It sounds like The Lion King just can’t wait to be king of the box office. The first reactions to the CGI remake of Disney’s The Lion King are here, with critics praising the film’s visual effects and dynamic cast... although having photorealistic animals sing does seem to come with some caveats.
Directed by Jon Favreau, the remake stars the voices of Donald Glover, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, Seth Rogen, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Alfre Woodard, Billy Eichner, John Kani, and John Oliver, with James Earl Jones reprising his role as Mufasa.
Inspired by the Shakespearean story of Hamlet, The Lion King is about a lion named Simba (Glover) who chooses to shun the world after suffering a personal tragedy. However, when the home he loved is threatened, he realises he must return and face his destiny.
Here’s what the film critics have to say about Disney’s latest live-action (or, in this case, computer-generated) adaptation.
The Lion King is a wonderful adaptation of an iconic classic. It has a few small changes which enhance what was already great and everything else is right on point. The CG can be slightly distracting at times but the emotion quickly covers that. Loved it. pic.twitter.com/9QmsP3PmNh
— Germain Lussier (@GermainLussier) July 10, 2019
So #TheLionKing was the first movie I ever saw in theaters and this reimagining hit all the same notes. LOVED IT. Idk if it was Beyonce, Donald, the animation, Jon Fav... no it was probably Beyonce.
— Trey Williams (@Trey3Williams) July 10, 2019
— Jenna Busch (@JennaBusch) July 10, 2019
— Rachel Heine (@RachelHeine) July 10, 2019
I’m not exaggerating y’all
They killed it!
— Jacqueline - ROTTEN TOMATOES WROTE A BOOK! (@THATJacqueline) July 10, 2019
#TheLionKing is a breathtaking visual cinematic achievement. I can’t believe this is a CG animated movie. Timon and Pumbaa steal the show. It’s a good Disney remake but was it necessary? Maybe not, but it’s enjoyable and families are gonna love it.
— Peter Sciretta (@slashfilm) July 10, 2019
The Lion King is a dazzler. Gorgeous score, spot-on voice acting, but mostly, yeah, those visuals. ???? #TheLionKing
— Alisha Grauso (@AlishaGrauso) July 10, 2019
#TheLionKing combines gorgeously realistic CG with heart, humor and the same story/beats of the original. It also captures the same magical feeling of the animated movie and remains faithful to its spirit. Most of the voice acting works well and the music once again stands out.
— Dennis Tzeng (@ThinkHero) July 10, 2019
#TheLionKing is visually and audibly astounding! I’ve never seen anything like that on an animation level. It’s so beautiful.
Seth Rogen and Billy Eichner really steal the show. Chiwetel Ejiofor is brilliant as Scar! It is so much fun. Great movie. pic.twitter.com/v62LHFIM7W
— Brandon Davis (@BrandonDavisBD) July 10, 2019
I just got out of #TheLionKing and really dug it. My fear was realistic animals wouldn’t have the charisma of the cartoon, but they’re very good. Timon and Pumba steal the show. Some of the song/choreo arrangements don’t work as well as the original but still a really fun flick. pic.twitter.com/mOrODQ0vHI
— Chris E. Hayner (@ChrisHayner) July 10, 2019
Just walked out of #TheLionKing. Overriding reaction: SIMBA IS SO CUTE. But really, if you’re hoping this will be a near-exact adaptation of the animated movie with some absolutely jaw-dropping visual effects, you’ll get what you’re looking for. pic.twitter.com/14BydbdhCx
— Terri Schwartz (@Terri_Schwartz) July 10, 2019
So the new #thelionking is a visual work of art. Favreau is becoming a master of this type of filmmaking. The story is pretty much the same, no real changes from the 1994 animated but the emotion is still all there. Cast crushes it. Such a talented cast and a lot of new laughs.
— Kristian Harloff (@KristianHarloff) July 10, 2019
#TheLionKing is exactly as advertised: a beat-for-beat remake of the original. Impressive animation and some ace casting choices (Beyoncé is a spirited Nala, John Oliver is an ideal Zazu) plus that music is still ???????? - but it’s more nostalgic rehash than fresh reimagining
— Angie J. Han (@ajhan) July 10, 2019
#TheLionKing is a landmark *visual* experience. I’ve never seen anything like it, and I think it’s going to change how we look at movies forever.
As an *emotional* experience, though…I’ll put it this way: It turns out lions can’t really emote.
— Adam B. Vary (@adambvary) July 10, 2019
Ultimately #TheLionKing will be a touching introduction to a timeless story for a new generation, but I’d never rewatch it over the original
— Laura Prudom (@LauInLA) July 10, 2019
But I love the Lion King always and the voice actors are all fabulous and the SCORE!! Zimmer reput his foot in the score. and it's gonna make a bajillion dollars. Perhaps more thoughts to come.
— Constancely Over It (@ConStar24) July 10, 2019
The Lion King arrives in theatres on July 17.