The Lion King (2019)

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This article is about the 2019 photo-realistic computer-animated film. You may be looking for the 1994 traditionally-animated film of the same name.
The Lion King
The Lion King (2019).jpg
What was the point of remaking the original film if you barely do anything new about it?
Genre: Musical
Drama
Directed By: Jon Favreau
Produced By: Jon Favreau
Jeffrey Silver
Karen Gilchrist
Written By: Jeff Nathanson
Based On: The Lion King
by Irene Mecchi
Jonathan Roberts
Linda Woolverton
Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff
Starring: Donald Glover
Seth Rogen
Chiwetel Ejiofor
Alfre Woodard
Billy Eichner
John Kani
John Oliver
Beyoncé Knowles-Carter
James Earl Jones
Cinematography: Caleb Deschanel
Distributed By: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Release Date: July 9, 2019 (Hollywood)
July 19, 2019 (United States)
Runtime: 118 minutes
Country: United States
Language: English
Budget: $250–260 million
Box Office: $1.657 billion[1]
Franchise: The Lion King
Sequel: Untitled The Lion King follow-up

The Lion King is a 2019 American musical drama film directed and produced by Jon Favreau, written by Jeff Nathanson, and produced by Walt Disney Pictures. It is a photo-realistic computer-animated remake of Disney's traditionally-animated 1994 film of the same name. It premiered in Hollywood on July 9, 2019 and was theatrically released in the United States on July 19, 2019.

In September 2020, it was confirmed that a follow-up film was in development with Barry Jenkins, the director of Moonlight, attached to direct.

Plot

Simba idolizes his father, King Mufasa, and takes to heart his own royal destiny on the plains of Africa. But not everyone in the kingdom celebrates the new cub's arrival. Scar, Mufasa's brother — and former heir to the throne — has plans of his own. The battle for Pride Rock is soon ravaged with betrayal, tragedy and drama, ultimately resulting in Simba's exile. Now, with help from a curious pair of newfound friends, Simba must figure out how to grow up and take back what is rightfully his.

Bad Qualities

  1. False advertising: It was marketed as a "live-action" film, even though in reality it is a computer-animated film with photo-realistic imagery. Jon Favreau himself repeatedly claimed that it was live-action, before admitting that every scene is computer-animated except for the opening shot of the sun rising.
  2. Poor and bland direction of vocal performances; even James Earl Jones as Mufasa obviously wasn't trying here, with the scene where he is killed having sub-par acting from him; similarly, Donald Glover's performance as Simba sounds as if he were sleepwalking the entire time.
    • On the subject of Jones, it was hypocritical for them to get him to reprise his role as Mufasa but never get any of the other voice actors from the original film such as Whoopi Goldberg or Jeremy Irons; thus, it was clearly a way to pander to nostalgia for Jones.
  3. The movie is rather pointless, as there are almost zero changes to the overall story at all and it even takes some of the exact same shots from the original film.
    • What makes the movie even more pointless is the fact that by the time of its release, the original canonical continuity was still prominent through The Lion Guard.
  4. Several of the changes that have been done for this remake are also either mediocre or pointless, and specific scenes in the original film are cut for no discernible reason:
    • The role of Rafiki, who played a significant role in guiding Simba in the original film, was severely reduced.
    • Banzai and Ed had their names changed for some reason, with the only likely reason being to make them Swahili-sounding.
    • Timon and Pumbaa have several animal friends, all of whom serve no purpose in the story whatsoever.
    • One message from the original, "take responsibility for your past," along with the grassland background drop in the same scene in which it appears, has been removed in favor of a lake background drop to "find" Mufasa from there.
    • Even individual scenes from the original film are pointlessly extended simply to pad out the runtime of this film; one notable example is when Simba's fur is being blown away by the wind as it makes its way towards Rafiki.
    • In the original film Simba taunts the hyenas about how they should pick on somebody their own size after they launched Zazu out of a small geyser and later he saves Nala and scratches Shenzi in the face at the elephant graveyard during the chase, minutes before Nala points out how she thought Simba was brave; instead, in the remake Simba never does anything like that and instead just attempts to escape from the hyenas alongside Nala. This isn't really an issue on its own, but for some reason Nala still points out about how she thought Simba was brave.
    • On the topic of Nala, she was changed from a tomboy-esque sarcastic lioness with an adventurous risk-taking attitude into one who is pretty much naggy a lot of the time, to the point where in the scene at the elephant graveyard all she can do is nag Simba about how worried she is they'll get caught; as a result, it becomes harder to relate to her when she tries to convince Simba to return to the Pride Lands, and thus more difficult to see how it is the right thing for Simba to take his place as king because his best friend sees him in such a dutiful and inconsiderate way.
    • Parts of specific scenes are either removed or changed, and thus some of them lose their original meaning; in the original film, it was Simba's boredom and subsequent attempt to pounce a grasshopper that motivated Mufasa to teach him a "pouncing lesson" (with him essentially taking a break from listening to Zazu's morning report), which adds to the relationship between the two characters and establishes how much Mufasa cares for his son; but here in the remake Mufasa is implied to have only did so out of boredom of listening to Zazu's morning report, and thus the meaning of the original scene is lost.
  5. At times, the music does not match the intended tone of what is occurring in the scene, and as a result it feels out-of-place; notably, when Zazu informs Mufasa about the presence of hyenas in the Pride Lands after the pouncing lesson, you can clearly hear calm and upbeat music playing, which feels out-of-place in a scene that is supposed to be urgent.
    • The song "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" also takes place during the day, despite the word "night" being in the title.
  6. The film also lacks the charm, depth and emotion that made the original film so memorable and iconic:
    • John Oliver's performance as Zazu lacks the charm that Rowan Atkinson's performance as the aforementioned character had in the original film.
    • The hyenas, including Shenzi, are no longer the comedic goofballs they were in the original film, and as a result they are now forgettable and empty shells of characters.
    • Scar was also stripped of his sarcastic and sly attitude, and thus he is now miserable and gloomy, as well as blatantly bitter and dismissive towards everyone around him; as a result, he is now unlikable and boring from the start.
  7. Even though the computer-generated imagery for the characters looks amazing and incredibly lifelike, the issue is that they barely show any expression of any emotion at all; part of the reason why the original film, alongside its sequel and midquel, worked is because of the magnificent and intensely expressive animation. None of that is adapted, and thus not shown, in this remake.
    • Most of the song sequences suffer from this. First and foremost, "I Just Can't Wait To Be King" is mostly just Simba and Nala running with no colorful visuals whatsoever; "Be Prepared" is not only set in a dark area without any smoke, geysers or fire whatsoever, but also just Scar climbing to the top of a cliff as the hyenas watch; lastly, "Hakuna Matata" is just Simba, Timon, and Pumbaa walking while awkwardly miming the song.
      • On the topic of the songs, there is an orchestra-like version of "The Lion Sleeps Tonight", which is a failed attempt of being current with the Internet.
      • Continuing the aforementioned topic, in "Can You Feel the Love Tonight", the volume for the vocal performances for Donald Glover and Beyoncé sounds uneven, with the sound for Glover's performance being lower whereas the one for Beyoncé's is much higher.
    • Additionally, many species of animals in real life can express more emotions than the ones in this movie, which is simply illogical; this is because in comparison, the animal characters featured in every other Disney live-action remake, do express actual emotions, similar to real-life animals, yet the makers seemingly forgot that aspect for this film.
    • Scar suffers the most from this, as the realistic approach completely removes the ability to squash-and-stretch his facial proportions to convey his sinister nature and ends up looking like just an ordinary lion with brown fur and a slight scar that isn't intimidating at all.
    • The colorful and vibrant color palette from the original film is also completely lost, and as a result, the film looks drab and dull.
    • Overall, the film looks and even feels rather like a nature documentary than a remake of The Lion King; unironically, this was actually Jon Faverau's intention, as stated in one interview.
  8. Continuing the topic of the realistic look of the film, there are at least a few instances in which the viewer can barely tell the difference between any of the lion characters; two of the most blatant examples include when Nala flees from Pride Rock after which Sarabi literally has to say the former's name so the audience would know who the lioness who was shown leaving Pride Rock actually was to avoid any confusion, and in the climactic battle between Simba and Scar.
  9. The scene where Mufasa is killed by Scar is worse than in the original, as it is made to look like Scar hit him on the face with his paw instead of brutally tossing him off the cliff. Also, Scar's delivery of his famous line "Long live the king!" is rather angry, over-the-top and bland compared to in the original, where it is actually menancing and scary.
  10. Plot hole: Scar sends Zazu to get the pride after convincing him that he will help Simba and Mufasa, yet he later convinces the pride that he didn't reach the gorge in time to help Simba and Mufasa. Given that Zazu still visited the pride at Pride Rock to relay information, it is unclear as to why he didn't realize this and reveal to the pride that Scar was lying.
  11. Subpar dialogue, with the fact that one of Scar's lines begins with, "As you know...", is quite generic and cliché; Simba also states, "You said I could patrol with you today, and today has started," in his first scene as a cub.

Good Qualities

  1. The updated songs are decent, except for "Be Prepared".
    • In particular, the original opening featuring "Circle of Life" returns.
    • Speaking of which, the score by Hans Zimmer is decent, although some of the tracks are superior over in the original film.
  2. Despite the given flaws, the computer-generated imagery is magnificent and looks incredibly realistic, and all the main characters along with the other animals (including some that were changed in the film) are very accurate-looking to their species.
  3. Timon and Pumbaa are still enjoyable and arguably funnier than in the original film thanks to Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen.
  4. The new version of Mufasa's spirit in the clouds is the only one that this movie does an okay job at, despite the fact that the spirit didn't fully move in the original.
  5. The hyenas, particularly Shenzi, are more powerful, menacing and terrifying than their original counterparts; in particular, Scar's death in this film manages to be very faithful to the original, but also manages to be much more terrifying than the original version, since he fights the hyenas back before being eaten alive and delivering a terrifying scream before dying, something that the original didn't have.
  6. Beautiful scenery.
  7. Some of the cast manages to deliver decent performances, despite some of them being bland.

Reception

Critical response

The Lion King received generally mixed reviews from critics and fans alike, with praise for its visual effects, music, and vocal performances (particularly Rogen and Eichner), but criticism for its lack of originality, and facial emotion on the characters. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film currently scoring a 53% based on 422 reviews, and an average rating of 5.98/10. The website critic consensus that states, "While it can take pride in its visual achievements, The Lion King is a by-the-numbers retelling that lacks the energy and heart that made the original so beloved--though for some fans that may just be enough.". Metacritic gave the film a weighted average score of 55 out of 100, based on 54 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews", and the film holds a 6.9/10 on IMDb.

The audience score was more positive, with currently hold at 88% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Box office

The Lion King opened up at #1 on its opening weekend grossing $191,770,759 domestically. The film earned $543.6 million domestic and $1.1 billion internationally. Overall, it has made $1.65 billion against its $250 to $260 million dollar budget, making it the highest grossing animated film of all time. It is also the second-highest-grossing film of 2019, and the seventh-highest of all time as well as large box office success.[2]

Accolades

Despite the mixed reviews, it received nominations for Best Animated Feature Film and Original Song categories at the 77th Golden Globe Awards and 25th Critics' Choice Awards. It was also nominated at 73rd British Academy Film Awards and 92nd Academy Awards, both for visual effects.

Upcoming follow-up film

In September 2020, it was reported that a follow-up film was in development with Barry Jenkins, the director of Moonlight, attached to direct. It would be focusing on both Mufasa's origins and the events after the first film, similar to The Godfather Part II. Jeff Nathanson, the screenwriter for the remake, has reportedly finished a draft.

Videos

Trivia

  • Elton John disowned the film in an interview and stated that the film was a disappointment.
  • This serves as the final credit for film editor Mark Livolsi, who died in September 2018.

References

External links

Comments


avatar

EnnardTrap1987

18 months ago
Score 9
Disney needs to just stop Live Action remakes like how Sony should stop making movies completely.
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AlreadyInUse

18 months ago
Score 0
I agree.
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Botbuster

17 months ago
Score 9
I agree with the Disney bit but I disagree with the Sony bit. Are you secretly AniMat?
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ChroniclesXII

17 months ago
Score 3
I wouldn't say that about Sony, but I do agree with Disney. There was no reason for this movie to exist; thus I boycotted it.
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Echidamu

17 months ago
Score 1
Actually, I would love a live action Bolt remake. It actually worked for Aladdin in terms of plotholes and issues that make no sense whatsoever and I imagine Bolt could be fixed in the same way. If anything, remake Bolt. Or at least make a sequel, even if the original movie was bad.
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MeggieConte

15 months ago
Score -14
They are AMERICAN CAPITALISTS, of course they're greedy and desperate for money!
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LA2002

15 months ago
Score 1
Disney actually should be more creative and not do remakes to their films all the time. While I still enjoy their films, this is my golden advice.
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XXSeph MySpaceXx

12 months ago
Score 4
While I don't agree with what you said about Sony, luckily Disney has confirmed their live-action remakes phase will not go on forever.
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LA2002

11 months ago
Score 0
And also, Saltylake, with what you said, it's clear the haters just take it too far, because if they even realized that, then their behaviors could have been a bit better.
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LA2002

11 months ago
Score 1
But for you, Meggie, just spot posting shit about your hatred on Disney, or else you'll get permanently blocked!
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HellLord

6 months ago
Score 0
Meggie, stop posting propaganda -_-
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LancedSoul

4 months ago
Score 0

@MeggieConte

YNTSTFU.gif
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Hookuai

4 months ago
Score 0
Lesser people can gravedig on a dead topic.
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LoudHouseFan777

18 months ago
Score 4
I liked the film.
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AFruitaDay!

17 months ago
Score 2
That's good for you, i'm not going to attack you, so I respect you thoughts on it.
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Space0720

14 months ago
Score 0
same here
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Echidamu

17 months ago
Score 1
Well Banzai and Ed aren't exactly African names. Actually, isn't Banzai Japanese?
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BlazePlastic2003

17 months ago
Score 0
Well, that's what I heard. When I think of Banzai, I'm thinking of Banzai charge.
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EijiZeBoi

17 months ago
Score 4
Seriously, who the fuck is even watching this movie!? How the hell did it gross like $1B!?
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Luigitehplumber

17 months ago
Score 2
It’s the highest grossing animated movie of all time now. How? I don’t know.
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AlreadyInUse

17 months ago
Score 1
IKR, I know NOBODY who went to watch it.
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Trevor807

16 months ago
Score 2
It’s sad to see how little people care about quality nowadays.
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ItMeansNothing

15 months ago
Score -2
It's not even animated!
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ItMeansNothing

15 months ago
Score -1
Oh wait yes it is.
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Trevor807

13 months ago
Score 0
Still, the fact that this took a record from GOOD movies is a mark of how little people care about quality these days.
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LeroyManTheFirst

6 months ago
Score -6
Uh-Oh, Nostalgia-Tards!
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Hookuai

5 months ago
Score 2
Uh Oh, Opinion disrespecter. Leroy, ypu make really unfunny jokes
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Grust

3 months ago
Score 0
Well there was that rumored leaked by a former employee that Disney may have been lying about ticket sales or something. I heard it a long time ago and don't know the details.
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AFruitaDay!

17 months ago
Score 3
It can't believe it surpassed the Lion Kings 1994's gross. Well, if you like, then I will be kind to you.
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Spongebuff1991

17 months ago
Score 2
I might enjoy it.
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ItMeansNothing

17 months ago
Score 3
I knew this was going to not work.
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Luigitehplumber

17 months ago
Score 3
Well, seems like the Billion Dollars it has made doesn't explain the fans of this movie or something.
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ItMeansNothing

17 months ago
Score 1
Critically though, it didn't work.
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Breakin' Benny

16 months ago
Score 1
Well, this is a movie I might consider watching... but not in a theater.
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Casablanca

15 months ago
Score -1

ok, so in the beginning of august i was visiting my godfamily, and the mother said that we were going to see a movie. guess what movie it was?


this.
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Portrock1566

15 months ago
Score 1
The unemotional facial expressions pisses me off.
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XXSeph MySpaceXx

8 months ago
Score 2
same
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Gustavomendez2002

2 months ago
Score 0
You are not alone.
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TheInterneto

15 months ago
Score 0
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TheInterneto

15 months ago
Score 0
Hold on
LIKE THIS?!
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HellLord

6 months ago
Score 0
XD
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Levbastian22

14 months ago
Score 5
Thanks for killing my childhood modern Disney!
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LeroyManTheFirst

6 months ago
Score -5
Fuck off Nostalgia-Tard, how is that “Childhood ruining” when you haters behave like bazooks!?
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Hookuai

5 months ago
Score 3
Leroy. Just because they didn't like the reboot is not a nostagiatard. Shut up for once.
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Maxkatzur

13 months ago
Score 3

Disney is cheating for success! Not good.

This comment is an satire!
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Declan Kearns

13 months ago
Score 3
Did Disney go to the Psycho and The Omen remake school of copy and paste remakes. Because you've watched the original, you've already watched this film. Again, nobody asked for a Lion King remake.
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Official-PSASD

13 months ago
Score 1
I could predicted in Deadpool 3 where Deadpool himself mocking at every Disney live-action remakes (most notably The Lion King)
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Blossom.Alyssa

12 months ago
Score 0
At least Aladdin was decent enough and had great actors for Jasmine and Genie. This is just insulting and unnecessary.
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XXSeph MySpaceXx

12 months ago
Score 0
I agree. The Aladdin remake wasn't that bad in my opinion. I'd rather watch it than this or the Lady and the Tramp remake.
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PhantomVulture

12 months ago
Score 3
Disney's The Lion Killing.
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XXSeph MySpaceXx

12 months ago
Score 0

While I didn't mind some of the Disney remakes (such as "The Jungle Book" or "Aladdin", they were decent imo) the quality seems to be getting lower for each film. It's like the more they crank out one of those remakes, the more half-assed it looks.

I mean, they didn't even bother to have the animals express emotion in this one! I do enjoy watching Disney movies, but they really need to try harder on their remakes (I mean, the Lady and the Tramp remake looks more half-assed than this, which is a shame since I loved the original when I was a kid)

I just hope the Mulan remake will not disappoint, or the Little Mermaid remake. I'm still giving those two a chance even though I don't support police brutality in Hong Kong, and the fact there was controversy over Halle Bailey as Ariel.
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LA2002

11 months ago
Score 1

Yeah, and not to mention, the animals in the previous Disney live-action remakes where actually able to express emotions similar to their animated counterparts, yet the makers of this one have very likely forgotten about that aspect.

Heck, even The Lady and the Tramp (2019) used actual dogs for Lady and Tramp, and dogs are known for expressing a lot of emotions, similar to a human being. Plus, lions (besides looking mostly emotionless) actually can express emotions, reminiscent to the original film.

In either way, I totally agree with ya, because Disney needs to realize about their current mistakes so that their reputation gets better.
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Sofaking we todd it

11 months ago
Score 1
Now Disney wants to make a "live-action" remake of Bambi. Why make original stories when we can make the same movie with a different look?
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Official-PSASD

11 months ago
Score 0

I did heard everyone find out where Disney is ready to create the Bambi remake and it was become very riot and mass hysteria.

Even Saturday Night Live also made a joke of Disney endless live-action remakes since 5 years ago.

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LeroyManTheFirst

6 months ago
Score 0
This is why I wished I logged out my miraheze account.
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ItMeansNothing

11 months ago
Score 0
I honestly liked this movie.
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Mr. Dready

11 months ago
Score 2
Yeah me too!, i saw it in theaters in Real 3D, infact i actually felt like i was in the movie.
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Declan Kearns

10 months ago
Score 0
This is a spit in the face of the entire Fanbase and a systematic raping of the series core principles.
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Glitchedblood

10 months ago
Score 2
Disney's just milking their franchises now.
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FreezingTNT

10 months ago
Score 2
Pretty much anything that becomes popular (e.g. Star Wars) gets milked into a franchise to cash in on said media.
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LeroyManTheFirst

6 months ago
Score -1
God please kill me
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AbareKillerFan 2002

10 months ago
Score 2
I enjoyed this film, but still, the original was way better
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Jego5542Gonzalez

6 months ago
Score 2
I can’t stand Disney making live-action reboots that ruin classics.
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GOJIRA

6 months ago
Score -2
I love this film so much for it CGI, Voice acting, Characters, and musical scores and everything the animals do express emotion in the movie in some scenes and i rate this film 10/10
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LeroyManTheFirst

6 months ago
Score -5
Yeah and this just goes to show that Miraheze has became corrupt!
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Freddie123

4 months ago
Score 3

Leroy, I already stopped defending Disney's colorless mess of this film already. So using this to claim that Miraheze is corrupt makes it clear you'll angrily defend it no matter what.

While I only call out the toxic haters and respect the mature ones, but seriously defenders like yourself are no better than the haters I go after.
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XXSeph MySpaceXx

6 months ago
Score 8
lmao the comment section is so awful I'm laughing
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LancedSoul

4 months ago
Score 2
The Lion King has became a Beauty and the Beast 2.0., since they are copy and pasting rather than remake.
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Dankkat72

3 months ago
Score -3
Though I don't think this movie was amazing, and considering its Rotten Tomatoes score I can see the case for it to be on this website, I honestly think this film has gotten way too much flak from the anti-remake crowd. Even on this page, a lot of the bad qualities seem pretty nitpicky to me, such as the characterization changes which are treated as objectively worse just because they're different from the original film.
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Trevor807

3 months ago
Score 0
It's not the characterizations that are the problem. It's the fact they were done wrong.
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LancedSoul

3 months ago
Score 2
A follow up film is announced. I hope that no one wanted this film due to live-action remakes.
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AwesomePlushProductionsYT

3 months ago
Score 0
This movie and Mulan aren’t the best but they are ok compared to other live action Disney movies.
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Robertoiglesias271

2 months ago
Score 0

There is another bad quality:

Why is this remake that copies the original shot by shot somehow 30 damn minutes longer?
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Hiatt Grey

2 months ago
Score 6
It's at least not as bad as another 2019 movie with felines.
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Gustavomendez2002

2 months ago
Score 1
At least it was better than the live action Mulan film. Just my opinion.
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Myb

one month ago
Score 0
I think the same too. For me, Mulan was a bit boring for LA remake.
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Clippy the useless Office assistant

one month ago
Score 1

"Total shit"

-Doug Walker
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Myb

one month ago
Score 0
(Edtied) As Disney live-action remake lover, this is the first Disney remake that I don't really like, but I still enjoy some of the movies parts/scenes. I just feel that there is something missing in this movie. But I give a respect for the actors. They did a great job actually and they're not that bad.
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BlazePlastic2003

one month ago
Score 1
YMS's video on the remake will be coming very soon.
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FreezingTNT

one month ago
Score 1

I've been watching his Editing Highlights of his upcoming review. Here they all are, if you guys want to check all them out:

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FreezingTNT

one month ago
Score 1
them all*
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BlazePlastic2003

one month ago
Score 1
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BlazePlastic2003

26 days ago
Score 0
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BlazePlastic2003

9 days ago
Score 0
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Blocky The Nerd

one month ago
Score 0
This remake could’ve been a decent horror film ngl
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LancedSoul

one month ago
Score 0
I can imagine that in Lego Dimensions 2 where every Disney live-action remakes got pulled into the vortexes (mostly The Lion King and Mulan).
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NeedsMoreJPEG

one month ago
Score 0
Bruh, I literally got ideas for LEGO Dimensions 2 not too long ago.

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