A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
What's the story?
Simba the Lion King is now a dad. His daughter Kiara is eager to explore beyond the pridelands, but Simba tries to shelter her from danger. One day while exploring, Kiara bumps into Scar's son Kovu (which means 'scar' in Swahili). They like each other, but Kovu's evil mother Zira and Simba quickly intervene and separate the two. Zira fills Kovu's head and heart with hatred and raises him for the sole purpose of someday killing Simba. Years later, on the day of her first solo hunt, Kiara runs into Kovu again. He rescues her from a fire and then asks to join Simba's pride. It's all according to Zira's evil plan, but Kovu falls in love with Kiara and begins to see that the two prides should be united, not divided.
Is it any good?
LION KING II is good by Disney sequel standards and unique in that the story actually follows directly from the first movie. We see a progression of themes and plot elements planted earlier, as if this story were always meant to be told. Indeed, the story of star-crossed lovers from feuding families has been told countless times before, nevertheless fans of The Lion King will enjoy seeing the characters' story continue. Cute characters Timon and Pumbaa don't have a role beyond following Kiara around, but they add some laughs to the heavy love and vengeance plot. The songs are listenable in the moment while not the makings of a child's favorite soundtrack.
Disney did a pretty good job with the DVD extras on this sequel. Timon and Pumbaa host most of the features, making them fun for kids. Particularly cool is a virtual elephant ride in which kids can pick where they go and feel like they're riding an elephant. Several simple, fun games can be played by little ones who can use a mouse. Older viewers may enjoy interviews with the voice cast members Mathew Broderick, Neve Campbell, Suzanne Pleshette, and others.
Talk to your kids about ...
- In theaters: August 31, 2004
- On DVD or streaming: August 31, 2004
- Cast: Matthew Broderick, Moira Kelly, Neve Campbell
- Directors: Darrell Rooney, Rob LaDuca
- Studio: Walt Disney Pictures
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Friendship, Music and Sing-Along, Wild Animals
- Run time: 81 minutes
- MPAA rating: G
- MPAA explanation: all audiences
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.