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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    The good, the bad and the Rafiki

    For most of us, “The Lion King” calls to mind fond memories of childhood. It has catchy songs, memorable characters, and an exciting plot — not to mention cute animals — so it’s no wonder the film won two Academy Awards when it was released in 1994, and is the highest grossing American 2D animated film.

    But have you heard the news? “The Lion King” will be re-released next week. In 3D.

    To some of us, this sounds like a great idea. But many others greet this news with a heavy sigh and a sarcastic “…really?” The film debuts on Sept. 16. Which side will you be on?

    Reasons to think it’ll be awesome:

    “The Lion King” reminds us of happier times. Not only does it stir up nostalgia, but it also is rife with familiar characters and memorable songs that make us feel comforted, even though times are different now. Just try not to smile when you think about Simba and Nala, Timon and Pumbaa, or any of the animals bursting into perfectly choreographed dance sequences.

    The scene when Rafiki holds Simba up for all the other animals. It’s going to be awesome in 3D. It’s already an epic moment in movie history, as “Circle of Life” plays in the background, all the animals rejoice, and we pan across the breathtakingly animated African cliffside. And when that’s all right in front of you, it’s bound to be even more incredible.

    Many of us missed “The Lion King” in theaters the first time. Back in 1994, many of us weren’t old enough to see it in theaters, so the re-release gives us an opportunity that we never would have had otherwise. The theatrical experience is sure to be different, too, when we see the glorious animation on the big screen and hear the award-winning music in surround sound.

    Reasons to think “…really, Disney?”:

    “The Lion King” is an easy way for Disney to make money. A lot of money. Playing the film in theaters is part of a larger promotional gig to celebrate the recent release of “The Lion King” on Blu-ray. So it’s likely that Disney was just thinking: “What’s a great way to make even more money off of this?” A theatrical debut in 3D answers that question easily.

    The scene when Mufasa dies. In the same way that some parts will be 10 times more epic on the big screen, this part will be 10 times more depressing. There’s no way of knowing how they’ll distribute 3D until we see it, but we’ll all be incredibly sad if they make us watch Mufasa get trampled by a stampede right in front of us.

    Not to mention, many of us are sick of 3D. Can we get over this gimmick already? Although that extra effect can make some movies cooler, we’re not too keen on paying an extra $4 for the glasses. Plus, some of us have trouble adjusting to 3D colors and glasses, which can leave audience members with a real headache.

    — Miranda Butler is the assistant arts editor. She can be reached at arts@wildcat.arizona.edu.

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