Pin It
Favorite

DVD Review 

by Ted S. McGregor Jr.


The latest of Disney's blockbuster DVD releases, The Lion King, bursts forth this week, certain to add millions to the film's overall box office take -- once Disney's biggest ever (until Finding Nemo dethroned it earlier this summer). In the case of Snow White, the Platinum Series' two-DVD treatment seemed a stunning achievement. On Beauty and the Beast, the hundreds of extras seemed important -- somehow. Now with the third in the series, the word that comes to mind is "overkill." Disney tells us these films are treasured -- but mostly they're treasured by 6-year-olds who play them over and over (and over) again.


One bone thrown to the kiddies is the cute game on Disc Two in which Timon and Pumbaa take you on an African safari. Technically speaking, it's an improvement over past DVD games, which have been too clunky. But the majority of the extras are the usual character-development storyboards, featurettes about the Broadway musical and peeks into the Disney vault, with clips for '50s-era live action wild animal films. In order to wade through it all, you need to be a) a grown-up and b) seriously into this cartoon.


The film transfer looks great, and the soundtrack is optimized for home theater. But unlike Beauty and the Beast, this one just hasn't aged well. The main problem is that other than the opening, "Circle of Life," which scores one of the best openings in any animated feature, the music isn't that good. Elton John and Tim Rice are no Alan Mencken and Howard Ashman, the team that scored Beauty and the Beast and Little Mermaid.


The Lion King also suffers from not quite knowing what tone to convey. For a G-rated film, it's got some pretty terrifying scenes, and its villain, Skar (voiced deliciously by Jeremy Irons), is perhaps Disney's most cunning and sadistic. Clearly the filmmakers are earnestly trying to up the drama quotient here -- with all the regicide going on, you have to think they were reading a lot of Shakespeare.


But too much drama doesn't blend well with wacky hijinks and wisecracking sidekicks. The effect is jarring -- this film should have been a lot sillier or a lot more serious. And so far, they haven't made many serious cartoons. Hats off to Disney for trying to add more edgy drama into the mix, but the animated format can only take so much.





Publication date: 10/02/03

  • Pin It

Latest in News

  • Age of Zaycon
  • Age of Zaycon

    Spokane Valley's Zaycon Fresh found a way to make millions selling meat — and now it's trying to make a lot more
    • Aug 26, 2015
  • Hazy Days of Summer
  • Hazy Days of Summer

    Smoke blankets the region; plus, Patty Murray on the proposed Iran deal
    • Aug 26, 2015
  • Brick by Brick
  • Brick by Brick

    Development continues in downtown Spokane; here are some construction projects that could change the city's urban core
    • Aug 26, 2015
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon
Saving Seeds: A Seed Library Event

Saving Seeds: A Seed Library Event @ Hillyard Library

Tue., Sept. 1, 6:30 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Ted S. McGregor Jr.

Most Commented On

  • Manufacturing Fear

    Spokane's Republican sheriff says members of his own party are dangerously dividing people
    • Aug 12, 2015
  • 'Flip of a Coin'

    A Spokane Valley deputy trained to spot stoned and drunk drivers is wrong nearly as often as he is right, blood tests from drivers show
    • Aug 19, 2015
  • More »

Top Tags in
News & Comment

Briefs


marijuana


Comment


Publisher's Note


BUSINESS


© 2015 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation