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The Lion King Reviews

Page 1 of 6
Terrence Rafferty
New Yorker
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Between traumas, the movie serves up soothingly banal musical numbers (composed by Elton John and Tim Rice) and silly, rambunctious comedy.

Full Review Source: New Yorker

July 31, 2013
Adam Fendelman

While "The Lion King" is one of the best Disney movies of all time, "The Lion King 3D" is a manipulative exploitation to bring paying parents back with their kids merely through the sexiness of today's 3D fad.

Full Review Source: | Original Score: 3.0/5.0

September 17, 2011
Rob Humanick
Slant Magazine

Although far from the worst offender in Disney's canon, The Lion King is nevertheless host to many of the less savory qualities common to the studio's output.

Full Review Source: Slant Magazine | Original Score: 2.5/4

September 12, 2011
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The story line is a Joseph Campbell hero-quest so stripped down to its basics as to become dull.

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 2.5/4

September 15, 2011
Tony Medley
Tolucan Times

The post-production, flat 3D mutes the colors so much that the 2D version is preferable.

Full Review Source: Tolucan Times | Original Score: 4/10

September 15, 2011
Ed Gonzalez
Slant Magazine

The Lion King is loaded with hoary biblical references (ray of lights, burning bushes) and Shakespearean shout-outs, but that's all they are.

Full Review Source: Slant Magazine | Original Score: 2/4

September 28, 2003
Urban Cinefile Critics
Urban Cinefile

Frankly, I felt more raw emotion in the more recent Spirit: Stallion Of The Cimarron and the sadly neglected The Emperor's New Groove (2000) was more fun. Of course, you can't argue with the Lion King's roaring success, but for some, bigger doesn't make i

Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile

December 27, 2002
Bill Chambers
Film Freak Central

The Lion King's huge take unfortunately bronzed its blunders along with its charms.

Full Review Source: Film Freak Central | Original Score: 2/4

October 6, 2003
Marty Mapes
Movie Habit

Forget the musical, The Lion King is now in IMAX. Too bad it sends the wrong message -- to anyone who sees messages in cartoon animals singing Broadway numbers.

Full Review Source: Movie Habit | Original Score: 2.5/4

December 27, 2002
Walter Chaw
Film Freak Central

| Original Score: 2/5

April 10, 2003


The sickly Elton John and Tim Rice songs ruin any attempts at hipness.

Full Review Source: Film4

March 4, 2008
Bill Wedo
Philadelphia Daily News

Even the inescapable hype cannot diminish the fact that this is one great film.

Full Review Source: Philadelphia Daily News | Original Score: 4/4

July 31, 2013
Candice Russell
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Wondrously imaginative, The Lion King is superior family entertainment, charming in every way.

Full Review Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel

July 31, 2013
Kate Erbland
Film School Rejects

Is it still wrenching to watch? Yes, sweet goodness, yes.

Full Review Source: Film School Rejects | Original Score: A-

September 17, 2011
Mathew DeKinder
Suburban Journals of St. Louis

While the 3D is surprisingly effective on the 2D, hand-drawn animation, the real treat is getting to see this movie once again projected up in all its larger-than-life glory.

Full Review Source: Suburban Journals of St. Louis | Original Score: 5/5

September 16, 2011
Joshua Starnes

In every way, both good and bad, The Lion King epitomizes the last heyday of classic feature animation that existed in the 1990s.

Full Review Source: | Original Score: 8/10

September 17, 2011
Jesse Cataldo
Slant Magazine

Art History stands out as one of Joe Swanberg's most visually and conceptually accomplished experiments.

Full Review Source: Slant Magazine | Original Score: 3/4

September 19, 2011
Christopher Lloyd
Sarasota Herald-Tribune

The Lion King was made a mere 17 years ago, but seems from a different era now. Here was a "kiddie" flick that was big, grandiose and ambitious, a sprawling Shakespearean epic playing out on the African savannah.

Full Review Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune | Original Score: 5/5

September 14, 2011
Thomas Caldwell
Cinema Autopsy

While the core ideology behind The Lion King is extremely problematic and stands out even more today than it did in 1994, there is still much to admire about the film.

Full Review Source: Cinema Autopsy | Original Score: 4/5

September 28, 2011
Roger Moore
McClatchy-Tribune News Service

The exclamation point on a great run of classic Disney animation...

Full Review Source: McClatchy-Tribune News Service | Original Score: 3.5/4

January 7, 2013
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