The Lion King Reviews

Desmond Ryan
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic
July 31, 2013

The Lion King, complete with jaunty songs by Elton John and Tim Rice, is undeniably and fully worthy of its glorious Disney heritage. It is a gorgeous triumph -- one lion in which the studio can take justified pride.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Terrence Rafferty
New Yorker
Top Critic
July 31, 2013

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

John Hartl
Seattle Times
Top Critic
July 31, 2013

It's perhaps the closest Disney has come to creating a consciously mythical entertainment in the style of Star Wars. Yet like that film it keeps its sense of humor and fun.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic
July 31, 2013

Even with its flaws, this latest Disney animated feature once again delivers what its audience wants. Too bad flesh and blood films can't be this consistent.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Gene Siskel
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic
July 31, 2013

It bears repeating that The Lion King is quite entertaining as children's fare goes these days. But Disney has established a standard so high on animated features that anything less than a classic leaves you feeling that something's missing.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Jay Boyar
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic
July 31, 2013

The rest of The Lion King alternates between grand-opera melodrama and low-comedy hi-jinks, superbly blending the two approaches.

Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
Top Critic
September 17, 2011

Everyone, young and old, will find something to appreciate in this Shakespearean tale of a young lion discovering his rightful place in the world.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
Top Critic
September 15, 2011

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

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Desson Thomson
Washington Post
Top Critic
March 4, 2008

A computer-animated scene featuring a stampede of wildebeest is positively breathtaking.

Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic
March 4, 2008

The Lion King, more than any of the recent wave of Disney animated features, has the resonance to stand not just as a terrific cartoon but as an emotionally pungent movie.

Full Review | Original Score: A-
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
Top Critic
March 4, 2008

The result is a step toward multiculturalism and ecological correctness, though not without a certain amount of confusion.


Time Out
Top Critic
February 9, 2006

A winner.

Glenn Abel
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic
October 14, 2003

A crown jewel of modern Disney animation.

Stephen Holden
New York Times
Top Critic
May 20, 2003

More so than the exuberant movie miracles that came before it, this latest animated juggernaut has the feeling of a clever, predictable product.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
Top Critic
May 12, 2001

A royal treat.

Jeremy Gerard
Variety
Top Critic
February 13, 2001

Some of the richest imagery the studio's animators have produced and held together.

James Berardinelli
ReelViews
Top Critic
January 1, 2000

There clearly has been a conscious effort to please adults as much as children. Happily, for those of us who generally stay far away from 'cartoons,' they have succeeded.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Peter Stack
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic
January 1, 2000

It's all calculated to be wonderfully entertaining and almost every frame hits the mark.

John Hartl
Film.com
Top Critic
January 1, 2000

An ingenious mixture of themes from narrative sources as ancient and varied as Hamlet, the Old Testament and The Odyssey.

Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
Top Critic
January 1, 2000

Winning and gorgeous.

Hal Hinson
Washington Post
Top Critic
January 1, 2000

An impressive, almost daunting achievement.

Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic
January 1, 2000

A superbly drawn animated feature.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4