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'The Lion King' is well-worth revisiting

The Lion King


This week, "Mr. Peabody and Sherman," an animated film, will open in theatres. It is directed by Rob Minkoff, who co-directed the 1994 Walt Disney movie "The Lion King," one of the most popular animated films of all time.

"The Lion King" is loosely based on the story of "Hamlet." It begins with the birth of Simba, son of King Mufasa and Queen Sarabi. As first born son, Simba will one day be king. Since the birth puts Mufasa's conniving brother, Scar, even further out in the succession to the throne, the ill-intentioned brother conspires with other disloyal members of the kingdom to eliminate everyone between him and the throne. He plans to kill Mufasa and Simba. Although Simba survives, Scar convinces him that he is responsible for his dad's death. Because of this, he runs away and is eventually befriended by Timone and Pumba, a meerkat and a warthog. As he grows up with them, he ignores his royal past. But one evening, a ghost of his father comes to him and tells him to go home and take his throne.

"The Lion King" has a great cast. Mufasa is voiced by James Earl Jones, who gives his noble character a powerful presence. Jeremy Irons is perfectly cast as Scar, his scheming brother. He has a sinister voice that is perfect for the villainous character.

The animation is excellent. All the character designs are very well done. Each animal is distinctively rendered, no two look alike. Scar has a black mane, which makes him look very creepy.

The movie has a great story. Although it is an animated film aimed at families, it has mature emotional content. An example is the scene where Simba finds his father dead. Also, it is very funny. Timone and Pumba provide much of the film's comic relief.

It has been twenty years since the release of "The Lion King," and if anyone has not seen the film recently or has not seen it ever, they should treat themselves to it.