I’m certain I wouldn’t be alone in stating that Disney movies were a staple of my childhood. While years before Elsa or Moana entered the scene, I truly wasn’t into the Disney Princesses. No, Ariel and Cinderella didn’t hold any special place in my young heart like they did with others. Instead, I was entranced by The Lion King.
I was quite young when the original came out and watched it on repeat, wearing out multiple VHS copies much to my parents’ frustration. As an adult, I own two copies as I purchased the Diamond Edition, but then my husband surprised me with the SteelBook, knowing I wouldn’t want to miss out on that collectible. I even maintain that The Lion King 2: Simba’s Pride is one of the better animated Disney sequels out there. (I’ll leave my thoughts on The Lion King 1 ½ out of this though…)
The Lion King still stands today as one of my absolute favorite animated Disney movies. I know every line and lyric, and how it is rumored Elton John thought Timon and Pumba ruined Can You Feel the Love Tonight. What isn’t to love about it, really? It's well known to have drawn inspiration from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, and despite the tragedy Shakespeare is known for, provides a more child-friendly retelling. It's Shakespeare, but with fur!
With it holding such a special place in my heart, you can imagine the joy that I experienced when I first saw the trailer for the live action! (I know, I know – It’s technically still all animated.) The chills that ran up my spine hearing James Earl Jones’ voice say, “Everything the light touches is our kingdom…” hit me like a freight train. I’ve been sure to watch every trailer that’s been released since, and have even seen the videos comparing the original trailer to the live action. It looks absolutely stunning! When looking at the cast they have set, I’m eager to hear Donald Glover voice Simba, Beyoncé as Nala, and thrilled to know James Earl Jones will be reprising the voice of Mufasa. Really, could they have replaced him? I don't think so...
I’ve seen the live action version of The Jungle Book, which had the same director, as well as the live action Aladdin, and have incredibly high expectations for this film. You can bet I’ll be sitting front row and center, pulling a full Billy Madison among the children, complete with popcorn and an Icee, to enjoy this movie in theaters.
Once I’ve seen this, I think the only thing left on my bucket list relating to The Lion King will be to see the Broadway show the next time it rolls through my city.