Monday, September 28, 2009

The Lion King (1994)

TOP 100 FILMS: #72

After the death of his father heir to the throne Simba (Matthew Broderick) must face the trials of becoming an adult on his own, while at the same time competing to maintain his throne from his vicious uncle Scar (Jeremy Irons).

As a kid no movie, with the exception of Star Wars, captivated me, inspired me, and put the fun in my life as much as Lion King. A testament to strong morality, the greatness of close friends, dealing with the lost of a loved one, and standing up to evil, The Lion King is the ultimate family film. Powerful, well acted, creatively drawn, with characters so fun, amusing, and over the top you can't help but love them. In fact the only thing wrong with this film is the hundreds of spin offs it inspired (with the exception of maybe it's broadway play).

There's very little not to like about this film. Visually it's outstanding, taking the time to be both creative and realistic, within its own domain. At the same time the music is as, if not more, memorable than just about any film I've ever watched. Even today, years later, I still remember many of the songs, the scenes in which they came to life, and the impact they had on me. Add to that great vocal performances from Matthew Broderick, Nathan Lane, Jeremy Irons, Moira Kelly, Ernie Sabella, Rowan Atkinson, Whoopi Goldberg, Cheech Marin, and of course James Earl Jones.

In the end, there's really very little to hate about this film. With every turn in the story your heart moves with the characters, up, down, and right into the gut you cheer them on, and hate to see them go. Add on top of that a beautifully mystical nature, it brings about a family film for the ages. Allers and Minkoff certainly outdid themselves when they took the helm of this 1994 masterpiece in animation.

One of my all time favorite films, The Lion King is a masterpiece in animation, and storytelling.

3 better thoughts:

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

Is it wrong that I feel bad for Scar? I really do. He's a really complex character, not just evil.

My nephew is obsessed with this movie. He watched it four times yesterday.

DEZMOND said...

oh, caaaaaaan you feel the love tonight? :)

FilmFather said...

Totally agree with you on this pick; Lion King is one of my top 25 favorite films of all time. It's essentially Hamlet in the jungle, but it's also so much more (for all the reasons you gave).

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