The Lion King

Critics Consensus

Emotionally stirring, richly drawn, and beautifully animated, The Lion King is a pride within Disney's pantheon of classic family films.



Total Count: 128


Audience Score

User Ratings: 1,269,333
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Movie Info

One of the most popular Disney animated musicals, The Lion King presents the story of a lion cub's journey to adulthood and acceptance of his royal destiny. Simba (voiced first by Jonathan Taylor Thomas, then by Matthew Broderick) begins life as an honored prince, the son of the powerful King Mufasa (voiced by James Earl Jones). The cub's happy childhood turns tragic when his evil uncle, Scar (voiced by Jeremy Irons), murders Mufasa and drives Simba away from the kingdom. In exile, the young lion befriends the comically bumbling pair of Pumbaa the warthog (voiced by Ernie Sabella) and Timon the meerkat (voiced by Nathan Lane), he and lives a carefree jungle life. As he approaches adulthood, however, he is visited by the spirit of his father, who instructs him to defeat the nefarious Scar and reclaim his rightful throne. Borrowing elements from Hamlet, classical mythology, and African folk tales, The Lion King tells its mythic coming-of-age tale with a combination of spectacular visuals and lively music, featuring light, rhythmic songs by Elton John and Tim Rice, and a score by Hans Zimmer. Embraced by children and adults alike, the film also spawned hit songs ("Can You Feel the Love Tonight," "The Circle of Life") and a hit Broadway musical. In late 2002, The Lion King was re-released in the large-screen IMAX format. ~ Judd Blaise, Rovi


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Critic Reviews for The Lion King

All Critics (128) | Top Critics (27) | Fresh (119) | Rotten (9)

Audience Reviews for The Lion King

  • Mar 26, 2016
    A film that only get better with repeat viewings and age, The Lion King is a fantastic animated masterpiece that is among Disney's finest achievements. Stellar voice work, great musical score, beautiful to look at and emotionally complex and riveting.
    Matthew M Super Reviewer
  • Feb 22, 2016
    It had been so long since I watched this movie and I'm glad, because it reminded me of how truly amazing this film is. From the breathtaking animation that holds up still to this day, to Hans Zimmers Oscar winning score this is with out a doubt one of Disney animations crowning achievements.
    Kameron W Super Reviewer
  • Jan 20, 2013
    The 1990's were a great decade for Disney. They churned out a string of popular, traditionally animated movies that had children and adults alike flocking to the cinema like never before. Movies like Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Pocahontas, Mulan, Tarzan, Hercules, The Hunchback of Notre Dame to name but a few. For my money The Lion King is the pick of the bunch or the pick of the pride if you will. The Animation was groundbreaking, the songs were catchy (Elton John's imput was top-notch), the humour was for adults too and the vocal cast was astounding. You have; James Earl Jones, Matthew Boderick, Jeremy Irons, Nathan Lane, Ernie Sabella, Rowan Atkinson, Whoopi Goldberg and the list goes on. The "choices for voices" were spot on and delivered very effectively. Although the setting is somewhat different, the story itself is nothing new from Disney. The tried and tested formula, used from Snow White right through to modern movies today was the same. Becoming seperated from one's family, rediscovering the meaning of family and finding ones own identity through regaining family. But the formula works and audiences connect with it. Besides, each time Disney attempt to break or bend the rules the movie tends to be pretty lame i.e. Home on the Range ~ case closed. There are so many memorable moments in The Lion King. From the opening sunrise "NNAAAAAA SSOOOPENNYAA TUMA LEEKI MA LAAD", to the Gopher who pops up and reports to Zazu "News from the under ground", to the stampede, to can you feel the love tonight, to everything that Timon and Pumbaa say. My personal favourite part is Scars song, be prepared. I love The Lion King. It is as much a part of my childhood as the sweet smell of a new pencilcase or the rough feel of a new school jumper. I have enjoyed it at the cinema, been ill with it at home (on VHS) and will no doubt introduce my own children to it some day. I feel thst it sends out great messages to children such as; your past may be painful but you must face it and learn from it to move forwards and also the mini-lesson on the circle of life. It's not just me that feels this way either, walk into any Disney store and you will see a lot of Lion King merchandise on sale (for high prices) all year round and the movie is still being re-released at cinemas (now in 3D) and on DVD (now on Blue ray or diamond edition). Maybe my opinion is biased? Biased because i love animals, biased because I love animation and biased because I love great movies. In all seriousness this is both Disney and animation at its best. P.S. The SNES game was great too!
    James C Super Reviewer
  • Dec 26, 2012
    Very much the most popular of all Disney films thanks to it's revolving hand-drawn animation, famous and catchy musical numbers like "Circle of Life" and "I Just Can't Wait to Be King", and the Hamlet-inspired story that stirs up emotions all the way through for both kids and adults alike. I can't really imagine any other Disney Renaissance film as memorable as this or Beauty and the Beast.
    Max G Super Reviewer

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