The Lion King. What can be said about a movie which has became one of Disney’s most famous creations? With a killer sound track, touching story and memorable characters, it became the movie that made so many people fall in love with animation.
I am going to take it for granted that most people know the story of Simba and his journey to become ruler of The Pride Lands. This special screening of the movie was a late addition to the Edinburgh International film festival, and so was missed out of much of the promotion material. But, none-the-less Ediburgh’s stylish Festival Theatre was filled with both kids and adults to see the 3D premiere of The Lion King. The 3D re-release is in celebration of the movie being released from the legendary Disney Vault, in October. The pressure was on, after Disney made a mess of the 2003 release on DVD, mostly by re-animating scenes and even adding an additional song, (Morning Report from the stage musical).
Thankfully, the added song was absent, although it appears that the animation includes the re-animated scenes from the 2003 release. The sound has been re-done, and it sounds spectacular. The 3D, something I normally have difficulty in distinguishing, had a few moments were it shone. Best moments for the 3D, for myself, was at the start (Circle of Life), the stampede and when Simba follows Rafiki through bushes to the lake. These scenes really popped out, and really are amongst the best 3D I have seen on the big screen.
It is still a magical movie, well worth seeing in the cinema whether you can distinguish the 3D or not. The movie is still breath-taking, and I still will say that Mufasa’s death is still one of the saddest scenes in modern cinema. In fact, I know I was not the only adult who cried at Simba’s futile attempts to wake his fallen father. As an avid fan of The Lion King, this screening made me fall more in love with my favourite animation franchise ever. And everyone in my screening came out happy and satisfied. Well done Disney, you have done it right.
Lion King 3D is released in UK cinemas on 1st October, for 2 weeks, with the DVD/BluRay release on the 14th October. I recommend everyone to see it, if you can. Its not very often you get a second chance to see a true masterpiece on the big screen, so make the effort to see it.