The original Lion King is a straight-up classic of 2D animation that represents the so-called “Disney Renaissance” era, sitting comfortably at the absolute height of its creative and technical power. This new Lion King, by contrast, is a pretty good 3D animated (but they’d prefer it not be called that, though it’s not truly “live-action” either) feature. On a narrative level at least, it feels every bit its age in terms of being a beat-for-beat recreation of its 1994 predecessor. But on a technical level, it feels nothing short of miraculous.
It’s that rare breed of studio film (at least on the production end) like the original Jurassic Park where, even though you’re aware what you’re seeing has had the benefit of millions in post-production studio polish, you nonetheless can’t escape the feeling you’re watching filmmakers experiment with some new, fantastical power that they’ve only just begun to unlock the possibilities of. Incidentally, among contemporary animated peers, what it most reminded me of was Loving Vincent, the independently-produced oil-painted 2D feature from a year or two back. It’s because that film also ran into moments where its remarkable production style was perhaps not the ideal way to carry off the story it was telling… but it’s still impressive that they did it at all.
This is MovieBob reviewing The Lion King.