When Disney released the animated film “The Lion King” in 1994, it created a childhood classic. But almost two decades later, the company’s attempt to remarket the story is little more than a childish sales pitch.
“The Lion King 3-D” keeps the same storyline about a lion cub’s journey to find himself that was released more than a decade ago, with an added 3-D element. With no other additions, the remake feels like a ploy to pad the company’s budget, but offers a rare opportunity for a new generation to see one of Disney’s most popular films.
While the 3-D does not completely detract from the movie with its sometimes dizzying effects, there are only a handful of times when the new technology actually improves the film. When the characters sit through torrential downpours, the 3-D shows a depth between the rain and the background that 2-D cannot. When Simba is sitting in a gorge in the foreground and hundreds of wildebeests are stampeding from behind, the 3-D makes it feel like they are running toward the audience and briefly instills a sense of fear and suspense.
Disney’s attempt at revitalizing a fantastically animated film with new technology is less than sparkling and makes the modern edition more of a Disney trick than Disney magic.
“The Lion King” was directed by Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff and written by Irene Mecchi, Linda Woolverton and Jonathan Roberts.
2 out of 4 stars