The Lion King (2019) 4K Blu-ray Review
By Chris Heinonen on
The Lion King Summary
In The Lion King, Simba idolizes his father, King Mufasa, and takes to heart his own royal destiny. But not everyone in the kingdom celebrates the new cub’s arrival. Scar, Mufasa’s brother — and former heir to the throne — has plans of his own. The battle for Pride Rock is ravaged with betrayal, tragedy and drama, ultimately resulting in Simba’s exile. With help from a curious pair of newfound friends, Simba will have to figure out how to grow up and take back what is rightfully his.
The live-action remake of The Lion King doesn’t stray far from the animated original. Some dialogue is a bit different but the overall film is the same as the original classic. While I don’t hold the same love for this one as the original, I don’t think they needed to remake this, my kids enjoyed it more than the original. Disney did an amazing job with how the film looks, as you never felt like what you are seeing on-screen is as fake as it likely has to be. For grown-ups that remember watching the original as kids, I think you can pass on this remake. If you have kids then this remake is something they’re going to enjoy.
The Lion King Technical Review
The Lion King was shot on Alexa 65 cameras at 6.5K resolution, but due to all the digital manipulation required it was finished at 2K resolution. It comes as a standard HDR10 disc with no Dolby Vision layer, and the metadata is once again absent on this Disney release. The display data makes it look like a Sony LCD BVM or another similar display was used in mastering and not an OLED or Pulsar. Aside from the 2K digital intermediate, this presentation is fantastic. The on-screen image is incredibly detailed, from the beautiful landscapes to the close-ups of the animals. HDR is used well for sunrises and sunsets, along with good depth to the shadows. Because there isn’t a 4K master, even though the source material is such high resolution, this can’t hit the highs that MI: Fallout does for pure resolution, but that is the only real failing.
The soundtrack here is good, but not as dynamic as it could be. One of the more memorable audio moments of the original Lion King is the note that accompanies the logo after the presentation of Simba. That is here, but is a bit restrained, even with the volume turned up. The rampage of the wildebeests does a good job of using all the Atmos channels to make you feel as surrounded and threatened as Simba is. The songs sound clear and vocals are clean, it’s just another semi-restrained Disney audio track. Perhaps this is how some people want it for their living room, but in that case they should give those listeners a more compressed 5.1 track and leave uncompressed Atmos for the home theaters.
- Perfecting the Pride – Join the filmmakers on their research trip to Africa as they immerse themselves in the real world of “The Lion King.” From the animals in the pride, to the smallest of insects and the grasslands in the savanna, experience the attention to detail that brought the film to life.
- The Journey to “The Lion King” –
- The Music – Go inside the studio with the cast and crew as they work to honor and elevate The Lion King’s beloved music.
- The Magic – Discover how the filmmakers blended the traditional filmmaking techniques with virtual reality technology to create amazing movie magic.
- The Timeless Tale – Filmmakers and cast reflect on the story that has moved generations and share how this Lion King carries a proud legacy forward.
- More to Be Scene – Recording studio and layer-by-layer progressions of some of most iconic moments in “The Lion King.”
- “Circle of Life” – Peel back the layers of effects and go behind the scenes of this iconic musical moment from the film
- “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King” – See all the effects, talent and fun that went into creating this vibrant version of “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King” for the movie
- “Hakuna Matata” – Join Donald Glover (Simba), Seth Rogen (Pumbaa) and Billy Eichner (Timon) in the studio for the making of this memorable scene.
- Music Videos
- “Never Too Late” (lyric video) by Elton John
- “Spirit” performed by Beyoncé Knowles-Carter
- Filmmaker Introduction
- Audio Commentary – By Director Jon Favreau.
- Song Selection
- “Circle of Life”
- “I Just Can’t Wait to be King”
- “Be Prepared”
- “Hakuna Matata”
- “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”
- “Never Too Late”
- Digital Exclusive – Pride Lands Pedia —Dung beetle shares the importance of his “roll” in the African Savanna in a fun, bug’s eye view of the land and its inhabitants.
Sony A1E OLED, Panasonic UB820 UltraHD Blu-ray Player, KEF Ci5160RL-THX Fronts, Ci3160RL-THX Center, 2x Ci200RR-THX Surrounds, 4x CI200RR-THX Atmos Speakers, Anthem MRX 1120 Receiver, Power Sound Audio Subwoofer.
Grown-ups that remember the original might not find much here, but kids will enjoy it, very good image quality.
The soundtrack isn't as dynamic as I would like it to be.
If you remember watching The Lion King but your kids don't, or if they enjoy the original, then the 2019 live-action remake is an enjoyable viewing. It doesn't add anything to the original, but it is still a good story and the image quality is very good.