhaps two of Disney's most famous characters ever (as preceived in Lion King 1 1/2). Scar makes an incredible villian and yet somehow the film can still be enjoyed by audiences of all ages.
The songs are grand and were some of the most sang songs of my past. It was hard to find someone who didn't know the words to these songs.
But as I said, it's the DVD itself that gives me the gripes. For one, as some have mentioned, it isn't exactly easy to get to the movie right away. As with most Disney DVD's you've got to sit through preview after preview after preview. You can skip them at least but then you'll have to navigate the menu, which really isn't all that bothersome. The menu looks cool at least.
My other gripe is simply what TV tells us about all DVD's. "This DVD is PACKED with *insert number* of hours!" The Lion King doesn't have hours and hours of bonuses. You can get through them all in no time flat considering the first disk is pretty much the movie. The second doesn't have much to offer really.
Lastly, the new song included "Morning Report" isn't a very good one. It's too short for thing and isn't catchy like the rest of the soundtrack. The good news though, you can view the original movie. The new song isn't much.
So the movie is still a classic but the DVD itself doesn't offer much. A great movie but for the long long wait for the DVD it certainly seems like the VHS would've done much better justice to some.