Can you feel the love tonight?
The original version of The Lion King is a classic film. It won two Academy Awards and a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture—Musical or Comedy. It has remained the highest grossing hand drawn animation film in history.
The Lion King is one of those productions that has gone above and beyond normal effort, creating a piece of timeless art. It combines exceptional elements of artwork, action, and music in an experience that is unforgettable.
The artwork is painstakingly drawn. Hand-drawn films have gone out of style because of the incredible amount of work that goes into drawing each individual scene.
The Lion King’s artists not only drew each individual scene, but they drew them in detail.
This detail extends not only to the important characters, but even in the background of a scene the jungles, savannahs, etc. are clear and well drawn.
Look no further than the opening of the movie: elephants and zebras, waterways and trees. They are all bathed in the light of the rising African sun as the tribal voices cry out their song.
Music in The Lion King 3D blends perfectly with the artwork.
The styles vary from awe-inspiring tribal music like the opening sequence to fun and upbeat like Simba’s “I Just Can’t Wait to be King.” Disney spared no expense in hiring Hans Zimmer to create the orchestral pieces and Elton John to create the Broadway music.
[pullquote] …the question is whether the movie’s greatness translated well into 3D. So did it work?” [/pullquote]
Action and dialogue are simple and move the plot along quickly. My favorite part is Zazu’s report to the king Mufasa about the “buzz of the bees” which includes such hilarious puns as “cheetahs never prosper,” “baboons are going ape,” and “giraffes are acting like they’re above it all.”
Of course, this type of humor can be found in lines from the lovable Timon and Pumba as well as the three nefarious hyenas. The depth in the dialogue makes the movie easy to follow for kids and still enjoyable and engaging for adults.
The height of the action is the battle between Simba and Scar for Pride Rock. With flames dancing all around, the audience is treated to epic slow-motion animation.
As far as hand-drawn movies are concerned, this is really unique and adds weight and drama to the battle.
But since the plot, setting and characters of the 3D version are the same as the original, the question is whether the movie’s greatness translated well into 3D.
So did it work?
Yes it did.
3D layering helped to really draw the characters out from the environment, allowing the detail in the artwork to be better appreciated.
I especially enjoyed the scenes of the stampede and almost any scene that had water in it.
The surround sound was very cool for the sound effects.
My one complaint was its effect on the music. I felt the lead vocals and the background music were a bit too separated at times, which downplayed the power that can be found in the unity of the original recordings.
Overall, I would give “The Lion King 3D” 4 ½ out of 5 stars. Fun for all ages.
Adam Sharpnack is a staff writer for Aviso AVW.