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.

55%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 249

89%

Audience Score

Verified Ratings: 3,389
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Movie Info

From Disney Live Action, director Jon Favreau's all-new "The Lion King" journeys to the African savanna where a future king is born. Simba idolizes his father, King Mufasa, and takes to heart his own royal destiny. 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 ravaged with betrayal, tragedy and drama, ultimately resulting in Simba's exile. With help from a curious pair of newfound friends, Simba will have to figure out how to grow up and take back what is rightfully his.

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Critic Reviews for The Lion King

All Critics (249) | Top Critics (41)

  • Where the animated original had an endearingly cheery anthropomorphism, with wide eyes and cute expressions, this lacks that. You're marveling at the beauty of the animals, but it just doesn't work with the material.

    Jul 18, 2019 | Full Review…
  • It's a remake with roar.

    Jul 18, 2019 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…
  • Some of these remakes have been more inspired than others, but few have felt quite as futile as The Lion King. This isn't the circle of life; it's more like a creative dead end.

    Jul 18, 2019 | Full Review…

    Justin Chang

    NPR
    Top Critic
  • Even if it were good, the best this movie could have hoped for was to be an imitation of something that was already perfect to begin with.

    Jul 18, 2019 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…
  • At no point in Jon Favreau's The Lion King does it seem like it was a good idea to remake Disney's 1994 African wilderness parable, apart from the financial windfall it is sure to accrue.

    Jul 18, 2019 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • You'll find yourself longing for the freedom afforded by simple lines and pixels.

    Jul 18, 2019 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Lion King

  • 3h ago
    The 2019 version of Disney's the Lion King graces us with its beautiful animation. While the mirrored-rendition, line-for-line & shot-for-shot, may be disadvantageous in some areas, including dialogue & ambition, it's still a dazzling remake for a new generation of moviegoers to enjoy, even if it doesn't hold a candlestick to the 1994 animated masterpiece. 4.1/5
    Eugene B Super Reviewer
  • 11h ago
    Whether or not you're on the positive or negative side of Disney remaking their classic animated films or not, they're clearly full steam ahead on doing all of them, so buckle up for the ride or turn away for the next decade or so. Personally, I'm indifferent on the whole idea. Although I loved Jon Favreau's recreation of The Jungle Book and thought the live-action Cinderella was very solid, I would argue that with Dumbo, Maleficent, and Beauty and the Beast, even though enjoyable, felt very much unnecessary for the most part. Now, we have The Lion King, which is one of Disney's most beloved classics and it's going to absolutely divide fans, but gladly, I happen to fall on the positive side for this one.   After the death of his father Mufasa, Simba (a young Lion cub) is forced away on his own. Learning the real lessons to know in life, his journey becomes one for the ages. I'll remain vague for the very few people who don't know this story, but it ultimately follows every single beat the original animated film presented over 25 years ago. This is the definition of a film that comes off as a cash grab, simply due to the fact that it seems like they made it for money, as all the same songs and images are used, but updated.  I'm not going to be one of the reviewers out there that complain though, because I happen to love the premise of the original film, and since it's just recreated here, I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy this version. The visuals are truly something to wonder at. Not only do the animals look and feel realistic, but the scenery around them wasn't even filmed in-camera, and the movie feels the complete opposite of that. It truly feels like National Geographic went out and captured footage, only to add moving mouths on the animals in post-production.  Yes, I can see where the criticisms have been here; Viewers have been adamantly complaining about the fact that this film doesn't do anything new and is pretty much retreading the original movie. While that statement may be true, nearly everyone loves that original film and even though many of the animals may not show deep emotions in their facial expressions, I find that to be one of the largest nitpicks in the history of cinema. This was an experiment in taking a story and making it feel as realistic as possible, and for that alone, it deserves all the credit in the world. In the end, I'm someone who will shout out on the rooftops about the fact that remakes need to slow down, but when a good one comes around, I won't shy away from calling it as it is. The Lion King (2019) is a very, very solid remake, with a few new admirable moments and great direction by Jon Favreau once again. Yes, the fans will complain that this movie took no chances, even down to the dialogue, but I walked out of the theatre with a big smile on my face, so I'm not going to lie to myself. The Lion King (2019) is a great movie, even if it's unoriginal and prevents it from being called one of the best films of the year. For fans and newcomers alike, I recommend seeing this one.
    KJ P Super Reviewer

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