Tuesday 4 October 2011

New Release - The Lion King 3D

Most people hold a special place in the heart for The Lion King, not just due to childhood memories but because it's a story that has captivated audiences of all ages with its reimagining of one of Shakespeare's finest plays and the wonderful soundtrack from Elton John that is just begging to be sung along to.

With this in mind, The Lion King could be seen as a safe bet for Disney to convert to 3D, with its legions of fans and the opportunity to share the story with a new generation of cinemagoers, but was it really a necessary exercise?

Only two years ago, 3D was heralded as the future of cinema, and not for the first time in the mediums brief but exciting history, but it appears to have become a passing phase with numerous reports and articles indicating that the poor return on 3D film is no longer worth the investment for a number of studios. However, the success of The Lion King in USA has proven that cinemagoers will not be ready to throw away their glasses just yet...

There are some key moments throughout the film that benefit enormously from the addition of an extra dimension, the most notable being the final battle between Simba and Scar which is equally as epic as the climatic fights in recent successes The Fighter and Warrior and just as intense - not bad for a cartoon. Another heart pounding moment is the stampede sequence which demonstrates how the technology, when used correctly, can improve an almost perfect film, with the beautiful animation providing a fantastic backdrop for the breakneck speed of the stampede, which is only enhanced by the eye-popping 3D. Less action-packed but just as memorable is the iconic scene when Rafiki dangles Simba over the cliff near the start of the film and it was impressive to see that he was pretty much dangling right in front of me - I would easily have forgiven any child in the audience who tried to reach out and touch him.

The story remains as compelling as ever, with dashes of humour I never would have understood as a child - the reference to Taxi Driver being a personal favourite of mine - and an emotional edge that Disney somehow manage to get just right in almost all of their movies. For the people out there who are new to the world of Simba and Nala, go and see this film.

Fans of The Lion King, and there a lot out there, are sure to fall in love with Simba all over again, and newcomers are sure to be spellbound by the gorgeous 3D animation. It's an essential film for all cinema enthusiasts and one that should be introduced to the next generation of film fans, use your chance to see it on the big screen while you can. I only hope that one day my favourite film will be enhanced with a third dimension. A Clockwork Orange 3D anyone?

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