Parents' Guide to

The Lion King

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Visually stunning remake is darker, more violent.

Movie PG 2019 118 minutes
The Lion King Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 8+

Based on 80 parent reviews

age 11+

Dark, violent - cartoon was so much nicer

Whilst this looks amazing, it really is too realistic and violent for many children. Special caution to children easily upset by the death of parents. Would not recommend.
age 7+

Shot-for-shot remake of the original, just worse.

Just watch the original. The directors were clearly going for National Geographic type visuals and they definitely succeeded. The film is visually stunning, but that's all there is to say about it in a positive manner. The characters have zero facial expressions because of the attempt for realness and the songs are just downgraded versions of the originals.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (80 ):
Kids say (105 ):

With its impressive visuals and well-cast voice ensemble, this remake is charming but darker and more Shakespearean than the original. Disney's live-action adaptations have yielded mixed results, but this one benefits from the legendary music, the gravitas of Jones' voice as Mufasa, and a stand-out cast across the board. Ejiofor's performance as Scar is particularly wonderful, which is no surprise, considering his classical dramatic training. Glover and Beyoncé have good voice chemistry in the final act of the movie, and she -- as you'd expect -- is perfectly fierce sounding. And Eichner and Rogen are quite funny as the latest incarnation of Timon and Pumba ... until it's time for Rogen to sing, and then audiences might wonder why an actual singer wasn't hired. Since a big part of the joy of the movie is the musical performances, Rogen's casting is a bit of a head scratcher. But he mostly makes up for his lack of singing prowess with his comedic timing and banter with Eichner.

The realistic animation is technologically astounding, but it intensifies the violence to an unexpected degree. The snarling hyenas are positively creepy, even though they, too, occasionally have lighthearted one-liners. And there's a greater horror in seeing Mufasa's demise unfurl here than in the original animation. This remake is also more overtly Shakespearean, with its Hamlet-like themes and characters. Bottom line? While entertaining and enjoyable, this remake doesn't offer much memorable original content aside from Beyoncé's new song, "Spirit," and a few lines of dialogue. Despite its stunning effects and all-star cast, the movie doesn't fully live up to the hype of modernizing the classic for a new generation.

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