Sunday, June 16, 2024

New Live Action “Lion King” Splits Critics and Twitter, Original Animated Film Yanked from Streaming and Renting Services


The new “Lion King” is proving to be more divisive than originally thought. Early social media posts from the premiere audience, critics, and first screenings were very high on the film, calling it “visually stunning.” But on Twitter, after more scenes were released, there’s been a serious outcry against the movie. Armchair critics– who will pay to see “The Lion King”– are complaining that it looks cold, grim, and that the real lions et al seem unemotional.

That won’t stop this “Lion King” from roaring at the box office, by the way. It’s going to be a big, big hit.

Meanwhile, as we await the review embargo to lift at 12 noon Eastern: Disney seems to have yanked the original 1994 film from streaming or renting. You can still buy it on amazon or iTunes, but it’s not available to be rented. This would seem as a way to discourage comparisons between the old film and the new one. Disney’s done the same with “Aladdin” so that the Robin Williams version also can’t be casually watched. Interesting that they didn’t do this for “Dumbo.”

Some theorize that Disney has pulled “The Lion King” from renting or streaming because they’re going to have their own service soon. I don’t think so. All their other movies, plus Pixar, Marvel and LucasFilms are all available now. Again, it won’t matter. “The Lion King” is immortal.


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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