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Lion King returns but it's harder to feel the love


Life moves in a circle, The Lion King tells us, and, increasingly, so does studio moviemaking.


Close on the heels of "live-action" remakes of Aladdin and Dumbo and on the precipice of a reborn The Little Mermaid, 'The Lion King is back, too. Round and round we go. Cue Savannah sunrise. Cue "Naaaants ingonyama bagithi baba!"

继《阿拉丁》和《小飞象》真人版翻拍,小美人鱼在悬崖上重生,《狮子王》也回来了。我们绕了一圈又一圈。Cue大草原的日出,Cue“Naaaants ingonyama bagithi baba!”


The remakes have themselves been a mixed bag offering some combination of modern visual effects, fresh casting and narrative tweaks to catch up more dated material to the times. Don't count on a new Song of the South, but much of the Disney library will soon have been outfitted with digital clothes for the Internet era.


It's easy to greet these remakes both cynically and a little eagerly. In the case of The Lion King, the songs are still good, the Shakespearean story still solid. And, well, Beyonce's in it.


And yet Jon Favreau's The Lion King, so abundant with realistic simulations of the natural world, is curiously lifeless.


然而,乔恩·费儒(Jon Favreau)的《狮子王》(The Lion King)充满了对自然界的真实模拟,却出奇地死气沉沉。

The most significant overhaul to an otherwise slavishly similar retread is the digital animation rendering of everything, turning the film's African grasslands and its animal inhabitants into a photo-realistic menagerie.


The Disney worlds of cartoon and nature documentary have finally merged.


It's an impressive leap in visual effects, which included Favreau, cinematographer Caleb Descehanel and VFX chief Rob Legato making use of virtual-reality environments.

费儒,电影摄影师Caleb Descehanel和视觉特效总监Rob Legato在影片中使用了虚拟现实环境,不得不说这是视觉效果上的一次飞跃。

Some of the computer-generated makeovers are beautiful. Mufasa, the lion king voiced again by James Earl Jones, is wondrously regal, and his mane might be the most majestic blonde locks since Robert Redford. And the grass stalks of the pride lands shimmer in the African sunlight.

有些电脑生成的画面非常漂亮。由詹姆斯·厄尔·琼斯(James Earl Jones)再次配音的狮子王木法沙(Mufasa)极具帝王气质,他的鬃毛可能是自罗伯特·雷德福(Robert Redford)以来最高贵的金发。骄傲之地的草杆在非洲的阳光下闪闪发光。

But it's a hollow victory. By turning the elastic, dynamic hand-drawn creations of Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff's 1994 original into realistic-looking animals, The Lion King has greatly narrowed its spectrum of available expressions.

但这只是一个空洞的胜利。当将罗杰·阿勒斯(Roger Allers)和罗伯·明科夫(Rob Minkoff) 1994年的原创作品《狮子王》(the Lion King)中富有弹性、充满活力的手绘作品变成了逼真的动物,狮子王已大大缩小了其情感表达的范围。

Largely lost are the kinds of characterization that can flow from voice actor to animation. (Think of how closely fused Tom Hanks is with Woody in the "Toy Story" movies.)


Here, most of the starry voice actors (including Donald Glover as the grown-up lion prince Simba, Beyonce as the older lioness Nala and Chiwetel Ejiofor as the villainous Scar) feel remote from their characters. And, in many cases, so do we.


It's worth asking: Just how real do we need our talking animals? Do we need the feathered majordomo Zazu (voiced by John Oliver) to look enough like a red-billed hornbill to win the approval of avid birders?

值得一问的是:我们到底有多需要会说话的动物?我们需要长着羽毛的Zazu少校(由John Oliver配音),看起来足够像一只红嘴犀鸟,来赢得狂热的观鸟者的认可吗?


The Lion King may well be a pivotal stepping stone toward CGI splendors to come, but for now, it feels like realism has been substituted for enchantment.


That doesn't stop an army of top craft professionals and an enviable voice cast from doing their best to inject some vitality into The Lion King.


The familiar songs by Elton John and Tim Rice are back, along with a new tune by Rice and Beyonce, though this time, the score by Hans Zimmer, with Lebo M., feels more airy and buoyant.


Yet the degree to which this Lion King mimics the first is disappointing. (Jeff Nathanson gets a solo writing credit but scene-to-scene the film hues extremely close to the original.)

然而,这次狮子王对第一部的高度模仿令人失望。(杰夫·内特森(Jeff Nathanson)获得了独立编剧的荣誉,但电影的场景与场景之间的色调非常接近原著。)

There's a sound case to be made that the tale, which has been running on Broadway for more than 20 years, needs little revision.


The life expectancy of Disney classics has begun to feel more like a hamster wheel than a circle of life, and it's getting harder and harder to feel the love.


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