Film Review: Following a Perfect 1994 Release, ‘The Lion King 3D’ a Money-Hungry, Manipulative Exploitation

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CHICAGO – While “The Lion King” is one of the best Disney movies of all time, “The Lion King 3D” is a manipulative exploitation to bring paying parents back with their kids merely through the sexiness of today’s 3D fad.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.0/5.0
Rating: 3.0/5.0

Disney’s 1994 version, which has and will continue to stand the test of time, was the highest-grossing animated film ever until 2003’s “Finding Nemo” from Disney and Pixar. That said, its 2011 release is lazy, underwhelming and a missed opportunity to up its already epic ante with more vivid colors, etc. Just making it 3D isn’t enough.

Many people don’t know the film is out now, and upon finding out, you’ll wonder: Is this an entirely new “The Lion King,” is it a rerelease without anything new or is this a reboot? Answer: Nothing’s new except that it’s being rereleased for the first time in 3D. Other than the 3D, the film’s the same, the story’s the same and each scene is the same.

StarRead Adam Fendelman’s full review of “The Lion King 3D”.

While the 3D will appeal to the kiddies who convince their paying parents, the 3D conversion is disappointing. Many people are tired of 3D these days and clearly know by now it’s a profitable marketing tactic. Still, we have seen cases where 3D truly does add to the entertainment of overall experience.

For example, 2011’s voraciously gory “Final Destination 5” – despite being only worthy for its pure shock value – is actually improved by its use of 3D. Its death sequences truly do pop out at you. That 3D makes the dramatic even more extreme, and being that shock is the film’s only value, 3D works there. But in “The Lion King 3D,” the 3D falls flat and is a background afterthought instead of true added value.

“The Lion King 3D” features voice work from Matthew Broderick, Niketa Calame, Jim Cummings, James Earl Jones, Nathan Lane, Ernie Sabella, Jeremy Irons, Robert Guillaume, Rowan Atkinson, Moira Kelly, Whoophi Goldberg and Cheech Marin. The 3D film opened in theaters everywhere on Sept. 16, 2011 and releases on Blu-ray and DVD combo pack on Oct. 4, 2011. The film, which is rated “G,” has a running time of 88 minutes.

StarContinue for Adam Fendelman’s full “The Lion King 3D” review.

The Lion King 3D
“The Lion King 3D”.
Image credit: Disney Enterprises

StarContinue for Adam Fendelman’s full “The Lion King 3D” review.

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