I distinctly remember sitting in a dark movie theater, waiting to watch Aladdin when the first sneak peek at The Lion King appeared on the screen. Do you remember how Disney used to do this? Go see the movie, and get in on the secrets of the next one. I loved this! But I was also sort of a negative child (very Eeyore-like too), and once I saw the drawings of the lions I remember thinking – a movie about lions? Really? Ugh. That’s totally going to suck. Clearly Disney was only producing movies at that time to impress me because a year later, I fell in love with those stupid lions.
Can you honestly believe it’s been 17 years since this movie masterpiece first came out? I cannot. It makes me a little sad actually. Time flies, movies come and go but The Lion King has stood the true test of time. Two sequels, a Broadway show, and my mom’s favorite attraction at Animal Kingdom – “The Festival of the Lion King.” I can hear these songs over and over again, and never tire of them. It takes a special movie to do something like that.
I think that’s why I was so entranced this past weekend when I got to see an early viewing of the 3D limited release in theaters. (Thanks to my friend Alissa at Moviebuzzers.com who asked me to be her date!) To be honest, the 3D didn’t do much for me. Maybe I’m so used to seeing the scenes over and over that I hardly noticed it, but it didn’t make the experience better or worse for me. Everything was clearer and brighter. The opening scene was unforgettable as always, and the added depth really played a part in the intensity of the stampede scene, as well as “Be Prepared”. (That Scar is one terrifying guy.)
What I enjoyed the most was revisiting The Lion King on the big screen. I was a 9 year-old all over again. Probably crying at the same parts too (Can You Feel the Love Tonight, Mufasa dying, and later his ghostly appearance.) The jokes were funnier, and so was Zazu (which was a shock). I had forgotten what a quirky, calming, and almost mystical character Rafiki was. The banter between Timon and Pumbaa felt so organic. Every aspect was familiar in the best way. It was like revisiting an old friend, and just remembering how much fun you could have together — no matter how much time has passed.
So while the 3D isn’t anything life-altering, I would definitely set aside some time to see The Lion King during its 2 weeks in theaters. Sure, you can buy the DVD/Blu-ray/3D blah blah on October 4th and all, but seriously, what better way to celebrate Jonathon Taylor Thomas’ 30th year on this earth? C’mon, I know you want to. In all seriousness, The Lion King was always the movie that Disney could count on to continually entertain the masses (and rake in the dough). After all this time, it’s no surprise why.
The Lion King in 3D will be in theaters starting September 16. Check out moviefone.com for times!