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 • 398

  • Peter Vincent
    Peter Vincent 6 days ago

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

  • extremetee
    extremetee 10 days 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 17 days ago

    I hated it

  • Michael O
    Michael O 18 days ago

    Before i watch does mark mention the exorcist

  • Val Martin
    Val Martin 22 days 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 23 days 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 24 days ago

    He's basically describing the uncanny valley.

  • ddchad
    ddchad 25 days ago


  • Muhammad Yusuf
    Muhammad Yusuf 25 days ago

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

  • Cmajor
    Cmajor 25 days ago

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

  • Jordannadroj20
    Jordannadroj20 26 days ago +1

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

  • Agent Ziq
    Agent Ziq 27 days ago

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

  • KahnuevsKrake
    KahnuevsKrake 27 days 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 28 days 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 29 days 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 29 days 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 Month 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 Month ago +1

    Fantasy and realism don’t mix

  • dan the man
    dan the man Month 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 Month ago +8

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

  • Daniel O'Neill
    Daniel O'Neill Month ago

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

  • Tom Butler
    Tom Butler Month ago

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

  • Colin Reid
    Colin Reid Month ago

    Ambivalent review is ambivalent

  • Danny
    Danny Month 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 Month 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 Month ago

    what the point of it is? making money

  • Sam's Channel
    Sam's Channel Month ago +14

    "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 Month ago

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

    • Totally Bored
      Totally Bored 29 days 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 Month 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 Month 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.

  • Joe McKeown
    Joe McKeown Month ago

    This is a brilliant review.

  • anjula mutanda
    anjula mutanda Month ago +3

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

  • Melanie Smith
    Melanie Smith Month ago

    Elephant the light tough. Lol

  • Kevin molloy
    Kevin molloy Month ago

    What, the curtains?

  • Felicia Barker
    Felicia Barker Month ago +3

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

  • Garth Smith
    Garth Smith Month ago

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

  • Philip Collier
    Philip Collier Month ago +2

    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 Month 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 Month 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 Month 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 Month 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 Month ago

    How was Jeff Nathanson credited as the sole screenwriter?

  • dravreh
    dravreh Month ago +5

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

  • Cuttersway Park
    Cuttersway Park Month ago +5

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

  • kityhawk2000
    kityhawk2000 Month ago

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

  • Jasmine Isaksson
    Jasmine Isaksson Month ago

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

  • jimwantsaliens
    jimwantsaliens Month ago

    I agree there is an argument for never doing remakes and sequels, although nobody ever says that about Shakespeare.

    • Paul Tapping
      Paul Tapping Month ago

      I dunno... Baz Luhrman kinda shut the book on Romeo and Juliet, imo.

  • Adam Kerans
    Adam Kerans Month 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 Month ago

    Mark Kermode is baffled & confused.

  • Blake Bard
    Blake Bard Month ago

    I remember when Favreau would take chances as a filmmaker.

  • Patrick MacBryde
    Patrick MacBryde Month ago

    It was an alright movie somethings were done well some weren't. I'd agree that being so photorealisitic removed some of the personality of the characters. That and they didn't look individuals.

  • Frank Lucas
    Frank Lucas Month ago

    The Original Lion King is EASILY one of the Greatest Movies of all time. It captures so many themes, which will always be universally true, but to appreciate it fully, you must understand what it’s truly about.
    It’s crazy to me, how everyone seems to miss the blatantly clear & coherent message behind the Lion King. It’s about the Jewish Plot to overthrow the rightful European Leaders (like the Tsar, Huey Long, Archduke Ferdinand and the Jewish Bolshevik Revolution that began a worldwide revolution). The Hyenas represent easily the manipulated masses, aswell as the Non-Whites, which are being endlessly flooded into every white country worldwide, in order to oppress those who would Naturally be the Leaders.
    “Hakuna Mateda” represents “Individualism” and “YOLO”, where people’s reactions to finding out that Whites are trending to go extinct Worldwide, in the next 130 years, is “well, I won’t be around then so I don’t care”. It also represents the modern nihilism of the masses, who all attempt to avoid the harsh reality of our political situation - which is that our homelands are being occupied by a Zionist Elite Oligarchy. Simbas stage of life staring up at the stars, basically represents Hippie Communists of the 1960’s.
    Mufasa’s Death, represents lies of the past, such as the lies of: Unprovoved Anti-Semitism, White Colonialism, or the events of the Holocaust.
    This is why, (despite being oppressed by the Hyenas and disliking Scar), when Simba returns, the brainwashed masses/lionesses of the Pridelands refuse to help Simba. EVEN SIMBA
    himself, refuses to defend himself or his people against Scar, and is ready to die, before fight back.
    Only when Simba (and thus his people’s last hope) is on the very brink of death, and when Scar finally admits bragging: “I KILLED MUFASA”, do Simba’s natural instincts awaken in a Holy Concoction of Righteous Fury and Vengeance.
    This an extended metaphor, for the fact that the “Evil” acts of Western/White Civilisation, (which is the narrative pushed by Zionist Media & Propaganda all throughout our society), was actually a lot more complicated and nuanced than the Black and White, such as “Simba killed Mufasa”, or “Buffalo killed Mufasa”, or “Hyenas killed Mufasa”, or “Scar killed Mufasa” - because in reality, it’s somewhere in between.
    Then, to finish, when Simba forgives but exiles Scar - he still betrays Simba again.
    Simba is always willing to forgive his close relative (just as Ashkenazi Jews are to Native White Europeans).
    However, ironically - the downfall of Scar/theJews, ends up being the same Hyenas/Africans which were strategically being flooded into the Pridelands. This mirrors the reality, in that - if Muslims and Blacks understood just what the Jewish and Zionist Elites think of them - they would eat them alive at the first chance they got.
    This is because, despite Jews being the number one promoters of “Progressive & Anti-White” Politics, and despite the fact that the majority of American Jews view Progressivism as Central to Jewish Identity - in private, they practice the complete opposite - EXTREME Racial Bias and Ingroup Preference.
    *One only has to read the Talmud to understand that Judaism is by far most Racially Supremacist Ideology in Our Known History.*

    After Scar is overthrown, Simba takes his rightful place in the hierarchy of nature, and as the king of the jungle - and the Pridelands are soon prosperous once again.
    Just as with Hitler’s speeches, where he would always stand up on the podium, and pour out his heart over how important the young German Generations of Tomorrow (aka the Volk) were - Simba allows Rafiki to hold up his Next Generation, to symbolise their intention of focusing on promoting the family.
    Overall, if I had to chose one part of the entire movie which beat captures the above themes - it’s undoubtedly the song “Be Prepared”. Scar in this song, so perfectly represents the attitude of the Zionist Elite. Line after line of subtle, but such accurate references. His personal distain for the Hyenas, but how he manipulates them into revolution and acknowledges their use for oppressing the Lions. The talk of “decades of denial”, despite all our Greatest Leaders and Inventors, (from Huey Long to Henry Ford to Nichola Tesla to Ezra Pound to Charles Lindbergh to General Patton to Alexander Solzhenitsyn to Bobby Fischer to Commander Lincoln Rockwell to Winston Churchill to Malcolm X to Marcus Garvey), who warmed us of the truth.
    There’s so much Communist imagery in the song too. The way that at the end, 90% of Hyenas are far at the bottom, and then there’s only a few above to oppress the Proletariat - aswell as copying the Hells March of the Red Army. The lines “great idea, who needs a king!! No king,
    No king, lalalala!!” - again, perfectly represent the mindset of the naive fool who gets tricked by communism.
    Anyway, the imagery is clear and the movie makes 110% sense if you understand the message which it’s trying to convey.

  • CarloisBuriedAlive
    CarloisBuriedAlive Month ago

    Photo realism should probably be utilized for animals that are meant to act like real animals. The primary problem people are having with this remake (besides the fact that it’s a copy/paste money grab) is that the characters feel very “lifeless” and monotone.

  • CarloisBuriedAlive
    CarloisBuriedAlive Month ago

    6:08 Six minutes to find out Mark was wishing he was watching the original movie the entire time lol

  • DJ FC
    DJ FC Month ago

    No spoilers in the comments please.

  • Karl Robson
    Karl Robson Month ago

    Comparing this to Jungle book as there is a human element in Jungle book with Mowgli so the rest of the animal characters had to have human expressions because of their close interactions with Mowgli. Lion King is all animals so the facial expressions is not so important in the character interactions.

  • RobertYoungMusic
    RobertYoungMusic Month ago

    480p in 2019

  • New Thought
    New Thought Month ago

    Looks excellent but feels quite placid. It's ok, nothing more.

  • sabalos
    sabalos Month ago

    Mark's problem with the movie is precisely why I've had zero interest in seeing it since I first saw a trailer. Realistic animal faces open their mouths slightly (realistically) and human singing voices just.. come out. It's awful. If anything, he was far too easy on it, far too equivocal here, asking 'is it the right way to go, does it work', etc, because there's a straight answer - no.

  • This Design Life
    This Design Life Month ago

    Totally agree with what he’s saying. But my kids thought the opposite, they loved it

  • C S5
    C S5 Month ago

    I'm surprised they weren't forced to re-title it 'The Feline Monarch'

  • WhoSeesYou
    WhoSeesYou Month ago

    What's wrong Mark, you don't like how the illuminati are making their movies now? You know this isn't meant to be entertainment right? haha.

  • Jakob Kolness
    Jakob Kolness Month ago +32

    “And of course.. the animals are singing.”
    “That’s always the clue, isn’t it?”
    I just adore this banter 😂😂

  • Stephen Burke
    Stephen Burke Month ago

    I suppose the question is: does the new style tell a better story? (or at least one that is almost as good enough as the original)? If it doesn't what's the point? Nice visuals?

  • Pearse MacIntyre
    Pearse MacIntyre Month ago +3

    If this version were made first, would anyone feel the desire to remake it

  • Peter
    Peter Month ago

    Dude it's disrespecting the classic cartoon version back in 1994. Disney isn't creative anymore they just got lazy and did that garbage. It was a cashgrab, it was all about money.

  • Simon West
    Simon West Month ago

    Two old men discuss the price of a pint of beer.

  • Andy Miles
    Andy Miles Month ago

    Animal Magic

  • Harlequin19
    Harlequin19 Month ago

    I have not seen any of these recent Disney live-action remakes and have desire to. When it comes to the technology, it is possible that the CGI will look like garbage in five years or sooner. On the other side you have hand-drawn animation from over eighty years ago that still looks incredible today. I think the main thing is that hand-drawn animation, stop-motion and CG animation (used correctly) should create their own worlds rather than trying to duplicate what is real for the sake of saying, "look how advanced and realistic our effects are". If I want to see a photorealistic world, I'll go outside. Anyone with two brain cells to rub together knows these were made to make money but I hope this is just a phase for Disney. Believe it or not, I have met people who have already forgotten about the live-action Beauty and the Beast existing.

  • Mr Muffin
    Mr Muffin Month ago

    I call it the photorealistic lion king

    KOBETRON100 Month ago

    Good review

  • Natalie Stan
    Natalie Stan Month ago

    What`s the point of the photorealistic cgi if you can just look at real animals that look better in reality. Like what`s wrong with people and this "photorealistic things that alredy exist in real life". Just watch national geographic, it`s actually better than this because it`s educational :/

  • Vincent Haigsmith
    Vincent Haigsmith Month ago

    However you slice this, it is not real. it is animation

  • Joel Woodford
    Joel Woodford Month ago

    totally agree with his conceptual disagreement. the more realistic the animation the more distracting it becomes in a film where animals are speaking/singing.

  • Craig Ledger
    Craig Ledger Month ago

    Are you achin
    Yup, yup, yup
    For some bacon
    Yup, yup, yup