Cinephile Movies

Lion King (Cinephile #1)


Director: Jon Favreau


  • Jon Favreau
  • Jeffrey Silver
  • Karen Gilchrist

Screenplay by: Jeff Nathanson

Voice Cast:

  • Donald Glover
  • Seth Rogen
  • Chiwetel Ejiofor
  • Alfre Woodard
  • Billy Eichner
  • John Kani
  • John Oliver
  • Beyonce
  • James Earl Jones

Music by: Hans Zimmer

Cinematography: Caleb Deschanel

Edit by:

  • Mark Livolsi
  • Adam Gerstel

Production Company:

  • Walt Disney Pictures
  • Fairview Entertainment

Distributed by:

  • Walt Disney Studios
  • Motion Pictures

Release date: July 19 2019

Running time: 118 min

Country: United States

Language: English

IMDb rating: 7.1/10

My rating: 7/10

Movie Summary

The Pride Lands of Africa are ruled by a pride of lions who reside in the Pride Rock. Simba, King Mufasa’s and Queen Sarabi’s young son and his best friend Nala are tricked by Simba’s paternal uncle, Scar (who is after the throne) into exploring the forbidden elephant’s graveyard. Once there they get attacked by spotted hyenas but are saved by Mufasa’s intervenience. Scar later allies with the hyenas after promising them hunting rights in the Pride Lands and lures Simba and Mufasa into a trap. Mufasa dies by Scar’s hand and young Simba is advised by his uncle to leave the kingdom due to his ”involvement” in Mufasa’s death. In his exile Simba meets Timon and Pumbaa, two fellow outcasts who introduce him to a a carefree life under the motto ”hakuna matata”. But various circumstances make Simba realise that he must embrace his role as rightful king…

Character Development

Simba is a well rounded character. He starts out as a young prideful lion who is eager to take his role as king. After his father’s death however and his uncle’s blaming him for that event he grows depressed and abandons his kingdom, seeking isolation in shame. He is saved and taken in by Timon and Pumbaa, who live a very different life than the one he’s used to. Embracing their carefree approach to life he becomes hesitant in retaking his kingdom. It is only when he accepts his past and true identity that he goes to fulfill his destiny.

Scar, the main antagonist of the film, is a vengeful character to his core. When he was younger he lost the throne and his love interest, Sarabi, to his brother which led to animosity towards Mufasa. His aspiration to take the throne for himself encourages him to trick his brother and young nephew, all the while feigning loyalty and good will. It is very poetic how his downfall comes from his own need to use trickery to gain the upper hand.

The other characters are also well developed and eager to achieve their goals, whether it is trying to convince Simba to retake the throne (Nala), protecting and encouraging the oppresed animals of the Pride Lands (Sarabi) or leading a carefree life in harmony with nature (Timon and Pumbaa)


The movie draws many similarities with the Shakespeare play, Hamlet. Some of them include Mufasa’s death by his brother’s hand, Scar taking the throne and trying to marry Sarabi and Mufasa’s ghost visiting Simba.

It deals heavily with the subject of life and how all the living creatures are connected through the ”circle of life”. Death and grief are also a prominent theme. Vengeance and trickery are shown to grant short term satisfaction as opposed to justice and consideration which have long term effects.

The past is also an important factor. Not as something we should run away from but something we should accept and learn from in order to move to the future.

Last but not least, the representation of a carefree life is meant to teach us that living spontaneously is good only if we can also acknowledge the serious matters and deal with them.

My Thoughts

I watched Lion King with one of my closest friends at the cinema, without previously watching the 1994 animated film. I was truly mesmerised by the visual effects, the songs and the themes that this films teaches. If you are looking for an educational and entertaining at the same time then this is the one.

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