Wednesday, March 30, 2005

The Lion King II (Disney)

Ah! The sequel to the Disney hit, "The Lion King", completed 4 years after the first. Here, the circle of life continues.

Simba (Matthew Broderick) and Nala have a daughter, Kiara, who runs off into the Outlands (the dry and hard kingdom where Scar's pride has been exiled to). There she meets and befriends Kovu, another mischievous young cub. But he is the son of Zira, leader of the Outsiders and mate of Scar (though Kovu is not Scar's son), and chosen one to walk in Scar's paw prints to become King. The arrival of both Simba and Zira tears their new-found friendship apart as the parents take their foals away. But Zira comes up with a plan. She raises Kovu and trains him to become the ultimate key to Simba's undoing - use his friendship with Kiara to get to Simba. Kovu grows up with this blackness in his soul, led to believe that Simba did them wrong for the death of Scar.
After the first step of the plan succeeds, Simba reluctantly takes Kovu into the pride - a debt to be repaid as Kovu had saved Kiara's life. But needless to say, Kovu and Kiara fall in love and he experiences things which he had never felt before while in the 'care' of the Outsiders. Finally, Kovu decides that he does not want to be part of the plot any longer. However, after Simba is ambushed and merely escapes, he blames Kovu and passes him to exile. But Kiara slips away to reunite with her loved one. While they are gone, the Outsiders, led by Zira, cross into the Pridelands and they meet the Pridelanders, led by Simba, in a war for the kingdom. But Kiara and Kovu come in time to stop this war and unite the two prides as one, and help Simba see that Kovu is one of them after all.

Hmm... well, this movie is obviously not as good as the first. Then again, Disney's sequels are rarely (or never) are. But I would classify this as one of the best sequels yet. Have you seen sequels like "Hunchback of Notre Dame 2" or "Mulan 2"? If you haven't, don't. They are terrible and simply off-topic. They ruin the beauty of their well-done originals. But then again, "The Lion King" is an original story by Disney, thus I think they have the right to make a sequel however they think fit. And it turned out to be really not bad at all. Not as good as the first, but truly quite good.
As usual, the songs are absolutely wonderful! Hans Zimmer, I love you! He composed the opening song 'He Lives In You'. But my favorite song in the whole movie is 'One Of Us', when all the gathered animals sing about Kovu's exile.
Most of the original voice actors have returned, but sadly, Rowan Atkinson did not do the voice for Zazu. But no matter, this sequel is good. Perhaps try and catch "The Lion King 3"! Laugh out loud hilarious, though does somewhat disgrace and destroy the majesty of the original.
My rating: 3.5/5*

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