Lion King

(352 votes, average 4.71 out of 5)
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Comments (250)
  • Annie-Mae
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    Lion King to this day is the only movie I've seen more then twice while it was still in theaters. But due to the budget restraints, I would've loved to try to see it a 5th time in theaters...It'd help if I wasn't paying for the ticket.

    Wonderful video indeed. I think you covered everything in this movie...cept the incest (Mufasa and Scar are brothers and they're the only two males in the pride...) but I don't hold it against you. However, this isn't why the love of the movie has wained on me over the years. I think where as most people can't watch Star Wars without thinking about the Prequels, I can't watch this movie without thinking about the Sequels. What became of the franchise killed it for me. That scene where Brian from Family Guy is sitting on the sofa watching the Behind the Music: Leaf Gerick episode and reciting it word for word...that's me in not a happy means. I know this movie line by line, every song, with every inflection and change in tone, ect, and it does nothing for me.

    As a kid I enjoyed Timon and Pumbba more then I should've, but I agree as an adult they're REALLY over the top, and they're far too played out. Partly they're too much of a buddy comedy without the buddy side of it. One's TOO stupid to know that the other is an ass, but it doesn't work on the level of Abbot and Costello or Ren and Stimpy. Separate I think they're wonderful characters, but together it's a sad train wreak of a relationship. It only worked well in the movie, but all the times they marketed off of them afterwards is rather annoying.

    But yeah great coverage all in all. I liked how you talked about the flaws of the movies to fallow because they try to fallow the 'Disney Formula', but could've been better if they didn't. I think this would be a movie worth putting in 3D, it's a franchise that works, a great film to see on the big screen, and hopefully inspires more kids to enjoy more traditionally animated films.
  • Marshmallowcreampie
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    What I do is, I try to ignore the Disney sequels and prequels. Pretend they don't exist, ya know? Makes me feel SO much better.

    Also, I agree with you and Lindsay on the annoying comic relief characters. I recently went on a Disney binge and among the movies I watched were Lion King and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, two films I watched a LOT as a kid. I didn't mind the comic relief characters as a kid, but watching them when I was older, I found them REALLY annoying and they detracted from the otherwise serious tones of the film. I agree with Roger Ebert in his review of Spirit: Stallion of the Cimmaron, in that what helped the film was that it "didn't have any annoying comic relief characters like the ones that often plague today's children's movies".
  • BlackLaceLamb  - Childhood Passions in an Adult Perspective
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    I have to say that this is a fantastic review Nostalgia Chick, five stars for sure!

    Although I do have to clear up (this is my interpretation at least) why Scar brought on the drought, because it is a little confusing at first. Mufasa was teaching Simba about respect for the balance of life, the antelope and the process of death "...we are all connected in the circle of life..." etc. which I assume Mufasa's father did with him when he was going to inherit the throne. This knowledge is what Scar lacked, he wasn't taught about the balance of life that is required to rule and he had all his food brought to him by the lionesses so he had no idea how the hunting chain worked (how you can't over hunt to feed 150+ hyenas and still expect the herds to keep up the numbers) All Scar saw was the power his brother had and didn't fully scope the responsibilities that Mufasa or Simba had been taught about. Hope that helps to clear things up :)

    Thank you so much for pointing out the flaws in the movie too, I knew about the Kimba the White Lion rumours but didn't know the whole story, thanks a bunch for shedding some light on this! Same goes with the hyena stuff too, that was new to me.

    Simply a perfect review for me, I especially loved your little mention of Hunchback of Notre Dame (one of my favourites) and the Disney company as a whole, rather than focussing on just the one film.

    Bravo Nostalgia Chick! Bravo!
  • mrrubino
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    I had heard there was some amount of whozeewhatsit about how hyenas do all the work and lions just kill-steal, but one thing I notice about the hyena-related part of this review:

    Chick: "Hyenas aren't cute"
    *shows Wikipedia picture of incredibly cute tigerdoggie*
  • Marshmallowcreampie
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    I think the thing about Scar and the drought wasn't that he caused it, it was that he failed to help the pride through it. The lionesses wanted to move on, but Scar was stubborn and wanted to stay on the land he stole, as a trophy. On top of that, he didn't have the hyenas do any hunting, meaning the lionesses had to hunt for even MORE animals, causing even bigger food shortages for the pride.
  • ST
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    Typically the kingdom is portrayed as sort of alive and the enviroment and weather are determined by who's in charge.

    Did you ever see The Prince and the Pauper with Mickey Mouse? The kingdom was all sunny and happy, but once the king got sick and Captain Pete took over it became all gloomy and it rained all the time.
  • dmh3000
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    Lion King is the best Disney Movie ever and anyone who thought it sucked has no soul.
  • Kimarous
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    9:15-9:24 -- "The Rescuers Down Under" (1990) disagrees with you. Then again, an anomaly like that is probably to be expected when kicking off a new era, existing between The Little Mermaid and the remaining Big Four. Not surprising that it got overshadowed by its brethren, but that doesn't excuse it from being criminally underrated.
  • milesrose
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    As a man who's seen this movie over 50 times, I will give you a hug (or a high five) if I ever get the chance. Fantastic review! It's re-release in theaters finally allowed me to see it infront of a massive screen, so I was happy :3covered all the "gripes" with the movie very well. And as for the drought thing, I think that was a mix of Scar ignoring the "Circle Of Life", and symbolism. I actually think the director addressed it in the commentary!

    Hoping for a review of 2!

    Miles
  • Reedemption
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    Who else thinks the puppy should get his own spin-off?
  • Reedemption
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    But I have to admit, I was a little annoyed when you kept mentioning the 'subpar' films that came after this, and KEPT showing the poster for Lilo & Stitch. True, I might be a little biased as it's one of my all-time favorites, but it's nowhere near the slapped-together mess that it's being compared to. You menion how Lion King came from someone with passion wanting to show their vision. Well, considering Chris Sanders poured his heart and soul into telling a story he'd been sitting on for 20 years and went so far as to use the first hand-painted backgrounds since Dumbo, I'd say Lilo & Stitch contained just as much passion as the Lion King, if not more.
  • Reedemption
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    Of course, Chris Sanders had been involved with The Lion King as well....and Beauty And The Beast....Aladdin...Mulan. ...before he left Disney and went to work for Dreamworks, where he directed How To Train Your Dragon.
  • PlayMp1
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    And How to Train Your Dragon, despite being Dreamworks, is easily Pixar quality in terms of storytelling and general effect. Love that movie.
  • Dwane
    I enjoyed How To Train Your Dragon, but one thing kept it from being a movie I'll watch over and over... the horrible, annoying voice they gave the main character.
  • fanime1  - I Love Lilo & Stitch too!
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    Well that would explain those two movies' awesomeness. Oh, and I also think the dog should get a spinoff.
  • Furbyz
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    Thank you. That was bugging me too. Lilo & Stitch might not be perfect but it is wonderful.

    However, I think she may have been referring to the overall quality of that entire era of Disney.
  • Lieju  - this movie
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    Lion King stands out in the Disney movies of my childhood by, well, not standing out.

    I didn't care for it. Mainly because I didn't care for Simba, and never understood why he would be a good king. I remember really disliking the idea of him just being automatically a good king because his dad was.

    He wasn't even educated to be a good ruler( nor was it apparent that Scar was a bad one), it would have been different if he had learned to be one when in exile, but I can't remember there being any character development for him.

    Really, the most memorable thing about this movie was Timon and Bumba, since they are total jerks, and I enjoy comedy with total jerks, but I always preferred their own cartoon.
  • PublicEnemy
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    I've held all my pets in the lion king pose at least once XD
  • TheSonicGod
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    Kimba is Swahili for "Excrement."

    Not joking.

    Look it up.
  • laughingman19
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    To be entirely fair to Disney, you can't really blame them for the whole Disney vault thing in the 50s, 60s and 70s as that's what every studio did in an off year or if just enough time had passed. Given nobody had invented the VCR yet and not everyone had a fresh copy of the film's print, the means to keep it in good condition and a home projector to play it, so, for the most part, re-releases was the only way to see a movie again after it's first run. This meant studios could make a bundle by re-releasing films like Casablanca or Stagecoach or any other movie that had made money, and Disney could do it especially well because their stuff was aimed at kids, meaning parents who remembered the film wanted their kids to remember it, and there was no other way to do that.

    Hell, While Avatar may have made the most money of any movie, Gone with the Wind holds the records for most tickets sold specifically because of re-releases. Also, before Titanic came out, Spielberg and Lucas collectively held the spot for highest grossing movie with Star Wars and ET. The reason they held it collectively was because whenever one of them made it to the top, the other would re-release it, increase the gross, and then wait for the other to do the same.
  • ArtticWitchica
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    Oh bob does your dog look tired at the end there XD

    Lion King is my favorite Disney Movie c:

    Here are the reasons

    1: A male character is the main focus. (See the reason Pixar actually has such awesome movies in some ways is because it has a male character and male characters are usually easier for all genders to watch and enjoy. Really it's mostly because I hate princess girly crap and like male characters. Aladdin is my second fave Disney movie.)

    2. The Plot is Hamlet. I realized this in high school but still the fact that the plot is hamlet makes me smile because I like comparing a tragedy to a kids movie about lions.

    3. The sequels were actually good in someways. EVERY sequel has sucked, the lion king ones not so much. (though the whole Simba's daughter getting together with Scar's son... >> doesn't that mean that Simba's cousin is with his daughter = incest?
  • Mad-Eye Louie
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    In esponse to point three, I just recently watched the sequel and they state that it's Scar's chosen heir, but not his son. I don't know why except that they were trying to avoid the whole incest thing you just brought up.
  • Cinnamon Scudworth
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    He started out as Scar's son. Then, embarrassingly, they realized the implications halfway through production when it was too late to change anything.

    He says something to the effect that he was "chosen," but who watching that didn't think he was related to Scar somehow?
  • WiiStation360
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    Regarding the whole incest undertones, keep in mind they are animals and rules like that don't apply to them.
  • Mizu Takishima
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    So men aren't able to relate to females?

    That's just. I don't even
  • Flaregun  - reply to Mizu Takishima
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    Yes. It's absolutely 100% proven to be true, particularly for children: girls are able to relate to a story focusing on a male lead and identify with that male lead much easier than boys are able to identify with a female lead character.
  • Mizu Takishima
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    I still think that's complete and total crap, though.

    The only reason why little boys aren't able to identify with female characters as much (even though I doubt that's the case 100% of the time) is because they're conditioned to feel that way. "Men have to be MANLY, or else you're a sissy/girly-man/faggot" and that's "bad", apparently.

    The only reason why girls can identify with both girls and boys is because "girly stuff = lame and horrible" and "boy stuff = more admirable, for it is manlier than girl stuff and there fore just plain better"

    or the tl;dr version: misogynistic bs in society c:
  • Tetsu Deinonychus
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    Thank you Mizu and Semudara. I agree whole heartedly!

    I'm a guy, and I've never had any trouble relating to female characters. And, I'm far from the only one.

    Anyway, I think the Lion King is okay, but really overrated, and the Kimba thing still bothers me (in some early concept art, Simba was even white like Kimba).

    The Disney movie I really want to see get a 3-D re-release is Aladdin!
  • AaronJer
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    Well don't forget people like me on chauvinistic side of sexism that prefer female lead characters only because they'd rather be looking at chicks than... anything else ever. I wouldn't objectify women if they'd quit being so hot all the damn time.
  • Mizu Takishima
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    That's true =_= at least you know it's chauvinistic though
  • Blast Radius
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    It's all sort of dependent on the type of female lead. If you write a strong female lead that yearns for adventure and can adequately drive the story then you can draw both genders. Beauty and the Beast did this really well. Belle didn't spend the entire movie pining over some cute boy (coughArielcough) and that allowed for an engaging mix of action and romance. Similarly, if Simba had been a girl the story could be exactly the same and it would still work. When Disney gives a gender to a character it works, when they give a character to a gender it will create divisions.
  • Semudara
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    It's not the gender that determines appeal; it's the character themself. Some characters are just stronger than others, and some writers have a gender bias. In other words, shockingly enough, sexism is BS!
  • honestiago
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    @ArtticWitchica

    (1) Yeah, you know those women... it's really hard to enjoy a movie with female leads. Because whenever a movie has a female protagonist, you KNOW it's going to be "princess girly crap"... and if it doesn't, it's probably stupid feminazi bullshit like that "Mulan" crap. Male characters are awesome and female characters are boring and stupid and princessy and shit... which is why I will never, ever watch the "Alien" movies. A female lead in a sci-fi action-horror movie? She'll probably do nothing but throw glitter all over the place. Female characters suck, and strong women are non-existent!

    *flips his sarcasm finger*
    (Oh, come on, you KNOW that someone wouldn't pick up on the sarcasm. Don't give me that look. I know that look... stop undressing me with your eyes!)

    Also... it's spelled "Arctic," not "Arttic," and "Wichita," not "Witchica"... though maybe you're making an obscure reference to something and I'm just not picking up on it.
  • Rock Dragon  - honestiago (I liked your comment)
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    It's the fault of the writers and other taking part in their creation, though cultural things probably have something to do with it (and sometimes the writer's gender gets blamed, works both ways really).

    There's absolutely no reason why a character couldn't be gender neutral for the audience while being female, studios just completely tend to suck at making female characters relatable. Being too worried about audience reaction is one reason, but there are a lot of possible factors.

    I rarely relate to female characters for many reasons. Almost every time I watch a movie, I find males written as better characters. Though in some cases, swapping the gender(s) would not make a damn difference, in which case I suppose there's something that, somehow, makes being female a flaw that makes it harder for males to relate despite of that. Possibly for the same reason why, if a woman is mistaken for a man, it's generally less offensive than the other way around (this is, usually, when it isn't based on appearance.)

    Though with Disney, yeah, true for what I've seen. Kids' stuff in general is really fucking horrible with this, and that just makes the gap even deeper.
    There tend to be elements that are usually the fault of the writing or in some cases because of cultural views. Female characters are hard to write too because everyone judges them in different terms solely because they are female - and that sucks.

    Alien has a female lead and most people I know treat her as a character wildly differently. There really is not much difference what sex the main character would have been and making Ripley a woman was a good move.

    It's not like it's impossible for males to relate to female characters - the cultural boundaries and many classical ways of handling a female lead (or any character with ovaries) as well as the difficulty of it makes this a sort of a sad phenomenon. Too few people care about this, even though it doesn't have to be so.

    Writing females really is not that hard (to me at least) if you don't half ass it and stop being too afraid of audience reaction. Write them as characters, not as "female characters" specifically.
  • dennett316
    avatar
    You were right to throw the sarcasm finger, I've seen a worrying amount of posts on these videos that don't get the obvious sarcasm even when it's ladelled on as thick as in this post.
  • Rehwr21
    Think he was an heir not Scar's actual son
  • The FanFic Critic
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    Um...Kovu is NOT Scar's son. It's even stated in the movie that he's not Scar's son.
  • thedarkwolfzearoth
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    1. I agree
    2. I agree
    3. Actually Kovu isn't Scar's son. Nuka and Vitani are, but Kovu is actually a bastard as a rogue lion is his father. It's in the movie (I think Nuka says it.)
  • fanime1
    avatar
    Hey, it's now our fault that guys are the ones making movies and think that all girls want is that crappy princess stuff. I think a movie with a girl protagonist can be great. It's just that since guys are directing these films, they don't know that girls like action too. Pixar might change that when Brave comes out!
  • pinky75910
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    Scar's heir. Not his son.
  • Mad-Eye Louie  - 3D
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    Overpayed out the nose to watch this in 3D. And I have only two words to say about it. Worth it.

    And I don't usually like added-in 3D
  • Jenx
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    I dunno, looking at it now, I imagine the land turning into wastes when Mufasa takes charge is supposed to be somewhat symbolic. Like the Fisher King, the land reflects the ruler. In this case the ruler is a heartless gay dictator, who cares nothing for his people or his realm, and so the realm itself starts to look neglected.

    It's mysticism, basically.
  • Cinnamon Scudworth
    avatar
    How'd you sneak a video camera into that movie theater? Dunno if you were aware of the antipiracy policy most theaters have but if you get caught with a camera inside the cinema, no matter what you're doing with it, you get tossed out.

    Maybe they ignored it because filming the 3-D screen would have gotten you nothing but a mess.

    The review went on a little too long; you made all your points halfway through and had to review Hunchback instead to pad time.

    And the original Lilo and Stitch is good. Have you even seen it.
  • Vismutti
    avatar
    Maybe she just asked first? The movie theatre people aren't unreasonable about stuff like that, usually.
  • JackitK
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    I just assumed she was just recording it in a movie-theater like room. I mean I would assume there would be more than just her if that wasn't the case.
  • Mizu Takishima  - About Kimba
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    Kimba was originally called Leo (or Jungle Emperor Leo) in Japanese, so we don't think that Simba was copying his name. Simba really is Swahili for Lion after all

    However, Simba really *was* going to be white, and The Lion King was going to be called King of the Jungle. at first.

    That said I think this site is at least worth checking out XD http:// www.kimbawlion.com/ rant2.htm instead of writing off the similarities as pure coincidence just because it's Disney.
  • honestiago
    avatar
    Hmm... I'd never heard that "The Lion King" was based on an anime, though I had heard everybody and their mother make jokes about it being a ripoff of Hamlet (except, you know, Simba doesn't die in the end). I don't see why it would be a big deal, even if it had "borrowed" some elements from "Kimba." Artists borrow ideas and imagery from each other all the time. For example, Percy Shelley's famous poem "Ozymandias" was actually written to show up another poet who'd written a poem with exactly the same theme. It's actually a bit sad: if you look up the original poem, you'll find that it's pretty mediocre, whereas Shelley's poem, though almost identical, is far superior. Yeah, apparently Percy Shelley was a total bitch.

    Damn it, there was something else I was going to say about "The Lion King," but I can't remember what it was. Poetry, why must you distract me with your amazing amazingness?
  • Mizu Takishima
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    Since you haven't heard about the Kimba thing (and because NCheck left out a lot of info) you might wanna check this place out: http:// www.kimbawlion.com/ rant2.htm

    It's not completely damning evidence (even if some people think it might be) but I think it's better to have the whole story instead of just this video as anything to go on ^_^'
  • TamLin
    I don't think the idea is that Scar causes the drought, but rather than since he allowed overhunting and poor shepherding of the land that the animals were not in a good position to weather the drought when it did happen.

    "The Lion King" is a great film, I think, because it was the runt of the litter; not backed very well by the studio, who considered it a filler movie in the making, the team was pretty much left to its own devices while the higher-ups micromanaged "Pocahontas".

    By most accounts, Disney Animation Studios was a tense place to work in those days, the runaway success of recent films creating a high-pressure atmosphere and the execs constantly butting egos over who was really responsible. All of that frustration, anxiety, and aggression ended up being channeled into the film and its themes about the responsible uses of power and the nature of leadership.
  • mrskippy
    avatar
    On the other hand there are actual historical examples of rulers causing if not drought, then at least barrenness of land and famine.

    Mao Zedong, for example.
  • TheTurtleGuy  - Great Review
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    Whew, I loved that little retrospective of Hunchback in there. The part where you switched back and forth between scenes that give me goosebumps and scenes that make me groan was really well done.
  • Flaregun
    avatar
    Loved your analysis of The Lion King, I think you hit pretty much every nail on the head there, but my favorite part of the video was your digression on the Hunchback of Notre Dame where you juxtaposed all the awesome, dark, downright unsettling moments from the movie with those fuckin' gargoyles killing the mood.

    Are people *really* getting tired of all this 3D crap, finally? I can only hope you're right. But even if you are, it probably won't be the end of it: people got tired of it in the 50's, and then again in the 80's, once the novelty has worn off for this generation Hollywood will probably just stick the gimmick back in the attic for another 20 years or so and then dig it back out once there's a whole new audience for whom the idea will be all new & cool.
  • Narlepoax III
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    Your dog was like, "Meh, she's done worse."
  • Mizu Takishima
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    Also, I'm so ecstatic that both Nostalgia Critic and Nostalgia Chick popularized the idea of 3D getting old ._.

    Y'know, just before Tintin's movie finally comes out.
  • OtakuKitten  - Disney didn't care about Lion King
    One thing that I'm surprised you didn't talk about was that Disney didn't look too kindly on The Lion King's production when it was first stating out, employing most of the B-list animators and so on from their studio, choosing instead to focus on Pocahontas. Disney saw The Lion King as "experimental and kind of a second-tier film" [Don Hahn] and putting Elton John as the composer was viewed as a gamble.
    It just makes me sit back and smile that Disney would think so little of something that would become one of the greatest motion pictures of all time and the highest grossing animated feature film.

    P.S. Hamlet rocks!!!
  • Sora
    avatar
    The main problem with the Gargoyles in Hunchback stems from not only the amount of annoyance they produce, but also from their placement. For example, their cheerful musical number is placed RIGHT AFTER the scene of Paris slowly turining into something straight out of the Inferno. If this movie was re-realeased, minus the Gargoyles (trust me it can be done), it will even be on par with the Lion King.
  • SuccubusYuri
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    ...I can't tell if that final sequence was a jab at Lion King for using pretty/cute animals to mask over their morally reprehensible story and the fact it had no substance and was broken by the logic of eight year olds....

    I do agree with your review about the Marketing Practices of Disney though. It would have been interesting to hear your take on The Lion King.

    Personally...and I hate saying this...I am on the same page as Confused Matthew. It was pretty, it was funny (when I was eight), but even then I was dumbfounded by the stupid things characters were doing in a way that no other animated film made me scratch my head.

    And I are disappoint you ignored Rescuers Down Under. Granted it doesn't fit the renaissance model but to be fair it was in production before The Little Mermaid proved it was viable. If they had been in an earlier stage of development I'm sure they probably would have adjusted it to suit the musical style.
  • Akai
    Back when Disney had true talent.
  • ManWithGoodTaste
    avatar
    You know what?

    More people need to see the review by Confused Mathew.

    Lindsay, you missed out so much...
  • yourworstnightmare  - Confused Matthew sucks
    NO! If that Matthew prick finally fall down from his self imposed Internet stardom and finally fall to complete obscurity, and will finally be forgotten by everyone, it would be a fucking good thing. He's terrible.
  • Vismutti
    avatar
    You know, I watched almost every review by Confused Matthew, and I got to say I disagreed with him on almost every single one of them. But He's not that terrible. I get his points a lot of the time, even if I disagree.
  • The FanFic Critic
    avatar
    Um...sorry but Confused Mathew seemed to miss the entire point of the Lion King. A lot of his arguments about the film are flawed, his hatred for Simba is just mind-boggling, and he couldn't back up any of his reasons why the Lion King "sucked" in his eyes.
  • Squidloveful
    avatar
    For a while I was in the "Ugh Disney you horrid, talented, amazingly marketed plagiarists, I will make a point of hating this film forever now!" And then I went to see the 3D re-release with some friends and...remembered every line to every song, squee'd, fangirled over the animation, laughed at all the shitty comic relief,got super invested in the epic dramatic story and had possibly the most fun I've had in a theatre for years. DAMMIT.

    But yeah, I totally adore Hunchback of Notre Dame, to the point where even the gargoyles don't really bother me. I think it's cuz I found out the director intended them to just be figment's of Quasimodo's bored, lonely mind, and so then they just magically became part of the "drama". It's crappy, but it works for me.

    I will still hate Aladdin forever. VINCENT PRICE > ROBIN WILLIAMS GRRR
  • maynardyorke  - Lion King Sucks
    the reviewer ConfusedMatthew made a passionate, rational film review criticizing Lion King, naming it one of the worst films he's ever seen



    i recommend that video, its good to watch after (or before this)

    http:// confusedmatthew.com/The- Lion-King.php
  • Moeez  - I agree with Confused Matthew
    avatar
    LION KING has character problems. Simba is an asshole, and so are Timon and Pumba. Simba's personality transition to adulthood is out of nowhere. The romance is lame. Simba is NOT responsible for Mufasa's death, and all the other lions are dumb enough to take Scar's word.

    I like LION KING (wouldn't say it's a bad film like Matthew), but mostly for the memorable imagery, breath-taking animation, and darker tone. But hey, my mom still calls me "Simba" (lol) so everyone remembers through revisionism, a totally different Simba than what's in the movie.
  • tsoltis  - Confused Matthew Review
    Confused Matthew has some good points. But its not going to change my feelings about this movie.
  • Dan_the_Man_88
    Matthew takes the level of disliking a film and endlessly redefines it himself. He makes it out to be something it's not, and he does this with illogical and irrational fallacies, and not paying attention. He also contradicts himself at least four times.

    Simba was never an asshole, and Timon and Pumbaa were NEVER evil. Simba's personality changed because of his father's death; it was not out of nowhere. Simba and Nala knew each other when they were cubs, and Ariel & Eric's romance was even more lame. The movie NEVER says Simba was responsible for Mufasa's death, and the lionesses took Simba's word, NOT Scar's. It looks like YOU need to pay attention to the film too, and not take Matthew's word.
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