Jon Favreau’s masterful direction keeps up a breathtaking pace with magnificent use of CGI to both develop the photorealistic characters and the superbly visual African backdrops. It is, of course, a real tearjerker, especially at King Mufasa’s untimely death and his son Simba’s desolate exile. But there are some real feel-good moments too, such as Simba’s warthog and meerkat buddies who have him eating bugs and loving it too.
The soundtrack is also particularly notable, with the original’s score given a new life to great effect. And although we all know and love the narrative the twists and turns of the re-make are constantly surprising. The attention to detail is simply immaculate allowing you to view each part of the vast 70mm IMAX 3D projection to find some lovely carefully crafted touches.
One word of warning though, despote being a real visual feast for all the family, the very little ones may find this too much of a demand for their attention. But otherwise this endearing and charming piece of cinematic excellence is engrossing for young and old. There are also some seriously scary moments with Scar and his mob of hyenas a stark contrast to the cute Simba, both young and old.
The use of 3D gives the show a real impact with fantastic realism and many startling moments that make you really feel the movement of the camera and its character subjects. By the end you really feel you have been a rites-of-passage journey that is both cathartic and immensely enjoyable. Disney do it again in their current trend to remake their animated back catalogue into live action classics.
Reviewed by Rich Jevons at National Science & Media Museum, Bradford. Click here for current listings.