The Lion King ROARS!

26 July 2019
Author   Jackie Wilson Asheeke
The Lion King (2019), directed by Jon Favreau, now showing at all Ster-Kenikor cinemas, is the most delightful movie I’ve seen for years.  The storyline of this updated version scrupulously follows the 1994 original animated release of the movie by the same name.
  I won’t recap it here, you know the deal already.  Seeing the story done in the more realistic CGI animated colours and shapes is stunning as it modernizes the 25 year old movie.  Go see this film, it will make you sing along with the songs and smile all week long.
Putting on my social justice hat for a moment, I am jumping for joy to see a majority black cast for a movie about Africa.  Imagine a cartoon movie about characters in an Icelandic folk story featuring the voices of Snoop Dog, Gazza and Cardi B.  Would those tones, word delivery and timbres fit? - Probably not so well.  If you compare the photos of the majority white cast of the 1994 version with the 2019 version, you will see that Hollywood and Disney Studios are finally getting the memo.
The 2019 movie’s writer Jeff Nathanson just had to tweak the original Lion King script.  It features Donald Glover as the voice of Hakuna matata Simba, and Beyoncé as the voice of the grown-up Nala.
There is no doubt that the Beyoncé ‘hype’ makes you think that she is the star of the Lion King (2019).  She’s not; this is an ensemble cast.  She hits the scene halfway through the flick, has relatively few lines and does just fine. 
That said, I must say I enjoyed separately watching her classy and colourful music video of Spirit.  Check it out online. This snapshot style music video features too many costume and hairstyle changes that distract from the songs.  Still, I enjoyed seeing the beautiful Queen Bey. 
However, intellectual property theft storm clouds may be on the horizon with accusations that Spirit stole its art design from South African artist Petite Noir’s song Blamefire in his video called The Gift and the Curse.  A partial frame-by-frame comparison (check out shows that particular side of the story and those clips are extremely similar as far as it goes, but let’s see how it all pans out before taking anything away from Bey’s achievement. 
The movie runs for about 110 minutes which was a bit long for smaller kids (judging by how loud and fidgety they became in the theatre after the first hour).  But, this movie is not just for kids; it appeals to everyone who wants to imagine and enjoy.
I cheered the fact that James Earl Jones was back again as the magnificent deep voice of the mighty Mufasa.  Wow…The images of Mufasa in this movie, looked like the lions we have right here in Etosha. 
Chiwetel Ejiofor was the voice of Scar.  I would have loved it if Jeremy Irons would have reprised his role in that character.  Ejiofor was cool, but his delivery was less malicious, sarcastic and devious than that character needed.
Of course, the comic relief of Timon (Billy Eichner) and Pumbaa (Seth Rogen) is funny.  They really bring the whole thing together and had me chuckling every time they were on the screen.  
To my nature conservation and wildlife friends out there, I say…relax.  We know that lion prides and prey animals don’t really function like the Lion King depicts, but then again, animals don’t sing in proper English either.  So, go with the flow on this one.
city coffers will not make it rain), the city should again invest in a short water saving flier delivered to every single household or handed out on street corners and more radio, TV and social media campaigns with water saving tips.


The Windhoek Observer is an English-language weekly newspaper, published in Namibia by Paragon Investment Holding. It is the country's oldest and largest circulating weekly.

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