Film Review: The Lion King 3D

By Chrissie Daniels

The sun rises over the African savannah, the Zulu song booms into action, elephants and zebras roam across the planes, this isn’t the latest Attenborough documentary, this is The Lion King 3D.

Now at 21 you may think I am a little old to spend my Saturday evening watching Walt Disney’s latest 3D adaptation of a classic, but The Lion King was, and still is, one of the greatest animated movies of our time.

After buying our tickets at Eastbourne Cineworld and enjoying the perks of student discount we debated whether nearly eight quid was reasonable for a large popcorn and drink.

We decided we usually throw most of the popcorn away anyway so opted for just a large drink – large enough to quench the thirst of a small village.

This was the first time I had experienced a feature length 3D film, and after my experience of a sea life documentary in 3D, where anything from a great white shark to a jellyfish jumped out at you, I was feeling a little bit queasy at the idea.

However, Disney have adapted The Lion King just the right amount. Yes, there are times when a tropical bird will fly out of nowhere, so close you feel you could reach out and touch it, but as a whole it just enhanced what is already a great movie.

The animation was sharp and clear, the colours were bright and the simplest things like the grass being closer to you made the experience more realistic.

Released first in 1994, the basic plot of the film is based around lion cub Simba. His father, Mufasa, is king of Pride Rock and after a tragedy strikes Simba runs away. He meets lovable characters meerkat Timon and warthog Pumbaa and spends his days eating grubs from under logs. Pride Rock is taken over by Simba’s evil uncle Scar and soon Simba has to make the decision whether he wants to go back and fight for his rightful kingdom.

For any Disney veterans reading you will be aware there is a scene in which a stampede takes place and something awful happens (which I won’t ruin for the small minority who haven’t seen the film!). This is a scene which, if enhanced too much by Disney, could have been disturbing. Thousands of wildebeest are running madly past the screen, but I didn’t at any point feel the need to take my glasses off.

Scar’s scenes are probably boosted the most with the new 3D film. Voiced by Jeremy Irons, his iconic song Be Prepared becomes all the more sinister when flames are roaring right in front of you and hyenas are slobbering at the screen.

My favourite song of the film is Timon and Pumbaa’s motto Hakuna Matata, meaning ‘no worries’. The jazzy song is always uplifting and you can’t help but sing along.

Another hit is I Just Can’t Wait to Be King, a fast paced song with hippos, giraffes, birds, and crocodiles all joining in. The 3D works brilliantly here, making the song more vibrant and captivating than ever before.

Overall The Lion King 3D is a massive success. The cinema was occupied with teenagers, old couples and families, proving this is one Disney movie that never ages. Hakuna Matata.

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