THE LION KING
Mufasa (voiced by James Earl Jones) and mate Sarabi (Alfre Woodard) maintain a delicate balance between various animal factions.
Their proud leonine bloodline continues with the birth of Simba (Donald Glover), who is introduced to the world by shamanic mandrill Rafiki (John Kani) on top of Pride Rock.
Mufasa’s embittered brother Scar (Chiwetel Ejiofor) plots to seize control of the grasslands by forging a fragile alliance with the hyenas.
The despicable plotters lure Simba into a canyon during a stampede and Mufasa dies saving his boy from being crushed under clattering hooves.
Overwhelmed by guilt and grief, Simba flees and the tearful cub is befriended by carefree and at times hilarious duo Timon (Billy Eichner) and Pumbaa (Seth Rogen), who are eager to share their “problem-free philosophy”.
Meanwhile, Scar’s tyrannical reign reduces the lush pride lands to a barren sprawl of rotting carcasses where Simba’s sweetheart Nala (Beyonce Knowles) feels powerless to oppose despotic rule.
The Lion King employs the same photorealistic computer wizardry which served director Jon Favreau well for his rollicking reimagining of The Jungle Book to transport us to the sun-baked savanna for a virtually word-for-word remake, which trades heavily on technical excellence to justify its existence.
Mufasa (voiced by James Earl Jones) and young Simba (JD McCrary)