The Lion King | Chicago Reader
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The Lion King

Where has Rafiki gone? The beloved mandrill voiced by Robert Guillaume in the first Lion King (1994) barely has a role in the 2019 reboot. The new movie suffers from the lack of his deranged, whimsical magic. The spectacular use of CGI makes the animals look very real, but emotions are hard to pick up on at times; this feels like an Animal Planet Africa special with an all-star cast. Seth Rogen as a body-positive singing warthog works well, and Billy Eichner steals the show as a meerkat with some funny one-liners, but Beyoncé’s voice on the soundtrack as lions run around the plains is probably the emotional highlight of the film. Watch this Lion King for the technical achievement and musical numbers, and then watch the original to feel satisfied.



  • Cyrill Geshev


  • Donald Glover
  • James Earl Jones
  • Beyoncé Knowles
  • Chiwetel Ejiofor
  • Seth Rogen
  • Billy Eichner
  • Alfre Woodard
  • John Kani
  • John Oliver
  • Keegan-Michael Key
  • Florence Kasumba
  • Eric André
  • JD McCrary
  • Shahadi Wright Joseph


  • Brenda Chapman
  • James Bentley
  • Jeff Nathanson


  • Angarag Davaasuren
  • David H. Venghaus Jr.
  • Debbi Bossi
  • Jeffrey Silver
  • Jim Shamoon
  • John Bartnicki
  • Jon Favreau
  • Karen Gilchrist
  • Mario Zvan
  • Peter Oberth
  • Thomas Schumacher
  • Tom C. Peitzman

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