The Lion King: Diamond Edition Review

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A lion cub is fooled by his ambitious uncle, who is next in line to the throne, that he has killed the Lion King, his father and flees their land in shame. As an adult he is persuaded to return to try and claim the throne that is rightfully his.


The first of several planned 3D versions of Disney classics, The Lion King 3D reminds us why this was such a monster hit in the first place. The animation is among the studio’s best ever, mixing gorgeous, painterly African scenery with characters that are both recognisably Disney and recognisably realistic, and of course the Hamlet-inspired story and Elton John-penned songs are as strong as ever. The 3D conversion works remarkably well: the 2D segments manage to avoid looking like pop-ups and the CG-assisted scenes, like the wildebeest stampede, positively pop. It doesn’t add a huge amount to an already breathtaking spectacle, acting more like a sprinkling of sugar on top, but then this didn’t need much help anyway.

It didn't really need the 3D, but it's still a stunning, glorious family film, with the third dimension or otherwise.