It has been 17 years since Walt Disney gave us what would become one of its highest grossing films, The Lion King. Since then, the only medium to improve the experience of watching the classic has been the musical. Not any more, though, because Disney has decided to re-release the hand-drawn animation in 3D.
The Lion King is inspired primarily by the Moses story and Hamlet. It is the story of a son who thinks he has failed his murdered father, and later avenges his death and takes over the legacy. The goosebumps begin right at the beginning with the African vocals of the song The Circle Of Life. And as the movie progresses, with the birth of Simba and the treachery of Scar, you realise Disney has every intention of taking you on a nostalgic trip.
Essentially a 2D animated film, The Lion King in 3D has its ups, and a few downs. There are, however, more than enough reasons to watch this classic all over again.
To begin with, The Lion King is a must-watch
for kids of all ages. Fans who watched the original as teenagers in 1994 can bond with their
kids by showing them what a good story is all about.
Then, there is the music. It does not matter whether you watch The Lion King in 2D or 3D - it is the soundtrack that makes the movie iconic. Elton John and Tim Rice wrote five original songs for the film, and each one of them has become timeless.
Some of the 3D scenes are mind-boggling, and the following are the sequences that you should look out for:
- The song sequence in the beginning - The Circle Of Life - seems normal enough till the herons take off to join the other animals in their procession to Pride Rock. More and more animals join the march, and Zazu, the hornbill, flies above all the animals and lands at Mufasa's feet. Then Rafiki holds out Simba over the edge of the cliff. A promising start.
- The sequence where Simba and Nala sneak into the elephant graveyard after leaving poor Zazu behind is another gasp-worthy one.
- Mufasa and Simba have a father-son moment in the sequence where Mufasa tells his son about the dead kings in the sky. The 3D is effective here.
- The best sequence has to be the wildebeest sequence in which Mufasa dies. In 3D, Scar looks even more menacing as he tells Simba to "run away and never come back", and then, to the hyenas that appear from the mist, "Kill him."
- The Hakkuna Matata song sequence is another one to watch out for. This is where Simba grows from a cub to a lion, eating bugs and lazing, with Timon and Pumba.
- The sequence where Rafiki hits Simba on the head and then runs, with Simba following him, is intense, too, made more effective with 3D.
- And last, but not the least, is the climax battle between Simba and Scar, especially the portion in slow motion.
On a more practical note, 3D does not do much to movies shot in 2D, especially animated movies. There are times when some of the characters look more like pop-out bodies than 3D creatures.
Also, all theatres may not possess superior-quality equipment for 3D projection. Watching The Lion King in IMAX is a safe bet - else you may not see most of the screen clearly, and colours may seem a little off.
The Lion King in 3D is a sincere attempt to re-acquaint today's tech-savvy kids with the concepts of bravery, loyalty and simplicity, and it's a great turn you'll be doing your kids taking them to this one. You yourself will not be disappointed, either.