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    • Reviews are out for The Lion King, and they aren't pretty. Similar to what has been said in this conversation, animations allow for creative expression that's simply not possible in live-action films, and The Lion King is suffering because of this.

      Facial expressions are non-existent, the characters aren't as wacky or entertaining, and the colour palette is dull and washed out (i.e., photo-realistic). Basically all the things that make animations great played a key part in the legendary status of the original animation, and their absence in the live-action adaptation makes this film an unnecessary and expensive remake.

      Perhaps one of the most affecting moments of animation in the 20th century is the way Simba’s ears go flat and his eyes get wide as he sees the wildebeest stampede approaching in the moments before Mufasa is killed. The terror in his eyes is fully evident.

      The Lion King 2019 has the correct music cues for the moment and a hell of a realistic-looking stampede. But real lions don’t emote the way cartoons can, and in the equivalent moment in the new film, Simba barely seems to react to the situation at all. And the more fanciful, playful, and experimental moments of the original have similarly been erased in favor of animals standing around looking like nature-documentary shots.

      This is why I'm happy to see Mulan take a more grounded approach. Less a remake of a Disney animated classic, more a re-imagining of the original legend. If there's no singing soldiers, no talking animated CGI dragon, no lucky cricket, it could potentially be the best "remake" Disney has ever made.