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5.0 out of 5 stars The Wonderfully Comedic Side-Story To The Original!
Disney does it again! This time, they've created a first in modern cinema: neither a sequel or prequel to the THE LION KING, this film tells the side-story to the events of the original film; namely, it is the same story, but told entirely from the perspective of Timon and Pumbaa (the wonderful Nathan Lane and Ernie Sabella, respectively). This ingenious idea works great,...
Published on June 9 2004 by Robert J. Schneider

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Rent it Before You Buy It
We rented this DVD to test it, and we didn't like it enough to buy it. It recycles a LOT of footage from the original film, and the new material is pretty thin. The animation is pretty good for a direct-to-DVD film, and the original voice actors are back, but it doesn't have much of a story, and it doesn't really tell that much about the time that Simba spends growing up...
Published on April 23 2004 by J. Garlen


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Rent it Before You Buy It, April 23 2004
By 
J. Garlen "Virtual Virago" (HUNTSVILLE, AL USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Lion King: 1 1/2 (2 Discs) (DVD)
We rented this DVD to test it, and we didn't like it enough to buy it. It recycles a LOT of footage from the original film, and the new material is pretty thin. The animation is pretty good for a direct-to-DVD film, and the original voice actors are back, but it doesn't have much of a story, and it doesn't really tell that much about the time that Simba spends growing up with Timon and Pumbaa. The first direct-to-video sequel, The Lion King II, is actually better, since it has a real story to tell.
Your kids might be able to watch this one more than once, but you probably won't want to watch it with them. Rent it first and see what the family thinks of it before you bother to buy it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Even my three-year-old wouldn't watch this lame movie, Feb. 29 2004
By 
S. Gordon "suzie" (Oakland, CA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Lion King: 1 1/2 (2 Discs) (DVD)
After about a half hour of this terrible DVD, my son asked to turn it off and watch the original Lion King instead. I was relieved -- if you like potty humor, that may be the only slightly amusing thing in it. The timelines and plot (such as it is) make no sense, and the little humor there is is at the expense of the original movie. I wouldn't even recommend this as a rental. Michael Eisner is taking Disney down the toilet a bit too literally with this one.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Sharp, Clever Follow-up Worthy of the Original, July 16 2004
This review is from: Lion King: 1 1/2 (2 Discs) (DVD)
Having had a bad experience with made-for-video Disney sequels before (102 Dalmatians, anyone? Yikes!) I was expecting the worst from this, but my son's such a big Lion King fan that I got it for him anyway. I was VERY pleasantly surprised!
The backstory of Timon and Pumba, while a little convoluted, provides the perfect backdrop and explanation of how their paths ended up intersecting with Simba's in the original. As a result, all the "important" events in the original film are cleverly winked at as mere background noise to the oblivious Timon and Pumba. I was reminded of Tom Stoppard's brilliant comedy, <i>Rosencrantz and Guildenstein Are Dead</i>, where the 2 least important people in Shakespeare's "Hamlet" take center stage and the tale of the Danish Prince is shoved to the background. In the Lion King 1 1/2, the presenting of the baby Simba is literally stumbled upon by Timon and Pumba, and they have no idea what's going on and shrug off the big crowds and commotion as a total annoyance. It was very funny.
I agree that the ad-libbing was a bit distracting and the songs weren't entirely necessary, especially the meerkat song which is catchy anyway. But the story itself is very smart, and the animation has the nuanced look of the original film, not the technicolor overkill of "Simba's Pride" and the terrible "Timon and Pumba" Saturday morning series. In addition, the DVD itself is chock full of excellent extras, including a few music videos and a "Virtual Safari" that entertained my son for nearly an hour. And the Mickey Hunt is tons of fun as well.
In conclusion, though it's not a masterful effort like the original was, it's probably one of the best, if not the best, straight-to-video sequel Disney's ever put out. You won't regret this one, and it's guaranteed to not collect any dust in your video collection!
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1.0 out of 5 stars Answering the questions you didn't ask., July 15 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Lion King: 1 1/2 (2 Discs) (DVD)
First of all let me say I love the first Lion King. Its probably my second favorite animated movie after Finding Nemo. That being said I hated this movie. The first Lion King is mostly appropiate for children but has a mature storyline adults can enjoy. The Lion King 1 1/2 is just for kids. Anyone over the age of puberty will find something seriously wrong with this movie. I was also dissipointed with The Lion King 2 Simbas Pride. But at least the movie was decent. At least they tried to make it good. Its like the makers of The Lion King 1 1/2 were trying to make a bad movie. It is the first movie told from the point of view of Timon and Pumba. It tells there story. Is there anyone who cared about there story? Anyone who wondered what they were doing? Not me. I never was at any loss not knowing where they were. Whats next a remake of Tarzan from Terks point of view. It could have been decent if it was done right. It is done horribly. Its really just taking classic moments and loading them with unfunny jokes. It shows that Timon and Pumba were there in all scene of the first Lion King offscreen. Most of these scenes they really don't belong. For example in Simbas birth sequence Pumba farts causing the animals to bow down. Thats right they weren't bowing out of respect for there king is was just farts. Then they walk one day later to the "Can't wait to be king song" that makes no sense. Several dramatic sequences like the "Be Prepared", wildbeast stampeed, "can you feel the love tonight", Simbas fight, all are completly ruined by Timon and Pumba. They don't belong there. It also has annoying silowets of them constant stoping the movie. Movies this bad in a way help you appreciate the greatness of the original masterpeice. My advice to Disney is to stop those darn direct to video sequels. Just leave the classics alone.
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4.0 out of 5 stars "Can you dig it? I can dig it.", June 23 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Lion King: 1 1/2 (2 Discs) (DVD)
Ever cash-hungry Disney spits another direct to video sequel in our faces. Fortunately, The Lion King 1 1/2 is a refreshing exception of the rule of bad cartoon sequels.
The film opens with Timon and Pumbaa in a darkened theater watching the original Lion King film, Mystery Science Theater 3000 style. A conversation leads to the duo telling us their story, which should really be called Timon's story....Pumbaa's past is barely mentioned. Over the course of the film, we follow Timon and Pumbaa in their Forrest Gump-y adventures taking place simultaneously with Simba's, leading up to a rather dull climax.
While not much of a movie, The Lion King 1 1/2 is a histerical tribute to pop culture and a fun diversion for all. The 2-DVD set features include a "mock-umentary" on Timon, a behind the scenes featurette, deleted scenes, a few games, and an entertaining "Virtual Safari," in which Timon, his mom, his Uncle Max and Pumbaa go on a virtual theme park ride. Wrapping up the set is a Raven music video, a remix of the old-school classic "Grazing in the Grass."
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Wonderfully Comedic Side-Story To The Original!, June 9 2004
By 
Robert J. Schneider (Tacoma, WA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Lion King: 1 1/2 (2 Discs) (DVD)
Disney does it again! This time, they've created a first in modern cinema: neither a sequel or prequel to the THE LION KING, this film tells the side-story to the events of the original film; namely, it is the same story, but told entirely from the perspective of Timon and Pumbaa (the wonderful Nathan Lane and Ernie Sabella, respectively). This ingenious idea works great, and is told in an ingenious manner, with Timon & Pumbaa narrating from a darkened movie theater, literally showing us their side to the story. It is smart, and also hilarious. We got the DVD from Netflix, and will eventually buy it later this year when we can!
THE LION KING 1 1/2 (2004) gives us a whole new picture of the most popular Disney story of all time. Even though this is Timon & Pumbaa's story, Rafiki (Robert Guillaume, unaffected vocally by the stroke he suffered after doing THE LION KING II: SIMBA'S PRIDE in 1998) also returns, as does Simba (Matthew Broderick) and Nala (Moira Kelly). Even Whoopie Goldberg and Cheech Marin return as the vicious hyena leaders! But it's basically Timon and Pumbaa's show, showing once again how popular these characters are (they did have their own animated TV show for a few years back in the 90's), reminding us how much they make us laugh and how good they make us feel. I gotta hand it to Disney: THE LION KING 1 1/2 is an excellent concept, and is done extremely well. It may start a new trend in cinema, for however bad or good that may be. Just get it & enjoy!
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, FOR AGES 8 & UP
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4.0 out of 5 stars You won't know the 1/2 of it, until you watch the movie, June 2 2004
By 
Stephen Verhaeren (Palos Park, IL USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Lion King: 1 1/2 (2 Discs) (DVD)
If you thought you knew the Lion King, you don't really know the 1/2 of the movie. This is Timon & Pumbba's side of the story. But for some reason, instead of getting named The Lion King 3, it is titled "The Lion King 1 1/2", and since this movie came out after the Lion King and The Lion King II: Simba's Pride, but never mind. As the movie opens, Timon (Nathan Lane) and Pumbba (Ernie Sabella) are in a dark theatre, and Pummba is against Timon fast fowarding to the part of the Lion King when they come in, and Pumbba reminds him they were there are the time, but we don't know it. And they begin telling thier story, which begins with Timon's early days with his family, including his mom (Julie Kavner) and his Uncle Max (Jerry Stiller), and the other meekcats are upset by Timon's digging, and then his Mom puts him on a new job, watching for heeynees, which his uncle trusts him to do, but instead Timon breaks into song, and doesn't too his job until it is too late, which upsets his uncle. Later on after having a talk wit his mother, Timon sets out looking for a better home, in which he runs into Rafiki (Robert Guillaume). And Rafiki tells him him "to look beyond what he see". And what he see is Pride Rock, and starts to make his trip there, along the way he meets Pumbba. And he joins Timon on the trip.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Surprise in a Small Package, May 14 2004
By 
Jason Lilly (Nitro, WV United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Lion King: 1 1/2 (2 Discs) (DVD)
I bought this film for my daughter amidst mixed reviews that the film was very good, or that it slaughtered the original. After watching it with my daughter, I was entertained in a completely different way than I expected.
This film, not a sequel but sort of a prequel and retelling rolled into one, does an incredible job of telling Timon and Pumba's story amidst the events that occur with Simba and his pride of lions. In addition to treating us to their tale, we see scenes of Timon, Pumba, and Simba together in their (as we find out in this film) newly discovered paradise.
The most impressive aspect of this film, however, is its ability to keep the recognizable events of The Lion King in the background while still keeping Timon and Pumba's story the strongest and at times spoofing the first film. A good example is a scene in which Timon and Pumba think they have found the perfect home until their peace is disrupted by loud singing. Fans of the first film can recognize that the "noisy neighbors" (as Timon calls them) are Simba and Nala singing "I Just Can't Wait to be King."
This is a more appropriate film for children of all ages, while the first was perhaps too violent for very young children. The only thing that keeps this from acquiring five stars is that it feels more like a long episode of a Timon and Pumba cartoon than a film. But I recommend it to any Disney fan.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A sly retelling of "The Lion King," minus the sap, April 26 2004
By 
Beau Yarbrough (Between Disneyland and Las Vegas) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Lion King: 1 1/2 (2 Discs) (DVD)
Unlike, apparently, most moviegoers in the 1990s, I found the original "Lion King" to be far too saccharine for my tastes. A fairly bland character makes a bad decision, briefly gets mixed up with some interesting outcasts, the clock whirls forward through all that stuff, and then he goes back to fix his mistake. While I'm no fan of "Hamlet," I felt "The Lion King" really robbed the story of much of the drama it could, and should, have had. And, frankly, I was irritated that Timon and Pumbaa got so little screen time.
"The Lion King 1 1/2" to the rescue. Not only do we get to see Simba's time with the duo in more detail, we get to see all of "The Lion King" through Timon's much more cynical eyes, and the story improves for the retelling. The creators of this sequel clearly like the original movie, which is interwoven or sometimes literally used in the background of new shots, but they're also well aware of its cornier elements, and Timon is as well.
The conceit of having Timon and Pumbaa watch their own version of events on a giant television screen (seen in silhouette, "Mystery Science Theater 3000" style) is great, and allows for them to comment on the action, make fun of overly dramatic elements ("What's up with that running, if you can call that running?" Timon asks of Pumbaa's dramatic slow motion race through desert sand) and act as audience surrogates when they buzz through the boring stuff. It's simple, but effective, and embodies the sly, sarcastic sense of the filmmakers. Set pieces from the original film are turned on their ear ("Everything the light touches ... belongs to someone else.") or gleefully skewered ("Oh, great timing, omniscient monkey!").
The story of this sequel is a fairly classic Disney story, of the misfit character who doesn't fit in with the social norms of his environment, and sets out on an adventure that both makes him a hero and redefines his relationship to his community. In this case, it's Timon, who isn't the nervous wreck the other meerkats all are, nor, unfortunately, nearly as competent at any of the skills they think are important (i.e. tunneling and watching out for marauding hyenas). In the course of his journey to find a place where he won't have to hide underground, he encounters the flatulent Pumbaa, who is recast as part embarassing uncle, part smelly family dog, with well-observed bits brought out by both the animators and performer.
While children, especially little boys, will enjoy the gross-out humor (of which there is relatively little), for the most part, "The Lion King 1 1/2" is an adult film, and perhaps the first post-modern Disney movie, commenting on another Disney movie with the leading characters explicitly observing and analyzing the original events. Of course, for those looking for lots of more of what the original movie offered, they'll be disappointed -- the story is slight, the song-and-dance number is lightweight and very silly and the lions are, frankly, something of an afterthought -- but for those of us who thought the original needed a little more bitter with the sweet, this new film is a delight.
Strongly recommended for Disney fans who prefer their cartoons a little less sugary sweet, and a little more tart and sour instead.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A fun re-telling of the tale from Timon's point of view, March 22 2004
By 
This review is from: Lion King: 1 1/2 (2 Discs) (DVD)
Almost everyone knows the story of "The Lin King," of how Simba becomes the king he was meant to be, but does anyone know the story behind the scenes? Finally, the truth comes out in this fun re-telling of the now-classic movie, told by Timon the meerkat and Pumbaa the warthog.
It begins with Timon's family of meerkats, tunneling their way through the savannah. He doesn't feel that he belongs and wants to explore, to find the right place for him. So he sets off across the grasslands, running into Rafiki the baboon who tells him to search beyond what he sees for Hakuna Mata. In the grasslands, Timon runs into Pumbaa the warthog, and together, they set off in search of their paradise. Along the way, we get to see just how Timon and Pumbaa fit into the story of Simba. And, they happened to be everywhere, from Simba's debut to the animals to the wildebeast stampede.
I absolutely loved this movie. Not only does it mesh well with "The Lion King," but it doesn't take itself too seriously. Timon and Pumbaa constantly break in during the film to give some kind of commentary on the scene, or to get a fresh bag of grubs. The Disney team even managed to get many of the original voices to return: Nathan Lane as Timon, Ernie Sabella as Pumbaa, Robert Guillaume as Rafiki, Matthew Broderick as Simba, and Whoopi Goldberg and Cheech Marin as the hyenas. Some fresh, new voices have been added as well, including Julie Kavner as Timon's Ma and Jerry Stiller as his Uncle Max.
The extras on both discs are pretty good, especially the delted scenes and the Hidden Mickey Hunt. Peter Graves makes a special appearance as the narrator for the short feature: "Timon: Behind the Legend." This is a fun film that everyone in the family will enjoy.
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Lion King: 1 1/2 (2 Discs)
Lion King: 1 1/2 (2 Discs) by Bradley Raymond (DVD - 2004)
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