The Lion King reviewed by Mark Kermode

  • Published on Jul 19, 2019
  • Mark Kermode reviews The Lion King. Simba, the heir to Pride Rock, finds himself in exile when his villainous uncle Scar convinces him he is guilty of an unforgivable crime.
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  • Film & AnimationFilm & Animation

Comments • 379

  • TheOrientalNightFish

    I don't understand the casting choice of Beyonce as Nala. Just, what does she add to the character? Not that she could do much because the emotionless photorealistic animation is the problem.
    But one of the weakest lines in the whole movie is when Nala rallies with 'are you with me lions??'
    Should have been lionesses...

  • Gordon
    Gordon 2 months ago

    "Can you feel the love tonight" dance song was done during the day....sums up the movie pretty much

  • Jamie Windsor
    Jamie Windsor 2 months ago

    I think the problem with the story in this format is that the plot of the Lion King doesn't actually make logical sense. It's a celebration of hierarchical power structures. Why would antelope be excited about the birth of a new Lion who will ultimately end up slaughtering and eating them and their children? Scar and the hyenas simply want the same thing that Simba wants: To rule the kingdom and eat the other animals. And the way we get people to accept flawed logic is to wrap it up in the mystical and the abstract. So we have all this mystical talk about the "circle of life" and the "great kings of the past" etc. When this is served to us in a vibrant, stylised cartoon, we read it in much more of an abstract nature. But when the film asks us to accept this as coming from _real_ animals, the flawed logic is much more obvious as we read the film in a more literal way. That's my take, anyway.

  • Ben Quinney
    Ben Quinney 2 months ago


  • Ben Quinney
    Ben Quinney 2 months ago

    That’s the thing about lions

  • ThewayICit
    ThewayICit 3 months ago

    It's spectacularly good for about 15 minutes and then you feel you have already watched this story too many times.

  • Brent Strydom
    Brent Strydom 3 months ago

    "I wouldn't listen to me because I'm a film critic." Lol

  • Blue Beard
    Blue Beard 3 months ago

    After listening to Jordan Peterson’s critique of the Lion King through a Jung lens, any other critique is just empty.

  • 84C4
    84C4 3 months ago

    It doesn't matter if people think animation means cartoons, this was an animated movie. Calling it something else is nothing but a publicity stunt so it can fit into Disney's little "live action remakes" package.

  • George Chan
    George Chan 4 months ago

    The lack of facial expressions don’t match the vocal expressions by the voice actors :(

  • George Chan
    George Chan 4 months ago +1

    Problem with these films is they make you feel like we’ve regressed since they first came out lol

  • barryispuzzled
    barryispuzzled 5 months ago +1

    I had the same feeling about Black Beauty (1994) watching real animals talking on screen. It jarred on me and I couldn't watch it. The dilemma is being asked to believe that real animals can talk which I'm unable to process. An animation is not demanding that. It is saying that the voices and the schematic shapes are both metaphorical or representational, and are there for you to supply your own real interpretation. There's no conflict in that for me.

  • Peter Vincent
    Peter Vincent 5 months ago

    It's rare I disagree with Mark but this was fantastic. 4 stars from me!

  • extremetee
    extremetee 5 months ago +1

    No disrespect to who ever played the roles this time round but can you really improve on Jeremy Irons and Rowan Atkinson? If you keep James Earl Jones why not keep them aswell!

  • c122 h122
    c122 h122 5 months ago

    I hated it

  • Michael O
    Michael O 5 months ago

    Before i watch does mark mention the exorcist

  • Val Martin
    Val Martin 6 months ago +1

    Saw this today. Disney needs to stop reworking their animated films now. If I was a child watching this sh***te I would have been born stupid. Disney stripped this lovely film of all comedy, charm and story and replaced it with this truly awful rendition. Gone was all the characterisation of Scar and the hyenas. I felt like Timon and Puma were a bickering couple rather than friends. Music still great.

  • Tiberius Kirk
    Tiberius Kirk 6 months ago

    The Lion King 2019 is a product of corporate greed (a remake to cash in on nostalgia and overseas movie markets) and Hollywood chasing trends off a cliff. (photorealistic animation) Clips of this movie look stunning without the audio, but with the audio you have photorealistic animals incapable of basic emoting and an utterly disconnected dub thrown on top of it.

    The same thing exists here on TheXvid of clips of BBC Earth with comedic audio placed on top of documentary footage. The difference between those TheXvid clips and the new Lion King is millions of dollars wasted and nothing else.

  • v
    v 6 months ago

    He's basically describing the uncanny valley.

  • ddchad
    ddchad 6 months ago


  • Muhammad Yusuf
    Muhammad Yusuf 6 months ago

    He expressed his thoughts so well. I am more or less in agreement with what he said.

  • Cmajor
    Cmajor 6 months ago

    It’s such a great effort for such a pointless cash grab movie

  • Jordannadroj20
    Jordannadroj20 6 months ago +1

    The film is so absurd and surreal I couldn't help but laugh when I saw it.

  • Ziq Az
    Ziq Az 6 months ago

    "I wouldn't listen to me because I'm a film critic."

  • KahnuevsKrake
    KahnuevsKrake 6 months ago +1

    The biggest problem with the film was because they made it photo-realistic, they neutered the visual humour and the characters ability to emote, so they apparently compensate for it with the dialogue. But sadly the dialogue was very stilted, on-the-nose and riddled with obvious statements. Chiwetel Ejiofor's performance was one of the saving graces, but even he couldn't disguise the lazy writing here. James Earl Jones sounded almost bored when he delivered his lines.

  • Matt Gilbert
    Matt Gilbert 6 months ago +1

    We call this money. That's all it is. It's just Disney doing Capitalism. It's not cinema.

  • Jona Run Dadadottir
    Jona Run Dadadottir 6 months ago

    I agree with this review. Although visually stunning, there is something missing in the new version. I felt I was watching one thing and then listening to the story. There was this gap that he is talking about, that the animation version doesn't have. So I think he is spot on.

  • Heartshinemusic
    Heartshinemusic 6 months ago

    America: Drugs are bad, drugs are bad, drugs are bad.
    Goes on to create an two hour long acid trip with photo-real singing animals. LOL

  • Exodus
    Exodus 6 months ago

    I thought the voice acting was suberb aside from Donald Glover's performance as Simba, in my eyes it just didnt suit the character at all.

  • 31 Alrightamya
    31 Alrightamya 6 months ago +1

    Fantasy and realism don’t mix

  • dan the man
    dan the man 6 months ago +1

    The CGI looked both good and bad at the same time. I never felt like I was watching real animals and that's why it didnt work.

  • i1mz
    i1mz 6 months ago +13

    The fact that Scar never screamed out “SARABI!!!!!!” in the remake, completely ruined the film!

  • Daniel O'Neill
    Daniel O'Neill 6 months ago

    It did not need remaking but I still enjoyed the new one. What's wrong with that?

  • Tom Butler
    Tom Butler 6 months ago

    Without having seen it I do understand what Mark is on about!a Cartoon/Animation should stay just that?!

  • Colin Reid
    Colin Reid 6 months ago

    Ambivalent review is ambivalent

  • Danny
    Danny 6 months ago

    The main problem for me is that it doesn't even try to fix the minor problems the original has such as going from kid to adult whilst crossing a bridge. It looks amazing but has no soul. Money always wins in the end

  • Martin Turon
    Martin Turon 6 months ago +1

    Why does he say Favreau created this realistic world? I thought he’s the director, not the head of the animation department

  • Maarten Slagter
    Maarten Slagter 6 months ago

    what the point of it is? making money

  • Sam's Channel
    Sam's Channel 6 months ago +18

    "I wouldn't listen to me because I'm a film critic. All I can do is tell you that MY brain.."
    Mark chose his words carefully there and it shows how humble and professional he is. He doesn't think he can do these movies better, he only wants to express how these films make him feel.

  • Danny K/L
    Danny K/L 6 months ago

    I can’t wait to buy this on 4K Blu Ray it will look and sound amazing

    • Totally Bored
      Totally Bored 6 months ago +3

      Danny K/L that would be like going on a date with the most beautiful person in the world and all they talk about is the history of celery

  • Kelp Kelp
    Kelp Kelp 6 months ago

    Saw it at the weekend. It was fine. A lot of the jokes didn't seem to be landing with the audience though.

  • Oyin Jones
    Oyin Jones 6 months ago

    Lion King was always meant to be animation. This format doesn’t work for this story. The Jungle Book remake made sense because we had a human interacting with animals.

  • anjula mutanda
    anjula mutanda 6 months ago +4

    Spectacular to look at, but surprisingly souless. The original is far more emotionally engaging.

  • Melanie Smith
    Melanie Smith 6 months ago

    Elephant the light tough. Lol

  • Kevin molloy
    Kevin molloy 6 months ago

    What, the curtains?

  • Felicia Barker
    Felicia Barker 6 months ago +4

    This is like the inverse of the uncanny valley. The canny mountain?

  • Garth Smith
    Garth Smith 6 months ago

    Just wondering, having watched/listened to that review, where the review was?

  • Philip Collier
    Philip Collier 6 months ago +4

    I know it’s sacrilege to say it in some circles but I thought the voice acting from Donald Glover and especially Beyoncé was actually very very poor. The CGI is pretty fantastic though. (Apart from the Simba-zoom in after the “long live the King” moment). 6/10.
    Edit: Seth Rogan as Pumbaa stoke the show for me and was a real bright spot. But then I do have the sense of humour of a nine year old.

  • minsa pint
    minsa pint 6 months ago +1

    Surely the zenith of photo realism in animated film is Rocket in Guardians of the Galaxy. He not only talks, he can walk upright and he wears clothes.

  • 92680BOYD
    92680BOYD 6 months ago

    I'm confused on his review much like many other people's on this new film. It's not like there are any human characters present in the Lion King story. You could say it's Jungle Book without Mowgli in it to put it as simple and plain.

    If you prefer animation on a different scale than that's the big difference between 94' version and the new film here.

  • Allan Gobey
    Allan Gobey 6 months ago +1

    "i wouldn't listen to me because i'm a film critic" - that's a perfect moment of lucidity right there.

    i agree with everything he says about this film though

  • Seven Ellen
    Seven Ellen 6 months ago

    "What it actually is is a film that looks like a live-action film, in which things that look like live animals sing which is a really strange place to be." Welcome to the Uncanny Valley. Unpleasant, isn't it?

  • Slim Charles
    Slim Charles 6 months ago

    How was Jeff Nathanson credited as the sole screenwriter?

  • dravreh
    dravreh 6 months ago +6

    ROAR from 1981 - was a better representation of lions...

  • Cuttersway Park
    Cuttersway Park 6 months ago +7

    Thi$ film ha$ almo$t no rea$on to exi$$$t.

  • kityhawk2000
    kityhawk2000 6 months ago

    ...............So did he like it?????

  • Jasmine Isaksson
    Jasmine Isaksson 6 months ago

    "Well, I'd tell them to not listen to me, I'm a film critic."

  • Adam Kerans
    Adam Kerans 6 months ago

    Love your reviews. I hear this is a shameless cash grab by Disney. Remakes, reboots, soft reboots, nostalgia, 80's nostalgia is the order of the day for Hollywood right now. It's boring AF.

  • Wise Guy4U
    Wise Guy4U 6 months ago

    Mark Kermode is baffled & confused.

  • Blake Bard
    Blake Bard 6 months ago

    I remember when Favreau would take chances as a filmmaker.