1994 saw the continued meteoric rise to the heights that "The House Of Mouse" had once achieved in its heyday. Disney's The Lion King roared into the cinemas and hearts of the world, gathering 2 Oscars and taking its place as one of only 3 animated movies in the top ten highest grossing films of all time.
Now, with the revival of 3D , companies and movie makers are reassessing their back catalogues and bringing them back to the screen in a way that should hopefully bring new levels to the experience, such as Cameron with Titanic and Lucas with Star Wars.
No matter how many times you may have watched it, either first time around or subsequently at home with the family, it is one of those timeless classics that, over the years, has had alot of competition through advances in technology that so could have easily tarnished its longevity. Traditional animation, when viewed up against the likes of Pixar and DreamWorks' CGI library, can all-too-quickly seem dated and weak, to the point where the story becomes less enchanting due to the eye concentrating on the method of delivery rather than the whole experience itself.
This is never an option here. From probably one of THE best opening sequences not only from Disney but in modern cinema, The Lion King earns the mantle of "classic." The presentation of Simba at Pride Rock was a glorious marriage of iconic imagery with a heart-stirring song in "The Circle Of Life" that now has 3D to bring it further to life. Moments such as the pelicans viewed from above as they make their way along with the other animals to the ceremony are awe-inspiring to behold.
Made for 2D, it never-the-less feels that it could have been designed with the addition of 3D at a later date. The wildebeest stampede, which with the aid of fledgling CG back then was a standout sequence along with Beauty & The Beast's ballroom scene, becomes that much more thrilling with the third dimension involved.But it has never been just about visuals. This is one of those prime examples where all ages are catered for. Jokes are stacked up and rolled out for the young and old equally, and even some at the expense of Disney themselves - when asked to stop his depressing song, Atkinson's hornbill starts to sing the often ridiculed "It's A Small World" to which Irons' evil Scar begs for "anything but that!"
Many people will remember the signature tune - "Hakuna Matata" - but there are so much more great tunes to be enjoyed. Irons' "Be Prepared" is arguably the best villain song ever recorded and the surreal imagery accompanying "Just Can't Wait To Be King" conjours up vague memories of Dumbo's "Pink Elephants On Parade."
A film to be proud to own or to have seen, this is something that all kids of any age - young and old - should see, especially since the 3D conversion is more like Avatar than Clash Of The Titans ... go on, treat yourself.
UK release date: 07.10.11