Wednesday, November 14, 2012
The Lion King II: Simba's Pride (1998)
Okay so a few days ago, I was flipping channels to record a TV show when I came across one of the Disney channels that was about to play this movie. Since this was a film I use to watch back when I was growing up, I decided to record it as well and see how it is now that I'm all grown up and have a much clearer knowledge about film and with what's good or bad and all that stuff. So here's my review for The Lion King II: Simba's Pride.
Plot: After the events of the first film, Simba and Nala have a daughter named Kiara, whom Simba becomes over-protective over her by frequently telling her not to go to the Outlands where a group of lions who are loyal to Scar have been banished. Kiara ignores this and goes to the Outlands where she bumps into and befriends a cub named Kovu who is designated to be Scar's heir, and befriends him. But Simba and Kovu's mother, Zira find them and have a face-off. Later Zira comes up with the idea to train Kovu where once he's grown up, he'll use his old friendship with Kiara to kill Simba and become the king of the Pride Lands.
Okay so what is bad about this movie? Well first of all, the title. I say that because A) considering the title is Simba's PRIDE, people will tend to interpret it the wrong way. Trust me on that. I've experienced it before where me and a group of people are talking about The Lion King and then someone's all "they did make a second movie that was basically their version of Romeo and Juliet" and I say "Yeah I know, The Lion King II: Simba's Pride"...and then most of the people are chuckling and I act all "Don't look at me, that's actually what it's called." And B) I don't think Simba's name should've been in there at all because quite frankly, he wasn't the center of attention in this movie. Other then that, the problems with the film are often mentioned in the reviews for it: it is not as close to as big and majestic as the first movie. And the first...15 minutes or so were structured almost exactly like the beginning of The Lion King from the beginning to after "Be Prepared" (I don't know how much of the first film is that, but the second film was structured almost precisely like those first particular scenes of the first film.) Another problem is that the dialogue is goofy, or at least some of the choices of dialogue sound off and don't make sense. Also the comedy with Timon and Pumbaa is pretty much - as one critic roughly puts it - low humor that the kids at least will enjoy. That point I can especially vouch for because as a kid, I did enjoy their humor. Heck, even though I know now that the comedy isn't really that good, I still sort of enjoyed it in a certain way for old times sake when I saw this movie again . And finally there's a set of plot holes that you can easily notice. My main example, *WARNING SPOILERS* is how they didn't really explain the story of Zira and her family. I mean we understand that Scar was apparently her mate and that Nuka and Vatani are their children but Kovu is Zira's son but not Scar's...but that's not exactly explained how. I mean if Scar did have this family, why was there no Zira and her followers aiding Scar and the Hyenas in the first movie? And more importantly, how is it that Kovu's not Scar's son and yet was appointed BY Scar to be his heir before he died. I mean my best guess is that he didn't know he wasn't his child or something like that, but none of that is explained at all. It's just Zira: Scar's mate, Nuka and Vatiani: their children and Kovu: Zira's son not Scar's but appointed by him to be his heir anyway. *END OF SPOILERS* But all of these issues aside the movie is sort of...okay. I mean the idea is nice, some of the songs like "My Lullaby" and "Not One of Us" - while hardly close to the grandness that the soundtrack in the first film had - were a little enjoyable, and the story altogether had a good way of finishing the story of The Lion King. I guess with that said, at the end of the day, while being among the LEAST awful Disney sequels (aside from The Rescuers Down Under and Winnie the Pooh which were actually good sequels), The Lion King II: Simba's Pride is roughly how I felt about Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas: I grew up with both movies, I know they're bad, but at the same time, I can't help but feel that somewhere there's a good movie buried very, very deep somewhere within the idea or some of the aspects of both movies.
And that's my review for The Lion King II: Simba's Pride. It's more of a film that you're most likely to enjoy only if you're a kid like I was when I was growing up with this movie, but otherwise it's just a poor successor to the first film that deep down I feel could've been so much better.