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The Lion King
in 3D (4/10)
by Tony Medley
Run Time 89
OK for children.
If there is any
activity more boring than watching a full length cartoon, I have yet to
be exposed to it. In the olden days going to the movies
consisted of a double feature sandwiched around a short newsreel and a
cartoon, generally a Disney like Donald Duck or a Looney Tunes & Merry
Melodies with Bugs Bunny or Elmer Fudd. They were around five minutes in
length. Five minutes is fine for a cartoon. Changing the name to
"animated" does not justify making a cartoon feature length.
Even so, Disney
made a fortune on this film when it was released in 1994. It was so
popular that it was made into a stage play, from which they made even
more millions. Now Disney has remastered the original into 3D and
rereleased it. It's still the same film, only now it has the third
They needn't have
bothered. The problem with 3D is that when it's not shot in 3D, but
instead remade in post production, is that it mutes the colors terribly.
That is what has happened to The Lion King. As I do with most 3D
films, I took of my 3D glasses and saw that the colors were much more
vivid. Because the third dimension isn't that pronounced, I think that
not only does the 3D add virtually nothing to the film, it actually
detracts because the colors are so muted. To make the original, 600
more than one
million drawings for the film, which is made up of 1,197 hand-painted
backgrounds and 119,058 individually colored frames of film. The
addition of 3D mutes the brilliant colors these people created.
Why go see a cartoon if not for the
gorgeous color that cartoons have always displayed?
As for the
content, while this film is apparently aimed at children it seemed
awfully dark and depressing, given that the story is that the lion king,
Mufasa (voiced by James Earl Jones), is killed by his brother, Scar
(voiced by Jeremy Irons), who tries to kill Mufasa's son, Simba (voiced
by Jonathan Taylor Thomas), who flees, but returns as an adult (voiced
by Matthew Broderick) finally to triumph. The only performance I really
enjoyed is by Rafiki (voiced
by Robert Guillaume), a wise shaman baboon, who has the best line in the
movie, one that still has me chuckling.
feelings about cartoons, I can't recommend this. Even if you like them,
I would advise sticking with the 2D version. I wouldn't trade the
beautiful colors for the lame third dimension.