|Die Frankfurt-Tipp Bewertung:|
|Originaltitel:||The Lion King|
|Genre:||Adventure, Animation, Children's Movie|
|Laufzeit:||Ca. 118 min.|
|FSK:||From 6 years|
Who doesn't know it, the story of the little lion Simba, who is supposed to become the king of the lions - if it weren't for his evil uncle Scar, who lures Simba's father Mufasa into a deadly trap and convinces the little lion that it's his fault, whereupon Simba leaves the realm over which he should later rule. The success story of "The Lion King" began more than 25 years ago and went far beyond the cinema success of cartoons.
Besides several home cinema sequels and millions of sold soundtrack CDs, the story of the little lion Simba also became a complete success as a musical. The songs that Elton John wrote and sang for the film have long since become classics of modern pop music and the popular side characters Timon and Pumbaa are now among the most popular Disney characters. And so it wasn't really a big surprise that even the "King of the Lions" will get a facelift in the course of the successful remake of the Disney catalogue.
Responsible for this is Jon Favreau, who has already been able to gain visually new, impressive pages from the "Jungle Book". With him Simba, Timon, Pumbaa and Co. now come out of the computer. The film was shot in an elaborate virtual reality process. The result: breathtaking, photorealistic images. No question about it, Favreau's "The Lion King" is visually a masterpiece. But at the same time this strength is also a weakness of the film.
On the one hand, there is the fact that some scenes can be even more frightening for young viewers than was the case with the cartoon because they seem so extremely real. The release from 6 years is really borderline. On the other hand, the drawn animals had a much stronger facial expression due to the separation from reality and thus ironically seemed more alive than the now very real CGI-animals. However, the animations are so grandiose and the characters so lovable - especially Timon and Pumbaa - that this hardly has a negative impact.
Also the story works very well in this partly completed, partly absolutely identical version. What is surprisingly disappointing, though, are the new songs. Elton John's new creditsong sounds like a trivial track that didn't make it onto his last album and Beyonce's "Spirit" seems like a bland "Circle of Life" copy on Valium. And since there's always a direct comparison to the wonderful music of the original, the comparison, which the new tracks simply can't withstand, is almost inevitable.
There are some very wonderful moments - for example, when Timon briefly quotes another Disney classic. And the main points of criticism are only noticeable when you think more carefully about what most cinema-goers probably won't do. For they are so intoxicated by the images and absolutely captivated by the story - especially when they don't know the cartoon - that everything else fades into the background. All in all: Technically perfect and impressive, but a little less charming than the cartoon. Perhaps Disney should use the great possibilities that modern filmmaking techniques offer them to develop new material, not to try desperately to perfect something that is timelessly beautiful in itself. But that remains wishful thinking for many years to come, given the many millions of dollars that these remakes will bring in. And so it is: absolutely worth seeing for children from 8 years on and for adults who want to get lost in the pictures!
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