This dimensionally enhanced re-release of Disney’s family favourite has been sitting pretty at the top of the US box office for two weeks, which is either a searing indictment of modern mainstream cinema or a testament to how beloved ‘The Lion King’ has become in the heartlands – or both. It’s the same movie – young Simba’s Shakespearean journey from pampered boy prince to fatherless outcast to lord of the pride – only bulgier around the middle. Few of the 3D additions make much difference, give or take the odd water-splash or flapping flamingo wing, so anyone who loved or loathed the movie on its 1994 run is unlikely to revise their opinion. As before, the weak point is Elton John and Tim Rice’s drippily awful pseudo-world-music soundtrack – Rowan Atkinson’s rendition of ‘I’ve Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts’ remains the musical highpoint – but the script is still sharp, the story satisfyingly simplistic and the vocal work peerless.
Roger Allers, Rob Minkoff