'The Lion King' breathes human emotion onto an epic canvas

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In the jungle, the mighty jungle

The lion sleeps tonight.

Hush my darling, don’t fear my darling

The lion sleeps tonight.

Disney's much-anticipated 'The Lion King' has commenced its prowl.

Anticipation had been soaring ever since Disney had hinted a live-action remake of the debut film of the same name exactly 25 years later.

On its surface, the latest movie delivers where it should. The creative team at the studio has made the most out of the technology of our time to painstakingly recreate every intricate piece of detail to such perfection. The jungle vistas from the 1994 original have been represented at a shot-by-shot pace with dollops of CGI and visual wizardry in additional layers.

And when one says that this is a photo-realistic adaptation of the original, one notions should be different after what one felt on seeing the first trailer of the latest movie that had been released in 2018, exactly like they had in 1993 for the first instament. 

Surprisingly, the whole circle of life had played out in under five minutes, with side-by-side comparison to the 1994 original. By composing a scene-to-scene replica, the creators might have had the idea to bank in on the nostalgia factor of one of the greatest childhood flicks in cinema history, while at the same time, shuffle Disney’s huge cash registers.

lion-king

The company has had luck at this sort of an approach with its other fables such as 'Alladin', 'Dumbo', 'The Jungle Book' and 'The Beauty and the Beast', where newer iterations had a bit of alteration in some dimensions in order to prevent it from being another copied homework with slight variations.

But the spectacular animation in the latest is certainly a piece of work that would rival even the 'Planet Earth' series. But this time around, David Attenborough decides to keep shut and let the animals do the talking. And this is where our piece of work slumps, while ensuring accuracy in rendering a near-perfect imitation of something from the real world. It is practically impossible to represent human emotions on these feline faces; a bane that comes with the boon of visual mastery.

Beyonce, James Earl Jones set for live-action remake of 'The Lion King'

Musical virtuoso Hans Zimmer returns yet again, to astonish with his iconic score that had won the 1994 Oscars, much before his 'Gladiator', 'Dark Knight' or 'Inception' masterpieces. Besides the songs in the original, a few more have been added and one of it is Beyonce’s 'Spirit,' which would definitely content for the Academy’s this year.

Seth Rogan and Billy Eichner bring to life a jovial Timon and Pumba running hippity hoppity through the Savannah, singing Hakuna Matata. The 2019 edition of this song sung by Donald Glover and the rest, is a hippy number that you could groove throughout the monsoon or under the shower to your heart’s content, with the same eclectic energy.

Now the tables are turned when you affix the rhyme onto each of those CGI montages in the movie. The very sequence featuring Simba, Timon and Pumba swinging through the vines, dancing around in circles and embracing each other was such a joy to watch in the initial print. An acceptable trope in cartoons, it would certainly seem uncanny if represented in a real-world scenario.

Our original characters were not just animals, but they were a hybrid of human and animal, a combination that’s very powerful. It touched into the mythological.

When all is said and done, 'The Lion King' breathes human emotion into an epic canvas that is a colourful, expressive and emotional artwork. The visual works are unquestionably ethereal. But we miss the emotions of sheer joy and poignancy that could be read from the faces of the chirpy, hand-drawn animations of 1994.

Do yourself a favour by not watching the original before pacing into a theatre next to you.

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