Starring: Matthew Broderick, Neve Campbell, Andy Dick
Director: Darrell Rooney, Rob LaDuca
Running Time: 81 mins
The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride is an American film and the sequel to The Lion King. After taking control of the pridelands and giving birth to a adventurous young daughter, Simba must overcome his differences with Scar’s loyalist tribe as his daughter falls in love with a young lion from outside the pridelands.
Now, following on from one of the greatest animated films of all time, this was always going to be a bit of a disappointing sequel, but this is even more than that. It really fails to capture the amazing combination of family fun and great music with hard-hitting emotion and powerful drama, and becomes simply a generic Disney movie with a predictable story and boring characters.
The one thing that makes The Lion King stand out throughout history is the fact that it was so emotional and dramatic, especially for a kids’ film, however this is a significantly more watered-down version of that, with little actual emotional intrigue or power at any point that would engross you more in the lives of the characters involved in the way that you did in the first film.
What’s more is that the characters themselves become significantly more dull and one-dimensional in comparison to the first film. There, they were so easy to relate to, and felt so much like human characters, whereas here, the idea of it being a cartoon is so much more obvious, and there’s nothing particularly interesting built on about Simba or Timon and Pumbaa, nor anything interesting brought in about the new younger characters, who form a very unconvincing love that isn’t strong enough to support, rendering the drama in the latter stages of the film pointless.
Now, this is a kids’ film, and that’s why this whole loss of emotional drama shouldn’t be the main crime of this film, but it’s still a significant failure in comparison to the first film. However, this still doesn’t succeed in having the same sense of fun that the previous movie did, due to its predictable and generic storyline, boring characters, and, most surprisingly of all, dull soundtrack.
The Lion King soundtrack has to be right up there with some of the best of all time, but this doesn’t have anything like that quality of music. Of course, not being so interested in or entertained by the story has an impact on your enjoyment of the music, but the songs, whether they are attempted rehashes of the love ballads or the catchy tunes of the first film, never recapture that same feel, and that idea overall is the main reason why this gets a 6.3 from me.