Hakuna Matata

I, along with scores and scores of others, eagerly anticipated the new version of The Lion King. I am a big fan of the original version and was eager to see how seemingly real animals could play the parts of some of my favorite movie characters.

And then I recently read a review of that movie from some high falutin publication or other that panned the film. No heart, it said. Ignore the new film and watch the original. Dang. And I was so looking forward to it. Could it really be bad enough to ignore it altogether?

Then I began getting feedback from people who I really know and like and trust, unlike whatever high falutin media outlet it was. These trusted reviewers included some of my grandkids who went and saw the movie with The Other Grandmother. They all said how much they enjoyed the newest version of The Lion King. 

In no time, I was back in the I-Want-to-See-The-Lion-King-Movie-Camp.

Kaiya had already told me with in a solid pre-teen voice that she had no interest in seeing the movie. Cole and Mylee were ready and eager to go. The three of us went yesterday afternoon.

I left with totally positive feelings about the movie, and absolute amazement at the animation. It was animation, wasn’t it? Even Disney can’t get wild animals to talk, right?

But here’s the thing: Should whatever high falutin publication it was that panned the movie ask 5-year-old Cole for his opinion, he would admit he is pretty much with them one hundred percent. He prefers the kind of animation where birdies fly around and land on the heads of talking giraffes or lions. First of all, after sitting through the first 12 previews, he said sotto voce, “When is Lion King starting?” We all want to know, Little One, as we sat back for the remaining 12 previews.

His biggest issue, however, was that he simply couldn’t tell the lions apart. In traditional animation, the characters all have different expressions, or maybe one is wearing a bow tie and another a cowboy hat. In keeping with the realistic nature of the film, the lions mostly look the same. During a fight between Scar and Mufasa, he kept shouting out (sotto voce was a thing of the past), “Which one is Scar, Nana?”

And the transformation from lion cub Simba to grown-up lion Simba also threw him for a loop. “Is Mufasa alive again?” he kept asking.

And the ending (at which time I had tears rolling down my cheeks), when the baboon held up Simba and Nala’s new cub, he had about had it. “Nana,” he said in total exasperation. “Why is Simba little again?”

I assure you that the movie is well worth seeing. I enjoyed it very much. I must admit, however, that since Cole needed a bathroom break during the critical scene with the stampeding herd, I had to play a bit of catch-up with Mylee (who, by the way, followed the plot and characters with no problem at all, and even shed a few tears).

Cole, I’m sorry the animals were so confusing to you. All I can say is HAKUNA MATATA…..

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