Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

The Lion King


I’m on record as saying that I have been surprised at how well the recent tide of live-action remakes of Disney classics have come out, by and large. Some actually rivaled the originals. But I’m not surprised that they eventually came a cropper, and it arrived in the shape of this wet hairball. (I mean that artistically speaking. Financially, it was a very smart decision, having made $1.6 billion, putting it as the highest-grossing animated film of all time, and the seventh most profitable of any sort.) The problem here is that in this “live action” take, the animals are photo real, and of course there were no live animals involved at all. Try as you might, you just can’t make human-like expressions on real lions, or any other animal. That is the advantage of drawn animation. The lions can smile, they can laugh, they can behave like humans, which is the whole point. These animals are just that: animals. The script is extremely faithful to the original. I have some advice. Unless you just can’t stand old-timey animation (which I guess is true of this maturing generation) stick with the original. It is miles and miles better than this misbegotten beast.