The Lion King

Critics Consensus

While it can take pride in its visual achievements,The Lion King is a by-the-numbers retelling that lacks the energy and heart that made the original so beloved--though for some fans that may just be enough.

52%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 423

88%

Audience Score

Verified Ratings: 76,340

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Movie Info

Simba idolizes his father, King Mufasa, and takes to heart his own royal destiny on the plains of Africa. But not everyone in the kingdom celebrates the new cub's arrival. Scar, Mufasa's brother -- and former heir to the throne -- has plans of his own. The battle for Pride Rock is soon ravaged with betrayal, tragedy and drama, ultimately resulting in Simba's exile. Now, with help from a curious pair of newfound friends, Simba must figure out how to grow up and take back what is rightfully his.

Cast & Crew

Donald Glover
Simba
Voice
Seth Rogen
Pumbaa
Voice
Alfre Woodard
Sarabi
Voice
Billy Eichner
Timon
Voice
John Kani
Rafiki
Voice
John Oliver
Zazu
Voice
Florence Kasumba
Shenzi
Voice
Eric André
Azizi
Voice
Jeff Nathanson
Screenwriter
Tom C. Peitzman
Executive Producer
Julie Taymor
Executive Producer
Thomas Schumacher
Executive Producer
Caleb Deschanel
Cinematographer
Mark Livolsi
Film Editor
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News & Interviews for The Lion King

Critic Reviews for The Lion King

All Critics (423) | Top Critics (52) | Fresh (219) | Rotten (204)

  • Watch this Lion King for the technical achievement and musical numbers, and then watch the original to feel satisfied.

    February 21, 2020 | Full Review…
  • Overseeing such a massive technical production as this one requires a filmmaker to be on top of every nuance and detail in play. Actor/director Favreau is the right person for the job.

    December 10, 2019 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • The Lion King captures just enough of the original's warmhearted excitement -- and introduces enough new delights -- to feel like more than a cynical Disney money grab.

    September 10, 2019 | Full Review…
  • Even if you somehow made it into the new Lion King without knowing its origins, you might start to wonder if there was another version of it that made more sense...

    July 30, 2019 | Full Review…

    Sam Adams

    Slate
    Top Critic
  • Despite the superstar talent of the cast and the stunning presentation, it misses some of the heart that placed the original securely in the pop culture canon.

    July 22, 2019 | Full Review…
  • Rarely has brand recognition soared to such fetishistic heights, and I regret to inform you that, aside from the updating of the vocal cast, the most blatant discrepancy between the old and the new is a very slight increase in the comedy of flatulence.

    July 22, 2019 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Lion King

  • Dec 28, 2019
    Vulgar Display of Dour
    Gimly M Super Reviewer
  • Nov 22, 2019
    The effects are legitimately impressive but why and for who? All of the "realism" here just undermines the fun of the original.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Oct 20, 2019
    This film lacks purpose and to think it was a box office smash shows how little crowds care for quality. It is an empty shell of an incredible animated film. The voice work is uninspired and the extended characters, or added musical numbers bore. The special effects look incredible, but when the film is this shallow, it's hard to care. I'm annoyed this did so well financially and I only wish audiences wouldn't indulge Disney's current reboot structure. Between this and Aladdin, there is little to recommend either. The Lion King is a one of a kind adventure and this reboot of a not so old film showcases what is wrong with modern blockbusters. This is a carbon copy with added depth that is not relevant. The original animated film was punchy and timeless, sadly the film is not. It will provide a night in for the family, but not the film it should of been. Why did they remake it scene for scene? Nuts. 20/10/2019
    Brendan N Super Reviewer
  • Aug 08, 2019
    Well, the original was better. It's fine, and ultimately impressive. Really, there is a lot to admire about the movie, but still it can't escape the shadow of the original. The weird thing is despite being longer a lot of times it feels like it's rushing through the beats of the original. Most notably, Mufasa's death scene (spoiler's I guess) feels weirdly rushed. I remember in the original there was time dwelling on Simba looking at the body and begging for Mufasa to get up. Here, he just kinda looks at it, sniffles a bit, and the scene moves on. Look I'm not saying it needs to be a shot for shot remake, but if you are going to go through the effort of doing the exact same scenes, either do them better, or do them at least as good, don't just rush through them to check off a box. That's this films biggest flaw, and it really did bother me. It lives under the shadow of the original often doing things because "the original did it" without really seeming to have an understanding of why that worked in the original. It was different artists with different visions. However, when it's doing it's own thing, it actually kinda' works. A lots been made of Timon and Pumbaa in this movie, and rightfully so, they're one of the few things that is expanded and made to live on their own. They're essentially the same sort of characters, but Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen bring their own personality to them. They were allowed to improvise and give their own spin with new lines and humor. They even have a new philosophy and debate on Hakuna Matata versus Circle of Life that's actually genuinely interesting. I also liked how their home is inhabited by other animals and it shows how Simba became part of that community in his exile. It's expansions like this where the film does its own thing where it really shines. Yes the visuals are nice, but the animals don't show the personality like they did in the animation because Lions can't cry/smile/laugh in real life so what were left with is a really pretty Disney Nature CGI-fest. It's these narrative moments that make the film work. I ultimately give it a moderately positive review because…damnit it's still The Lion King, and yeah there were enough things it did right. But at the end of the day, if I ever want to see The Lion King again, I'm going to watch the original.
    Michael M Super Reviewer

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