The Lion King II: Simba's Pride

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The Lion King II: Simba's Pride
TLK2.jpg
A not-so-good follow-up to one of the greatest films in the Disney Renaissance era, let alone one of the greatest films produced by Disney...
Genre: Animation
Musical
Directed By: Darrell Rooney
Rob LaDuca
Produced By: Jeannine Roussel
Written By: Flip Kobler
Cindy Marcus
Starring: Matthew Broderick
Neve Campbell
Andy Dick
Robert Guillaume
James Earl Jones
Moira Kelly
Nathan Lane
Jason Marsden
Suzanne Pleshette
Ernie Sabella
Photography: Color
Release Date: October 27, 1998
Country: United States
Language: English
Franchise: The Lion King
Prequel: The Lion King
Sequel: The Lion King 1½ (by release)

The Lion King II: Simba's Pride, later re-titled The Lion King 2: Simba's Pride, is a 1998 American animated direct-to-video romantic musical film. It is a sequel to the Disney traditionally-animated 1994 film, The Lion King, and thus the second installment in The Lion King franchise.

Its plot was influenced by William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, and the film was released on October 27, 1998.

Plot

Simba and Nala's daughter Kiara falls in love with Kovu, a male lion who was raised in a pride of Scar's followers, known as the Outsiders, who are Simba's enemies. Desperate to be together, they must overcome the two obstacles that are keeping them apart: the leader of the Outsiders, Kovu's mother Zira, and Simba's prejudice of the Outsiders.

Bad Qualities

  1. The film is yet another generic retelling of Romeo and Juliet, with both stories sharing the basic structure of two of our main characters from separate families falling in love and attempting to unite their respective families to put an end to their feud, even sharing a plot point of a relative of one of our main characters being killed off in said feud; while the previous film was loosely based on The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, the latter was never adapted into multiple works repeatedly the way Romeo and Juliet was.
  2. On the topic of unoriginality, while it isn't exactly a full-on rehash of the previous film, it still rehashes specific elements from the previous film; true, they are different in terms of context and execution, but the overall structure of those elements is still the same:
    • Both films open with animals slowly heading towards Pride Rock to see the presentation of the Lion King's new cub.
    • Nuka is a rehash of Scar, as both characters are lions who are jealous of their respective siblings being destined as the future king.
    • The father tells his child not to go to a specific location because of how awful it apparently is, and the child disobeys their father; the father then scolds the child after the latter disobeyed their father and the former points out how they could've been killed.
    • A group of animals plan to overthrow the Lion King by manipulating his offspring into trusting a core member of the aforementioned group.
  3. While the animation is mostly impressive for a direct-to-video film, it tends to appear very odd at times, with some of the facial expressions, notably Timon's hurt nose expanding and shrinking repeatedly in pain after a bird pecks it or when an afraid Zazu warns Simba that his and Zira's prides will go to war against each other, appearing a bit over-the-top in comparison to in the previous film.
    • The fire that appears in the climax of the previous film was fearful and animated impressively, and one can feel the danger of said fire; here, it looks far too realistic and thus out-of-place in a film in The Lion King franchise and feels more at home in a sequel, prequel or spin-off to Who Framed Roger Rabbit! or an episode of The Amazing World of Gumball — it would be the equivalent of pasting in traditionally-animated Looney Tunes characters into a Star Wars film.
    • Upon looking at the characters, it seems as though they lack finishing touches and do not have as varied of a color pallete.
    • Much of the visuals and colors are more... shaded than in the original; this is obvious in scenes set in daytime.
  4. There are several problems with the characters:
    • Simba, while reasonable, is slightly unlikable, as he seems to be more arrogant in comparison to in the original in a way it does go a little far; he also has the "overprotective father" cliché.
    • Kiara is also your typical "rebellious daughter" character, as in several of her scenes she is upset with Simba holding her back, especially after discovering that Timon and Pumbaa were spying on her during her first solo hunt, argues with him after he exiles Kovu, and sternly convinces him "to stop" during his fight with Zira.
    • Zira, while impressive, is not as menacing as Scar in the previous film; she is also yet another typical "antagonist who wants revenge on one of our main characters for something they did in the past".
      • She and her lionesses also pretty much come out from nowhere and their inclusion creates a lot of questions and plot holes, as neither of them appear anywhere nor are even mentioned in the previous film, even though the audience is meant to believe they have been around during Scar's rule; one could argue they were away during when the events of The Lion King occurred, but the viewer needs to understand why, from an in-universe perspective, so it'd be less jarring.
    • Nala and Zazu, two major characters from the previous film, are heavily underutilized and have very little screentime.
    • Nuka and Vitani are also not only underutilized, but also very underdeveloped.
      • The former is not only a Butt-Monkey but also a buffoon and klutz who whines about his jealousy and talks about Kovu behind his back throughout the movie; of course, there is nothing inherently wrong with this... except his death scene is supposed to be an extremely emotional moment but is difficult to take seriously due to the aforementioned reasons.
        • What makes it even more difficult to sympathize with Nuka is that he is written very inappropriately as comic relief, scratching off termites, burning into a ring of fire, and having his face be blown off by a geyser.
    • Timon and Pumbaa take over Zazu's role as babysitter to watch over Kiara, which goes against and contradicts their character traits in the previous film, especially bearing in mind as to how they basically raised Simba for most of his life: in the previous film, although they were comic reliefs, they were also smart characters who are self-sufficient and have survival instincts, which have led them to get as far as what they have; here, they are portrayed as idiots who don't know how to look after a lion cub or do it efficiently.
  5. The musical score is quite mediocre in comparison to the one by Hans Zimmer for The Lion King, as it lacks its charm and intensity.
  6. Most of the songs, while decent-ish, do not hold up well in comparison to songs such as "Circle of Life", "Hakuna Matata", "I Just Can't Wait To Be King", and "Be Prepared".
    • "He Lives in You", while great as a standalone song, is rather moody and slow in the context of it being an opener song for a sequence that tries to imitate the opening sequence of The Lion King.
    • As catchy as "Upendi" is, there was pretty much no reason for it to even be in the movie in the first place from a narrative perspective, as the audience not only already knows Rafiki's intentions to get Kovu and Kiara together, but also have already seen Kovu and Kiara interact with each other so much to the point where they have great chemistry.
  7. Parts of the editing are really poor, to the point where one can easily tell that parts of the plot were changed last minute; Zira was supposed to intentionally kill herself (but was presumably cut for being too intense for a children's film), hence her smiling while she is falling to her death and screaming for her life in the final cut.
  8. The performances of most of the cast members, especially those reprising their roles from the previous film, aside from Suzanne Pleshette, all sound bored, with the performance of Edward Hibbert, who voices Zazu in the film, sounding slightly off in comparison to Rowan Atkinson's performance as Zazu in the previous film.
  9. The time skip not only feels confusing, but also muddies the pacing of the story. In the original film, the time skip during the iconic "walking on the log" scene worked, mainly because one can easily see the narrative purpose it serves; Scar and his hyenas are having their role of terror, and Simba has to reclaim his birthright, but he is too small and young, so it makes sense to age him up before he does so.
    • Now, it can be assumed that they try to do this with Kovu, who needs to become more older and powerful to take on Simba, but they establish the time skip weirdly early... but also too late at the same time; this means most of the film is spent with the older Kovu and Kiara, leaving the first twenty-six minutes of the film to feel more like a flashback than an actual part of the main storyline.
      • Flashbacks can be effective with a good narrative purpose, but it lasts for... twenty-six minutes rather than a brief period of time.
  10. Several plot holes, continuity errors and inconsistencies, including:
    • The infant cub at the end of the previous film was clearly meant to be male (in fact, The Lion King: Six New Adventures, the non-canon continuation of the original film before the release of Simba's Pride, follows this up with Kopa, who is both male and implied to be the cub shown in the ending of The Lion King), as (most) lions with the "brown-ish gold"-colored fur, as Pumbaa describes Simba in the previous film, are supposed to be male, while the females are supposed to have lighter fur, yet here Kiara is female.
    • It is established near the beginning of the film that Kovu was personally hand-picked by Scar as his heir to the throne, but it goes against his character in the previous film, in which he was portrayed as a narcissistic loner who only valued others for self-gain, not to mention that he never outspokenly said he had plans for a new bloodline upon becoming king; all Scar wanted was to be pampered and privileged.
    • It is unclear as to why the spirit of Mufasa would have to get Rafiki to get Kovu and Kiara to unite Simba and Zira's prides rather than convince Simba, his own son, himself to do so; even Kiara succeeded in reminding Simba of his "We are one..." belief, so it is unclear as to why Mufasa could not, not to mention how he wanted to resolve the feud between Simba and Zira's respective prides, basically redeeming not only Zira but also Simba, his own son.
    • Zira's plan to set up the fire to get Kovu to save Kiara and have him bond with her so he can get closer to Simba and kill him is not only convoluted, but also pointless, since she can just lure Simba there and have the fire burn him to death.
    • After Kiara simply reminds Simba that Zira's lionesses "are them" and asks him what differences he sees, it somehow resolves all of the disputes and divides over Scar, with almost everyone agreeing to all get along from this point onward.
  11. Kovu's realization of his and Zira's intentions after spending some time with Kiara feels rather rushed, as the time between his intentions to attack Simba and this specific scene, the time during which he bonds with Kiara, lasts for... three minutes of the film's runtime.
  12. At times, the film is also heavy-handed, when it comes to specific elements and details:
    • The awkward way it drops major characters' names, specifically when Simba and Zira address each other by name during her introduction scene, or when Nala and Vitani briefly interact with each other in the film's climax.
    • The patronizing exposition dumps which occur in the middle of specific scenes, notably when Nuka rants about how Kovu isn't even Scar's son and that he just took him in.
    • During the "Upendi" sequence, Rafiki literally has to spell out to the audience the blossoming romance between Kovu and Kiara; it also literally has to end with Kiara realizing how "upendi" actually means "love", basically shoving it down to the throats of its viewers.
  13. Zira's motivations are fundamentally flawed, because, well... she intends to take the throne and run it similarly to Scar, but the problem with that is that Scar was a terrible leader who did not even know how to run a kingdom properly to the point where his hyenas were picking up the pieces.
    • It is also never explained, implied or even inferable as to what Zira admired about Scar himself or what she expects to gain when grasping the throne, and it weakens her motivations even more.
    • It could be presumed that Zira is just... crazy, but that would be a very shallow and empty reason for her to do this.

Good Qualities

  1. As much as it involved retelling Romeo and Juliet once again, it does feel nice to follow up a story based on The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark with one based on another of William Shakespeare's works.
  2. The animation is great, despite looking rather odd at times and not as great as in the first film; it is also quite impressive for a direct-to-video film.
  3. Kovu may as well be the most complex and best character in the entire film, as he becomes conflicted between either continuing the legacy of Scar or rejecting it, and ultimately chooses the latter at the end.
  4. Kiara and Kovu have great chemistry throughout the film, and their overall relationship is executed very well.
  5. Some scenes with Timon and Pumbaa are quite amusing, notably the "Let me at 'em!" bit.
  6. As stated, Suzanne Pleshette delivers a great performance as Zira.
  7. It delivers a great message about peace and feuds.
  8. The ending is heartwarming.

Reception

The Lion King II: Simba's Pride received mixed-to-positive reviews from critics, with the film currently holding a 62% and an average rating of 5.97/10 on the same site, but was praised by the fanbase and audiences alike (it should be noted that this was quite rare for a direct-to-video sequel from Disney, with most of the others being heavily criticized).

Videos

Trivia

  • In earlier drafts of the film, Kovu was Scar's biological son; it was, however, changed so he would merely be Scar's adoptive son, as him being Scar's biological son would make him Kiara's first cousin once-removed.

External links

Comments


avatar

LunaTheUnikitty!Lover2005

2 months ago
Score 1
I honestly love this movie, but now i do see alot of flaws to point out now.
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MinecraftDogCats

2 months ago
Score 2
Thank god this movie is on here
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CaptainJ

2 months ago
Score 2
Not saying I like this film, but I have been hearing by many that it is one of the best of the Disney direct-to-video films.
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Trevor807

2 months ago
Score 4
FreezingTNT added it because it has enough BQ pointers. While I have a soft spot for the film, I respect the page being here.
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Somethingguy13415

2 months ago
Score 0

Ik people are gonna downvote this comment, but this is just a opinion and a suggestion. so yeah.

I don't think this film should be on the wiki, ik it might have flaws to begin with. But it was considered to be the best Disney Sequel of all time, and the Lion King Fanbase praised it as a Decent Sequel. It was on Greatest Movies Wiki at one point. but I don't think it's a good idea to put it here. Should it go on a new wiki like "Okay Movies Wiki." or back to Greatest? Because I kinda think this film is a little unnessescary despite the flaws to be on the wiki. Not hating on Reception Wikis, just some Improvements.
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FreezingTNT

2 months ago
Score 1
How many times do I have to say this? Just because a movie has a good reputation doesn't mean it's actually good.
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Trevor807

2 months ago
Score 2
Plus, there's a reason any "mediocre" wiki attempts failed.
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Somethingguy13415

2 months ago
Score -1
But does that mean it has to be here? Actually no. I feel like you only added this as if it was your personal opinion. no offense.
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FreezingTNT

2 months ago
Score 0
It has enough bad qualities to have its own article here anyway. Continuing off my previous comment, Shrek Forever After used to have an article here on AMW, but after realizing it's actually good and has enough good qualities, we had it be moved to GMW.
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Somethingguy13415

2 months ago
Score -1
I respect your opinion anyway, but still it's kinda unnesseray
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Somethingguy13415

2 months ago
Score -1
I understand that. But it still shouldn't be here. Plus some of the Bad Qualities are kinda biased in my opinion.
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Ayapzl

2 months ago
Score 0
While the sequel isn't as great as the original, this film isn't too bad to be honest. I actually enjoyed watching this sequel growing up. In fact, I'd rather pick this movie and The Lion King 1 1/2 over that awful 2019 live-action remake.
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FreezingTNT

2 months ago
Score 0
Yeah, Simba's Pride isn't that bad, but I still feel it needs an article here due to having enough bad qualities.
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The Adaptation Expert

2 months ago
Score 1
So is Little Mermaid 2 next in this wiki? I just wanted to know. Also, does Kiara & Kovu's incestous relationship counts as a bad quality? Please let me know
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SuperStreetKombat

2 months ago
Score 1
Kiara and Kova aren't related by blood, because Zira isn't related to Scar in any shape or form, so it's not really incest.
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Trevor807

2 months ago
Score 2
Kovu was going to be Scar's son, but that would've made him and Kiara cousins.
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AbareKillerFan 2002

2 months ago
Score 1
This is my favorite Disney direct-to-video sequel, but the first one is better
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Hiatt Nester

one month ago
Score 0
I like this movie.
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MinecraftDogCats

one month ago
Score 2
I hate this film! Thank you @FreezingTNT for adding this film on here!
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RockyBalboaFan

one month ago
Score 0
This film is garbage
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ChrisKal

27 days ago
Score 0
I like the film actually.
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FreezingTNT

24 days ago
Score 0

I should note that some of the Bad Qualities were taken from the following video below, alongside the ones listed in the "Videos" section, but I did not add said video because it is a positive review praising the movie.

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