Posts Tagged ‘Disney’

First of all, to avoid any confusion, this post does not relate to my blogging absence and subsequent return. I would never refer to myself as ‘King’. However, if you would like to do so I shall only blush horribly like a typical suede-headed Irishman and smile contently.

Actually this post refers to the return of animated royalty, the Disney wonder that is The Lion King. Insert generic 90’s childhood whoop of nostalgia here >

Why does this exist? Talk about polishing a turd....

Now, I’ve sat through my fair share of 3D films looking like Buddy Holly’s special brother, and on the whole I have been thoroughly disappointed (an honourable mention must go out to Avatar though). Some of the worst offenders are JackAss 3-D, Spy Kids 3-D and Step Up 3-D. Notice any similarities here? Each of these films complete a trilogy whilst including needless and almost entirely redundant 3D visuals (ok I admit, a flying slo-mo dildo hitting Rock Kosick’s face isn’t something you get to see everyday). Is it possible that the film makers behind these sequels decided to include 3D purely because they are the third films in a series, providing them with a convenient ‘3’ already lodged in the title?! Surely this is not a coincidence…

Clearly 3D is trending in the movie world, and disparagingly this can only ever lead to a market that will soon become horribly saturated with piss-poor quality releases as directors jump on the proverbial bandwagon. After all, there are plenty o’ precedents. Take comic book adaptations. A few years back this all seemed to originate (obviously excluding sporadic adaptations from the past like the original Batman or Superman movies) with the creation of Sam Raimi’s Spiderman, what was at its best a mediocre modern take on a classic comic, praised more for its cast selection than its faithfulness to the original medium.

Homer - Duncan - Bruce

What followed was a torrent of similar titles… Spiderman 2 and 3, X-Men 1, X2, X-Men: The Last Stand, X Men Origins: Wolverine, X-Men: First Class, Ironman 1 and 2, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, The Punisher, Catwoman, Hulk, Daredevil, Elektra, Hellboy, Sin City, Watchmen, Alien vs Predator, Scott Pilgrim vs the World, Silver Surfer, V for Vendetta, Transformers, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Transformers: Dark of the Moon… and the flood continues with planned 2012 releases of The Avengers and the completion of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy with The Dark Knight Rises. A worryingly similar process can be seen with the release of CG films, with 2006 and 2008 particularly prolific but offensive years, (check a detailed list here – How many films can you pick from this list that you would classify as masterpieces, or even watchable?), and the absolutely needless, sacrilegious modern sequels to seemingly already completed trilogies, for example, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and Live Free or Die Hard, both with worryingly aging protagonists.

Inescapably, 3D is here to stay! This in itself is not an issue if we can avoid all the pap that will inevitably squeeze out of Hollywood’s backside in the next few years. I am all for digital progression and welcome our 3D interactive future, but cannot help but fearing what’s next, especially when the word ‘remake’ is thrown into the mix. This word is perhaps the most fear-inducing of all when used in reference to cinema and unfortunately it’s currently used more often than Channel Dave shows Jeremy Clarkson’s moody, pubey-headed face. With 80’s classic Footloose having just been remade into ANOTHER modern street dance film, we must sit and wait anxiously for possible upcoming remakes of Robocop, Judge Dredd, The Crow and Total Recall. So, when someone combines both a remake of an old classic with 3D visuals one can only dread what evil spawn is to be produced.

BUT! THE LION KING 3D IS AWESOMES!! Phewww. I must say, I was a little worried when I first heard about the prospect of a Lion King remake. My primary concern was what could be gained from it (apart from a substantial amount on money in Walt the younger’s back pocket). What could be achieved by re-releasing this film in 3D? Is anything going to be enhanced by updating the visuals, especially when the original animation was so ground-breaking anyway? Are they going to achieve anything but ruining perhaps one of the most well-loved Disney animations?

Imagine this scene in 3D! Wait, it exists?!

Boy was I wrong! In terms of film selection it could not be better. I cannot think of a single Disney film that would be better suited to 3D (needless to say, a 3D King Louis shaking his hairy monkey arse would bring immeasurable joy) which provided me with noticeable excitement as I entered the darkened cinema. Thinking back to the original film you can immediately envision particularly suitable sections for a 3D update, like the heart-wrenching stampede scene or the beautifully vibrant Simba/Nala escape from Zazu to ‘I just Can’t Wait to be King’. Beyond the obvious though, they have done a fantastic job in taking the original and thoroughly realising it in a 3D world. Where many films fail, The Lion King masterfully rides triumphant, on an ostrich. Often 3D is implemented on such a small scale, on so few and insignificant sections of a film, with such poor post production that it brings nothing to the final release. TLK (cause I’m street like that) includes very affecting 3D elements throughout the film, often providing the audience with a real depth of landscape beyond that which was possible in the original film. Furthermore, it absolutely enhances the energy and movement of the varying species, especially during the opening musical numbers. Pride Rock has never looked so utopian! With nothing of the original being edited, the fantastic cast, songs, narrative and charaterisation remain with a heightened visual impact improving your perfect memories.


Whilst watching the film I also realised how amazing a voice cast it had (Atkinson, Broderick, Goldberg [NOT the wrestler], Jeremy’s Iron [for you Simpsons fans] and the second oldest son from Home Improvement), something I could not appreciate when I first watched it as my youthful 8 year old self.

My only fear is that now Disney will re-release their entire back-catalogue in 3D…. But until that point you have to go and see it! Your inner child will melt at the magic!

OR: I could have just said  ‘I ❤ Timon’. Either or…