Monday, 30, November, 2020
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Criticism | The Lion King (live action)

One of the best and biggest films in the history of cinema, it won its “flesh and blood” version and has been in theaters since the last day of July 18th. “Flesh and bone” version is just a way of saying, after all, the whole idea of “live action”Of the film, was built in a 3D realistic enough to show that, in fact, it was a production with real animals.

The Lion King brought to the studios Disney prestige and vigor in mid-1994, when the original animation hit the big screen. Film scholars say the animated feature saved the Disney possible bankruptcy, since all attention was focused on The Leaky Cauldron, which cost about US$ 44 million, raising around US$ 21 million, that is, less than half of the expected.

Other animations came later, but it was with The Lion King that Disney you can breathe easily. The animation cost approximately US$ 45 million, with revenue of almost US$ 988 million. Money aside, the very simple plot with colorful and cartoonish features, won the hearts of fans and all families. The Lion King became a fever: pets named after the characters in the film, several licensed products and even themed birthday parties - not to mention the green VHS tapes that Disney launched for home video. The Lion King it was a real success.

Crítica | O Rei Leão (live action) 1
The old Disney VHS tapes were green in color | Internet

25 years later, the same studio, now financially stabilized and modernized, announces that the animated feature that was part of the childhood and emotional of countless children, now adults and perhaps parents, would win a version in live action, being part of the group of classic films with revisiting / new look. Well, it is undeniable that some animations, be they in the format of a feature film or a series, end up arousing the curiosity of some viewers in imagining what such characters and scenes would look like in real format, with real actors, “flesh and blood”.

Until much anticipation, news, announcements and trailer releases later, the film premiered. In the certainty that many have watched, after all, the feature hit the mark of more than 4 million viewers, it will be somewhat impossible to record some information without releasing one or more spoilers - because, I believe it would not be so spoiler so, talk about The Lion King, which follows the molds almost 100% reliable to the original animation of 1994.

Here are the aspects

This is the first aspect that stands out: the fidelity to follow the original script. In fact, the scenes shown in the live action, are completely faithful to the animated feature. Starting with the opening scene, where the song Endless cycle is intoned. If compared to the animation scene, nothing will be different. It is a tribute that serves as a presentation and setting for what we will follow over the next few minutes.

I would say 98% true to the animation. Based on this principle, the changes occurred when the highlights were added to the lionesses: while Mufasa alive, under the leadership of Sarabi. He suggested that they were part of a battle front, as if they were warriors. After the death of the king due to all the plot devised by Scar, the villain takes the throne, giving the lionesses the leadership of Nala, even knowing that Sarabi she is still the queen by right.

This is due, I really want to believe this, to the fact that women have increasingly taken on prominent places in different sectors of society. Female protagonism gave rise to questions of basic and simple understanding: women can also. In the presence of Beyonce in the cast giving voice to the lioness who will be the future queen of Kingdom Lands, reinforces the prominence within the mentioned aspect - Beyonce is a feminist and activist for women's rights around the world.

About Scar, one of Disney's best villains

Crítica | O Rei Leão (live action) 2
Scar | Disney Studios

Another important highlight to be mentioned is the “new” Scar. We have a cold, calculating lion, literally "from evil", gloomy, dark, heartless and unscrupulous. His cold, cutting voice mixed with the look, with the help of the suspense soundtrack, causes fear in the viewer. This is due to the fact that the children of 1994 are already adults and can deal with the lion's villains and evil. The scenes in which he appears bring a dense, tense and dreadful atmosphere - some children in the session, wept with the scenes in which he appeared.

Some words, such as “I'm surrounded by idiots"Or"The monkey's uncle“, But it is completely understandable not to have had striking phrases like these, due to the character's new guise. He would not agree with him with certain "comic reliefs" due to his villainy. But everything is there: cynicism, sarcasm, ironies and, most importantly, the character's evils. If the goal was to impose fear, it was successfully achieved.

A 'Ctrl C + Ctrl V'?

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Comparison between classic animation and the new live action | Twitter @Imaginago

The scenes adapted for the “flesh and blood” version, was of paramount importance to live up to the events. It is impossible to redo the scene of animals climbing on each other, singing and dancing according to the song in the musical number What I want most is to be king, for example. These are new times, other technologies exist, as well as the way of producing films in 3D. Copy and paste the film in its entirety, even if in 3D realistic, it wouldn't have the same grace as watching the movie. This is the “cheap” of this new wave of live actions gives Disney: is the reproduction 100% faithful or not, according to the necessary context of changes, but with the insertion of the reality in which the plot is set.

The songs

It is impossible to speak of The Lion King without mentioning his songs, after all, the film is a musical. Not as a traditional musical, but within the framework that Disney likes to produce his animations. Without delay, the dubbed version of the songs does not work. It is strange, lackluster, without that same strength that the songs had - it is understandable to have the new clothes within the proposed objective, as previously said, however, giant frills and melismas did not match the purpose of the songs, which were just to fill the musical number and entertain.

Previously quoted, the song What I want most is to be king it's really fun and one of the best of the whole feature, by the way. The 2019 version of the song remains perfect if it weren't for one detail: the performer. João Vitor Mafra, the spoken and sung voice of the Simba as a puppy, he left the song different, taking it to a side he didn't need, with overly melismas and high tones where he shouldn't have. The same happens with the voice actor of Zazu (Marcelo “Salsicha” Caodaglio). It was quite different, in a non-positive way, to appreciate the song.

Listening to the soundtrack of a film without the scenes has a weight. Already watching the song being performed by the actors, the weight is different. In the context of the film, the songs on the live action soundtrack, works, but dislikes. A different version is presented and it is understandable, after all, it is a remake/reboot and it makes sense to re-record the songs. But it could be better used. Better would be Endless cycle remastered than re-recorded and Hakuna Matata, in the voice of Simba adult (Icarus Silva), without all that performance.

Brazilian version…

Dubbing is a bit annoying, but in the course of the film, get used to it. An exacerbated accent can hinder the final product, nothing that a prosody class would not solve. And here, three highlights, one negative and two positive. The negative goes to the voice actor of Pumbaa (Glauco Marques), which left the character's voice smooth - in the animation, the boar has a thick, imposing and “torn” voice; harsh, screaming. The attempt was even valid to give a new face, or better, voice to Pumbaa, with the attempt to rescue a little of what the animation of 1994 presented us, but it was not convincing.

The merger of Glaucous it's from Ivan Parente, the voice of Timon, give league. And it's amazing how the two work and the scenes in which the characters appear, the viewer is made to think like a boar and a meerkat. The line of reasoning is incredible, which leads one to speculate if everything was in the script or if there was improvisation by the duo. Is for Relative that goes the first positive highlight. His voice is similar, both sung and spoken, to Timon of the original animation. The heart throbs for the reference.

The other positive highlight goes to the singer Iza, who had been invited by Disney to dub Nala. When she was announced, the concern in giving the lioness a voice was pertinent, because as a singer she would not disappoint, after all, it is her job. His spoken voice came out smooth and imposed correctly, in complete sync with the movements of the character's mouth.

Crítica | O Rei Leão (live action) 4
The singer Iza | Disney

Bright! His participation sung in Tonight love has come, did not please. What was supposed to be a smooth musical number, growing at the right moments of the song, the voice of Iza it stood out somewhat beyond what was expected.

Negative points

The only negative points that need to be addressed, is the fact that the feature has won half an hour more than the animated version without any use. There was no flashbacks important to the plot, scenes that could justify and add understanding through the original animation. There was no real reason for the said increase. It was said for the not done.

Another point to be mentioned is the fact that critics and digital influencers, bloggers, viewers and even, specialized critics, about the fact that animals do not have facial expressions through the scenes presented, leaving them as if without feelings, merely illustrative. . I disagree. Animals do have feelings, and everything is located in the eyes, since they are irrational and unable to speak. The director of the feature, Jon Favreau, made a point of having a whole job focused on the animals' eyes to transmit to the public, their feelings, "thoughts" and even instincts.

Anyway, ok?

Lastly, The Lion King pleased. Everything is very beautiful and exciting. It is impossible not to compare the two productions (the 1994 and 2019 films) and also to watch one before or after the other. The job was well done, the message was transmitted and the essence of everything that was experienced in 1994, is on the big screen in a 3D realistic, including the original soundtrack and new songs added - with the exception of the green VHS tape, which remains in the sentimental and affective imagery of each adult child. Worth the ticket and worth the hype, just not worth watching dubbed or in 2D.

Thunder Wave note
Among more hits than mistakes, properly said, the live action of Disney's The Lion King fulfills its role and entertains the new audience and presents to adult children, an incredible film full of references and essence of the original animation of 1994. It's exciting, fun, touching. All the essence is preserved, now in realistic 3D.

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