New 'Lion King' movie lands with a critical whimper

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Directed by Jon Favreau, the film is a remake of the 1994 animated classic that is loved by fans till date. In an odd way, the power of this new Lion King comes from the outside: you soak up its astonishing photoreal visuals and marvel at the extraordinary progress that can occur within a single generation, yet still ache for everything that's made way for it.

The Lion King starts its worldwide rollout in China on Friday and arrives in the rest of the world in the middle of next week.

Favreau has achieved that and more with this tale of betrayal, tragedy and royal destiny using photorealistic computer-generated imagery. Overall, the hills that The Lion King has to climb are steeper this time out, and one of them already looks like it's far from being overcome. There is only one voice actor that has not changed in the 2019 live-action remake, and that is James Earl Jones as Mufasa. According to those who saw the first press screenings of the movie, The Lion King not only lives up to the high expectations, but might even surpass them.

Young Simba (J.D. McCrary) and Young Nala (Shahadi Wright Joseph who played the role in the Broadway production) are adorable fluff balls of youthful fun.

Nala and Simba in The Lion King.

Brace yourself for the hilarity of their inspired choice of song during the distraction scene. Alfre Woodard, John Oliver lend their voices for Sarabi and Zazu, respectively.

Simba, Timon and Pumba in The Lion King. With just a week to go until general audiences can partake in the Circle of Life for themselves, The Lion King is revving its promotional engines and getting ready to stoke the fires of fandom into a feeding frenzy.

Full of emotion and a lot of laughs, this film definitely has roar.

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