The Lion King — handsome and funny but also creepy and icky
Disney’s CGI-enhanced live-action revamp is one of its better efforts despite an overdose of sweetness
Disney’s heritage of classic animation features has been a cash cow for years and decades. Reissues, remakes, picture-books, songs and albums, and toy merchandising. But is there a point at which milking a cow ends and wringing it begins? Haven’t we reached that point with the live-action, CGI-enhanced revamping of every canonic Disney feature cartoon?
Dumbo and Aladdin are two recent examples of cow-wringing. The Lion King is better than those. It’s directed by Jon Favreau, whose success with The Jungle Book began this whole fad. Lion has a scene-thieving Pumbaa, the warthog here voiced by Seth Rogen. The new version of Hakuna Matata, performed by him and Billy Eichner (Timon the meerkat), is a hoot. So is their cross-talking shtick: funky, funny, even improvised-sounding.