The Lion King Roger Allers / Rob Mintkoff 1994 USA When he is exiled by his evil uncle, a young cub learns life the easy way, but is persuaded to return to his homeland to avenge his father's death. Forget what is at times awkward humour and at others sappy emotional drama (though that is not to say that it doesn't at times make one laugh, and make one cry), this is spellbinding stuff. The animation is always detailed, often hypnotic; the "I Just Can't Wait to Be King" number has all the inventive, abstract choreography of a Busby Berkeley scene; the herds of wildebeast storming down a valley has the visual repetition and self-sufficient and -justified spectacle of a meticulous stage performance, and the feeling for natural environment is effectively realised. Not as witty as Aladdin or musically resonant as Beauty and the Beast, but as visually impressive as Fantasia.
I really adore this film, and I find it funny that I enjoy it more now than I did when I was a child.
The early scenes with Simba and Mufasa are very touching, James Earl Jones' voice acting is beyond excellent. The scene where Mufasa saves Simba and Nala from the hyenas gives me chills, as do the moments afterwards. I may be stretching it, but I'd call Mufasa one of the greatest characters in all of cinema.
"...because nobody messes with your daddy."
The Lion King encompasses everything anyone could ask of an animated film. It's the perfect mix of passion, humor, and excitement. Amazingly well done.
As Antony said to Cleopatra, as he opened a crate of ale "Oh I say...some girls are bigger than others"