This Friday, The Lion King returns to theaters for a limited 3-D engagement. This, no doubt, is to promote the film’s upcoming Diamond Edition release on Blu-ray Oct. 4 and singe-disc DVD re-release Nov. 15.
My family and I got to go to an advance screening last month and while it was great to see this classic again on the big screen, I was less than impressed with the 3-D aspects. In fact, I hardly noticed them.
The least they could have done was introduce some harmless addition, perhaps something unique to the Broadway version, as Disney did with the “Human Again” sequence for the Beauty and the Beast DVD release. (I am sadly unfamiliar with the stage show version, though I hope to remedy that one day, so I can’t say what such an addition would be — or even if there is a good candidate.)
I thought many of the opening scenes, some of the earliest and most subtle CGI work by Disney, already had a 3-D quality about them, and I noticed no significant difference this time around.
So while it may be a novelty to see Zazu’s backside in glorious 3-D as he comes in for a landing on Pride Rock in the opening “Circle of Life” sequence, there’s really not much spectacular to draw audiences to the theater — except for the fact that The Lion King remains a spectacle in and of itself with a fantastic soundtrack, and it’s a great opportunity to introduce the film to your cubs the way it ought to be experienced: on the big screen.
Image courtesy of Walt Disney Studios