Lion King: 1 1/2 (2 Discs)
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The Lion King 1 1/2
The Lion King 1½ is an ingenious sequel that retells the original film's story from the perspective of best pals Timon the meerkat (voiced by Nathan Lane) and Pumbaa the warthog (Ernie Sabella). Anyone who has wondered how this odd couple met will find out here, beginning with Timon's flight from home following disgrace and his chance encounter with the sweet but lonely Pumbaa. With the arrival of young Simba (Shaun Flemming), The Lion King's familiar tale is reborn via a fresh angle, fleshed out by returning characters Rafiki the wise monkey (Robert Guillaume), Shenzi (Whoopi Goldberg), and Simba's love interest, Nala (Moira Kelly). While the retooled narrative proves a novel experience, The Lion King 1½ is really a vehicle for voice actors Lane and Sabella, whose comic performances are shamelessly, broadly funny. Matthew Broderick, Julie Kavner, and Jerry Stiller are also in the vocal cast. --Tom Keogh
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Top Customer Reviews
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!
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."
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
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.
Most recent customer reviews
Great movie in Lion King series. Our family loves it! Perfect transactionPublished 1 month ago by Min
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