The Lion King

Title: The Lion King
Year: 1994
Directors: Roger Allers & Rob Minkoff
Writers: Irene Mecchi, Jonathan Roberts & Linda Woolverton; story by about twenty-six people
Starring: Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Matthew Broderick, Jeremy Irons, James Earl Jones
Music: Elton John & Tim Rice (songs), Hans Zimmer (score)
Distinctions: Oscars for Best Score and Best Song (“Can You Feel the Love Tonight”); Oscar Nominations for two more songs (“Circle of Life” and “Hakuna Matata”); currently #169 on IMDb’s Top 250
Synopsis: musical power struggle between anthropomorphic royalty
Length: 89 minutes
How I saw it: on video a number of times (have on VHS), most recently January 2009
Subjective Rating: 5/10 (Indifferent).
Objective Rating: 5/10 (gets points for concept, story, pacing, cinematography and special effects/design) c. 2.5/4 (Okay).

Watching it for the first time since I was a kid, for the first five minutes or so I was thinking, “Okay, this is a lot better than I remember it.” The animation is great. The plot is Shakespearean and a folktale at the same time. Then they have the first musical number, and I want to smash the cassette a little. But still, I’m thinking, “Okay, this isn’t too bad for an animated broadway musical.” …then Matthew Broderick shows up. Man, that guy is worse than Keanu Reeves.


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