Short version: It just doesn’t matter if The Lion King is in 2D, 3D or high definition. It’s an amazing, wonderful and rich movie that no child should miss. Go see it.
It opens in theatres for a limited two week engagement starting September 16.
Long version: This weekend, Twirl and I had the chance to preview, courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures, The Lion King 3D at the Santikos Palladium in a packed theatre filled to the brim with kids. As it should be.
And it was as beautiful as the original.
I’m not a huge fan of 3D – it usually fails to impress me much – so I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. And I was particularly worried that converting a 2D movie (rather than starting from scratch) wouldn’t produce much of an effect at the end of the day. But Disney did an amazing job of bringing the characters a depth that never once detracted from the original beauty and, in some spectacular moments, truly made you catch your breath.
Since the movie was originally released in 1994, this is a great opportunity to introduce a new generation of young ‘uns to The Lion King. Just make sure they can handle the 3D glasses sitting on their little noses…and some of the Scar and hyena scenes may be a just tad scary for really sensitive ones….but no more than the Backsun song in Winnie The Pooh.
Especially fun for me was seeing the movie with my daughter, Twirl. You can read a tween’s review on TwirlReviews.com.
Five things I betcha didn’t know about The Lion King
- It was originally named King of the Jungle, and while it was inspired by the story of Hamlet, it was the first Disney movie animated feature with an original story.
- On top of lead team members heading to Kenya to study the animals, lions and other jungle beasts were brought into the studio so animators could study their behavior.
- It took two years to create the two-and-a-half minute wildebeest stampede sequence.
- The Lion King is the highest grossing hand-drawn animated feature film. Happily, the conversion to 3D didn’t affect the images one bit.
- Some were so upset by the movie’s negative portrayal of hyena’s that one hyena biologist sued Disney studios for defamation of character, according to Jamie McPherson in an article for BBC Wildlife.
Disney was also nice enough to share great printouts – perfect for an afternoon project or if you need a distraction while you’re waiting for your food at the restaurant. You can download it all right here: