Genre: Animated Classic, Musical
Opens Friday September 16th, 2011, for 2 weeks only (check for showtimes)
Run Time: 1 hour 27 minutes
Voice cast: Jonathan Taylor-Thomas, Matthew Broderick, James Earl Jones, Jeremy Irons
Directed by Roger Allers, Rob Minkoff
Hard to believe that it's been 17 years since the original "The Lion King" was released. It's a classic movie that stands the test of time, as most all animated Disney classics do. OK, I'm a bit biased, having practically been raised up at Disney World (at the age of 32, my family has vacationed there at least 25 times.)
So it's a bitter pill to swallow, anytime a "classic" film is re-released. On one hand, you're happy that the older film is being shown to a new audience, but really, what kid still hasn't seen The Lion King? You'd almost would rather them not mess with the classics, because after all....they are classics! Now for a special 2-week-only engagement, fans old and new alike can go and witness one of our favorite animated movies of all-time, re-done in 3-D. On paper, this probably seemed like a great idea and a sure-fire way to make some extra cash on some movies sitting around the Disney Vault.
And that is exactly the end result of "The Lion King 3D": Paper. Compared to what we are now used to seeing in 3D (movies with amazing 3D animation like Cars 2 or other recent Pixar films), "The Lion King 3D" comes across more like a cardboard cut-out pop-up book...it's still the Lion King, still has laughs, great songs, and climactic moments, but somehow the tale comes across more 2D than ever. Who can forget the opening "Circle of Life" scene, one of the most powerful animated sequences ever? Still powerful here, just awkwardly abnormal...this is what you get when someone messes with a classic.
Should you go see it in theatres? Yes and no. It was great to experience "The Lion King" again on the big screen, but the 3D just isn't worth the price of admission. Even worse, if this is popular (which I'm afraid is inevitable,) you can look for Disney to begin re-releasing all of their classic Disney cartoons in 3D, a trend that I would like to avoid. Disney has already sold-out the legacy of most every one of it's animated franchises, by releasing straight-to-video sequels featuring less talented animators, story-tellers, and voice actors. I think it would be a sad day when people are paying money to watch "The AristoCats" in 3D, and I think this intentional money grab by Disney is something less than magical. The Lion King? 5 stars out of 5. In 3D? I'll give it 1 star for each dimension.
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