Review: The Lion King (1994)

We travel back to our childhood with Simba and co as we review The Lion King

Disney’s 32nd animated feature is a far cry from the likes of the studio’s recent releases. Whilst it now favours computer animated features such as Wall-E and Up, 1994’s The Lion King captures the beauty of Disney’s animated repertoire.

Travelling to the heart of Africa, the film follows young lion cub Simba as he learns of the Circle of Life from his father. After a terrible accident Simba runs away from home, a home that is left in the greedy hands of his tyrannous uncle Scar. In his absence his kingdom is ruined but, despite the gloom, there’s laughs aplenty, thanks largely to Simba’s new friends Timone and Pumba.

Reminiscent of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the film’s storyline is complimented by its soundtrack (which includes the Oscar winning ‘Can You Feel The Love Tonight’ by Elton John) as well as its evocatively vibrant animation. James Earl Jones lends his powerful vocals to the film, playing Simba’s doting father Mufasa, whilst support is provided by the likes of Rowan Atkinson and a sublime Jeremy Irons who oozes villainy as the treacherous uncle.

The vibrant animation brings the safari plains to life, adding a further dimension to enjoy in an already brilliantly scripted film. The Lion King expertly balances humour with its more emotive scenes and, with the inclusion of a wildebeest stampede that famously took years to produce, the film is a Disney classic not to be missed.

Best bit: The beautifully animated ‘I Just Can’t Wait To Be King’ segment.
Best phrase: Hakuna Matata!
Best character: Simba, although Timone and Pumba are a great double act.
Watch this if you liked: Beauty and the Beast and basically any other Disney film ever made.
Discussion feed

Up next in movies