Reviewer's Rating 5 out of 5   User Rating 5 out of 5
The Lion King (1994)
U

"The Lion King" was first released in 1994. Since then it's become one of Disney's biggest grossing - and most fondly remembered - animated movies. But it's never been as big as it is now.

Remastered for the IMAX screen and complemented with a newly remixed soundtrack, this is "The Lion King" as you've never seen it before.

Following hot on the heels of last year's re-release of "Beauty and the Beast", this presentation of "The Lion King" offers little in the way of new material, but it certainly has a wonderful roar.

Blown up to 'Large Screen Format' size - it's a standard 2-D presentation, so doesn't require the use of those special IMAX glasses - the beauty of the original artwork really stands out as the animators soar across the African savannah, run with the antelope, and scale the heights of Pride Rock.

While lesser features might be swamped by such visual spectacle, the story here is majestic enough to cope.

In fact, this epic Shakespearean tale - with shades of both "Macbeth" and "Hamlet" - is perfectly suited to grandiose presentation, as young lion cub Simba (Broderick) is tricked out of his kingdom by his scheming Uncle Scar (Irons).

Forced into exile, he learns a few life-lessons from a warthog (Ernie Sabella) and a meerkat (Lane), before finally facing up to his responsibility as the true heir to the throne.

Admittedly, the enlargement of such an old print to this size causes a few problems - magnified several times over, the occasional blemish becomes more noticeable than it would in the film's standard format - but it's easy to forgive such minor flaws, particularly when the digitally-remixed soundtrack replays the Oscar-winning songs (courtesy of Sir Elton John and Tim Rice) so perfectly.

Long live the "King" - in any size.

End Credits

Director: Roger Allers, Rob Minkoff

Writer: Irene Mecchi, Jonathan Roberts, Linda Woolverton, Jorgen Klubien

Stars: Matthew Broderick, Rowan Atkinson, James Earl Jones, Jeremy Irons, Nathan Lane, Moira Kelly, Whoopi Goldberg, Robert Guillaume

Genre: Animation, Family, Musical

Length: 88 minutes

Original: 1994

Cinema: 27 December 2002

Country: USA

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