A roaring success?

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | MALVIKA RAMESH
Published Jul 20, 2019, 12:01 am IST
Updated Jul 20, 2019, 12:17 am IST
Will The Lion King live up to the expectations of fans 25 years after the first film of the franchise came out?
We take a look at what people are expecting from photorealistic computer-animated remake.
 We take a look at what people are expecting from photorealistic computer-animated remake.

When we think about the movies or animated films we watched while growing up, there’s one that is always on everyone’s list —The Lion King. If you’re old enough, just the name can make you nostalgic, taking you back 25 years ago to 1994, when you watched the first movie of the name.This 25-year-old Disney media franchise has come a long way, and today the theatres are crowded with the latest Lion King movie being screened.

The first Lion King movie was directed by Rogers Allers and Rib Minkoff. As the years passed, the other movies followed, all owned by Walt Disney Pictures. In 1998, The Lion King 2: Simba’s Pride was released, followed by The Lion King 3 in 2004. The latest one that released on July 19, is a drastic departure from the animated nature of the first three. Although just hitting screens, the photorealistic has garnered a multitude of emotions already. Philarima Hynniewta, who works in the field of sports and is a self-confessed admirer of The Lion King films, says, “The movie was amazing! It totally lived up to my expectations, even after all the hype.” She adds excitedly, “There are a few changes from the original movie, but these are good changes. The best thing about the movie is the music.

 

They’ve improved the choir and Spirit, the song sung by Beyonce, sings goes so well with the movie. Oh, the importance that they have given to detailing is absolutely brilliant!”

Meanwhile, animation enthusiast Shashank Dipankar, has a different perspective. “Live action films take away the emotions and expressions that animation brings. In a story like The Lion King that is beyond just a father-son relationship, other emotions are important too,” he says, explaining, “The relationship between Pumbaa, Simba and Timon, there’s so much there. But it seemed lacking in this film from what I could tell from the trailer. And I think that’s only because it is a live action film. Let’s see how it goes.”

The Hindi version of the new film has actor Shah Rukh Khan and his son Aaryan voicing the two main characters, Mufasa and his cub Simba. Bollywood buff Priyanka Sashtri, says, “The Hindi version of the movie is going to do amazingly wellat the box office, that’s for sure. The Disney brand is already successful, and with SRK and his son on board now, there’s nothing to hold them back from here on. In India, at least, I think the Hindi version is going to do a lot better than the original English one.”

The music in The Lion King franchise has always been one of its most popular hooks. From children to adults, the songs from the film have been hummed all over the world. Hakuna Matata, a song composed by Sir Elton John,reached the pinnacle of animated film music when it was first heard by the world. Not only did the song become popular, but so did the Swahili phrase ‘hakuna matata’ meaning ‘no troubles’ capture everyone’s imagination for decades. Circle of Life, another song written by Elton for The Lion King, became even more popular. “I was pretty young when I first watched the movie, but the music made an impact on me. It was really something to remember,” says marine engineer from Mumbai, Nolan Mascarenhas.

The familiar story revolves around a young lion cub Simba being forced to leave home. As we move ahead in his time line, we see that this young cub has returned home, as a fully grown lion who must take over the throne from his father to become the King of the jungle. That includes fighting through betrayal and tragedy to prove his worth on the all-famous pride rock.

The Lion King is a movie that managed to touch hearts from the very beginning of the franchise’s entry to the cinema world. Bengaluru-based fan Ankith Srinath says, “The story line is so beautiful, and it’s much deeper than just a family animation. If the movie broke all records in 1994 and still has such a fan following today, it must be really special.” Getting a bit nostalgic, he continues, “I have a been a huge fan of The Lion King ever since I was a child. I went to this fair at Chennai years ago. The fair was filled with Lion King stuff. Today as well, we see how popular the merchandise of the film is.”

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