The Lion of Judah (2011)
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Critic Reviews for The Lion of Judah
The slapdash animation is matched in kind by the patched-together story.
The Lion of Judah turns out to be a lamb and this Bible story with animals turns out to be exceedingly lame.
The meek may inherit the Earth, but they won't do well at the multiplex if they can't do better than this.
Audience Reviews for The Lion of Judah
I lay here speechless on how to open this review in third person upon realizing this is the first animated movie I've given a zero in two years. The last animated film to have garner that was the ever so infamous "Titanic: The Animated Movie" which had talking rats, a rapping dog, a two minute romance, and ended with "Happily Ever After". My criteria for any animated film to earn a zero I thought was originally unobtainable as a animated movie had to equal or be worse than "Titanic: The Animated Movie". "The Lion of Judah" without question has set a new low standard for all future bad animated movie to scope down to.
The Lion of Judah follows the overly long, uninspired, stereotypical, and drawn out adventures of a bold lamb (Judah) and his friends (The Stable-Mates) as they try to avoid the sacrificial altar the week preceding the crucifixion Jesus Christ. Oh man where to even begin. Just about everything you could think off a film could do wrong this film does. All the characters are annoying stereotypes consisting of the dumb character, an emo, an energetic child, wise old man, unfunny comedic relief, and every shallow character type in existence. Plot points are drawn out to unbearable length consisting of moments that kill brain cells. Pointless conversations involve crows (one with an eye patch) talking about how his dream of sheets, animals debating on kicking a box, a discussion on whether or not to save a friend who's to be killed, and stretching every joke at it disposal. Making all this more painful is moving at the pace of a glacial. Glacially pace you'll slowly begin to discover the film reuses the same formula for three acts. All the acts require one of the main character to be saved only to be captured again two more times. So with no character to latch on to, a glacial pace that where a single joke can be stretched to several minutes, and three acts that reuse the same formula it further deteriorate itself by involving a false understanding of Christianity.
Now the title of the film is "The Lion of Judah" which is very misleading. There is not a single lion or an animal that remotely resemble a lion in the film. The character Judah is a lamb and according to his mother will set animals...no human free. Although I am not a Christian the film false understanding of Christianity and the nerve to deliver a message from its false understanding is a slap to the face having the subtlety of nuclear bomb. It's about as force as you can get in message delivery. The worst part being Jesus Christ teachings takes a back seat to slapstick. There is not a minute that goes without slapstick yet Jesus Christ crucifixion is a throwaway plot point. Telling us nothing about Christ or his teachings serving no significance in the story. Downright insulting it audiences by daring not to go into the grey area of religion. Combining all these flaws into a single script it's incredible how a film that's under ninety minutes could feel like five dull hours of pure nothingness yet be very insulting on the way it handles religion.
Animation has never been so cheap, ugly, stiff, and most importantly lazy. Anything that requires basic movement goes very slowly even during the motion of running and flying there's no distinction in speed movement. Characters models aside from being undetailed scream pure laziness. Certain animals will have fur that remain in place while other animals (some of the same kind) will have no fur at all. Another issue being the basic anatomy is inconsistent. There are several occasion where animals body parts are larger than they normally are. Further criticizing the sheer lack of effort are body parts goes through characters bodies. As for the visuals they are far behind Toy Story which was released in 1995. Textures are ugly becoming fuzzy whenever shown up close. Worse of all there are several scenes where textures on a wall, animal, or fur haven't render correctly and is left as it is. Looking and moving like an early alpha for a video game. Voice acting is not worth discussing. Ironically given the characters stereotypical personalities the voice actor sound exactly how they would. This not a good thing since some of the voices come across racial stereotype (the horse midway in the film gains an cliche Indian accent). Music on the other hand is forgettable. Only being used in montages comes and goes away quickly.
The Lion of Judah is an endurance test in tolerance with the viewer reaping no benefits from what they what see. There is no effort presented in any frame of the film. Animation and visuals are inferior to the first 3D animated film ever made, a plot with nothing redeeming, racial stereotype voice acting, and finally feeling longer than it actually is. Nothing about "The Lion of Judah" is interesting, passionate, or watchable. It's existence is a sin to all things cinema.
The Aftermath of "The Lion of Judah":
So not only was it that I just viewed a film that had completely wasted my time, my breathe, and my eyesight, but on the same day after finishing viewing it my internet service experiences an outage. This being the first time this ever happened I can only conclude that this film was cursed in more ways than one. Ironically my internet was out for two days and it just so happen to have come back on the third day. Talk about irony.
Every once in a while a corporate giant like Warner Bros. or the like shows it still values traditional family entertainment. A perfect example of this is the Easter-themed "Lion of Judah." In a time when we're being served fun fare like "HOP," it's a breath of fresh air to see a film coming out that explores the true reason for Easter.
I know what you're thinking, because I tend to take the same mindset when I hear a movie referred to as religious or Christian. I immediately expect it to be low-budget and less than spectacular. I'm happy to say "Lion of Judah" doesn't suffer that fate.
The CG animation reminds me of a mix between Pixar and DreamWorks' styles. It also has a great mix of serious and humorous storytelling blended together. Add to that a couple of bigger-name actors like Ernest Borgnine and Michael Madsen voicing characters, and you've got a winner.
If you're looking for a good quality family-friendly movie that will keep your children's attention, "Lion of Judah" will no doubt work for you. It's perfect for parents who want to instill the real reason behind Easter into their kids. It's got humor, drama, and is thought-provoking as well.
I recommend the movie to anyone looking for a way to educate friends and family on what the Biblical significances are behind the Easter holiday and have fun while doing it.
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