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Movie Review: Walt Disney's "The Lion King" (1994)

Natalie is a writer who works at her local library. She enjoys writing reviews, watching anime and TV shows, and playing video games.

"The Lion King" Disney Signature Edition blu-ray cover.

"The Lion King" Disney Signature Edition blu-ray cover.

Quick Info

Directors: Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff
Distributor: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Runtime: 88 minutes
Availability: On DVD, blu-ray, 4K UHD blu-ray, and VHS, rent digitally, streaming on Disney+

Story Summary

Lion Cub Simba is born and presented to the animals of the Pride Lands. His father and mother Mufasa and Sarabi are proud of their son and are happy about his presentation. Simba’s uncle, Scar is angry that he is now second in line to the throne.

Simba must learn the responsibilities of being king even as Scar plots to take the throne and change his life forever.

The Movie Is a Critically-Acclaimed Classic, but Is It Still Good?

I watched The Lion King back in 1994, it was the second movie I have a distinct memory of seeing in my childhood, the first being Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey in 1993. But I distinctly remember going to the movie theater to see The Lion King because it was an hour-long drive and my parents didn’t tell my brother and me that we were going to see it

I remember my seven-year-old self loving this movie and even though I never owned the VHS tape of it, my next-door neighbors owned a copy so I ended up watching it when I would go play over at their house.

I haven’t watched the movie in a very long time and since I have access to Disney+ I decided to rewatch the movie after a long time of having not seen the movie.
The Lion King held up and it was still as enjoyable as I remember it. It was still a well-done movie that deserved the praise it received.

An iconic scene from "The Circle Of Life".

An iconic scene from "The Circle Of Life".

The Lion King | Original Trailer | Disney+

The Animation Still Holds Up!

The Lion King (1994) has amazing animation and it was beautiful in 1994 and it was beautiful when I rewatched it in 2021. The character designs are nice, they don’t look too realistic when it comes to the animals but the characters are memorable and you can distinguish all the different lions.

The new live-action version of The Lion King was annoying because I couldn’t distinguish one lion from another. The Lion King from 1994 doesn’t have this problem and it’s something I appreciate a lot.

The backgrounds of the African Savannah look amazing and the animation is very fluid. The scene with the Wildebeest stampede looks amazing, the CGI still holds up very well.

The animation and art are stunning in this movie and it’s an amazing achievement of animation that cemented The Lion King as a Disney Classic.

Audio and Subtitles

Audio (Disney+):Subtitles (Disiney+)

Cantonese

Chinese (Hong Kong)

Dansk

Chinese (Simplified)

Deutsch

Chinese (Traditional)

English

Dansk

English (audio description)

Deutsch

Espanol

English

Espanol (Latinamericano)

Espanol

Italiano

Italiano

Japanese

Japanese

Korean

Korean

Norsk

Norsk

Portugues

Portugues

Portugues (Brasil)

Portugues (Brasil)

Suomi

Suomi

Taiwanese Mandarin

Svenska

Islenska

Islenska

The Voice Cast Is Great!

Simba

Simba is played by two different voice actors. Jonathan Taylor Thomas voiced the cub version of Simba, the singing voice was Jason Weaver. Johnathan Taylor Thomas did a great job voicing young Simba and he sounded very natural saying all his lines.

Matthew Broderick voiced adult Simba and I think he gave a great performance as the adult Simba. He brought a lot of emotion to the character and I liked his performance in the role.

Nala

Moira Kelly did a great job voicing Nala. I liked her voice work in this role. She is a good voice actress and she was great in this role.

Sally Dworsky provided the singing voice for Nala and she also did a great job in the role.

Scar

Scar is voiced by actor Jeremy Irons and this was the first role I ever heard him in, even though I didn’t know his name at the time. He did a great job voice acting in his role as Scar and I enjoyed his work in this movie.

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Mufasa

Mufasa was voiced by James Earl Jones and he was great in this role, while this isn’t his most famous acting role or voice acting role, it is a very memorable one for many viewers in childhood as I was able to recognize his voice in other movies later on.

Timon

Nathan Lane voiced Timon and he was a lot of fun in this role. I enjoyed his voice work as Timon and he did a great job. He gives his character a lot of personality and I enjoy listening to him as Timon.

He’s a great member of the voice cast as the comic relief and he’s a lot of fun in this movie.

Pumbaa

Ernie Sabella did a great job voice acting as Pumbaa. He also brought a lot of comic relief to the movie and he’s a fun character too. Ernie is a good voice actor and he makes Puumba a very humorous and funny character.

I enjoy the voice acting in The Lion King (1994) and the voice cast is memorable and gave fantastic voice performances that I liked when I was a kid and appreciate when I’m an adult.

The Soundtrack Is Amazing!

Hans Zimmer composed the main musical score of The Lion King while the lyrics for the musical numbers were written by Tim Rice and Elton John. It’s a very unique soundtrack for a Disney movie.

The main score is beautiful and I enjoy the music. Hans Zimmer’s music score is excellent and fits the emotional moments of the movie.

The songs are a lot of fun and the lyrics are great for the movie. The main songs fit the movie but you can tell that the songs by Elton John sound more like mainstream pop songs than just songs for a Disney movie.

I enjoyed the soundtrack for The Lion King (1994) and the remake of the movie in 2019 just can’t replicate how amazing this soundtrack was.

Mufasa and Simba together.

Mufasa and Simba together.

Reader Poll

The Pacing Can Feel Very Fast

The pacing of The Lion King (1994) can feel very fast sometimes and it just feels that everything moves along at a quick pace. Sometimes it feels that the movie moves a little too fast for its own good, but I still enjoy the movie a lot.

It does feel a little rushed when it comes to the pacing but that’s just me. Most people don’t mind the fast pacing of the movie but I noticed it, and while it didn’t bother me too much, I still noticed how fast the movie felt.

“The Lion King” Is a Fun and Entertaining Movie

I enjoyed rewatching The Lion King again after years of not having seen the film. I had watched the “live-action” remake of The Lion King and decided I wanted to watch the original to see if it was still as good as I remember it.

I am happy to say that I enjoyed The Lion King as an adult and remember it the same way as I did when I was a kid. As an adult, I appreciate the technical aspects of the movie and the production values of the film.

It’s a great film that is a classic Disney movie and was part of the “Disney Renascence” of great Disney movies that came out in the 1990s and early 2000s.

It’s a movie that everyone will enjoy. It is worth owing for your physical collection but with Disney+ you can stream the movie with a subscription.

Quick Summary

What Works:What Doesn't Work:

Great story, characters, and world-building

Pacing feels too fast at times

Amazing 2D animation

Great voice acting

Great soundtrack

My Grade: A+

The Lion King (1994) is a great movie that I enjoyed a lot. It is worth your time but not necessarily your money, but if you must own the movie I would suggest a physical copy because of the notorious “Disney vault”.

If you just want to stream the movie you should just watch it on Disney+ or rent it digitally, but if you already are subscribed to Disney+ you have access to it.

The Lion King (1994) is a classic that still holds up. The movie looks fantastic and the 2D animation and artwork look great. The animation is very well done and it’s a spectacle when it comes to the visuals of this animated film.

The Lion King is a great movie that I won’t buy for my collection because while I enjoy the movie I don’t feel I need to have my own copy since it’s not my favorite Disney movie.

This is a film that is worth your time and money, but you can see if your local library has it because it’s such a popular movie your library should have a copy of it for you to borrow if you don’t want to spend extra money to see it.

If you have a Disney+ subscription then you should use it to watch this movie.

I won’t be buying it, but I did enjoy watching it and you’ll love The Lion King (1994) if you’ve never seen it before. It is worth your time, but not necessarily your money, but it’s a great movie that is a classic for a reason and it’s one that I enjoyed a lot. It’s a very memorable movie and it held up to a rewatch and I enjoyed it as much as I did when I was seven.

My Rating

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2021 ReViewMeMedia

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