I recently “reviewed” The Lion King (if you could call that a review), and now I’ve watched the sequel. It’s been a really long time since I’ve seen it. I saw it when it first came out, which was twenty years ago this year, so I hadn’t seen it in twenty years. Wow, wording it like that really makes you feel old. . .
Anyway, since I hadn’t seen it since I was 10, I didn’t really remember much about it. All I knew was that so many people called it one of the worst sequels ever made and talked about how it’s a prime example of Disney cranking out pointless straight-to-video sequels. That’s part of the reason I’ve put off watching it after rewatching the first one for the millionth time.
But today I’m really bored so decided to put it in. I’m a member of the Disney Movie Club, after they do featured titles each month. If you don’t decline then they send them to you anyway and bill you for it. They recently had The Lion King II and The Lion King 1.5 as featured titles the same month. I forgot to decline. So now I accidentally own the whole trilogy on Blu-ray.
But is it as bad as everyone has been saying? You’d probably think that the fact I made this a Desolation of Blog post instead of a Casabloga post says that I think it is. But if it really was, I just wouldn’t post this at all. Just like with my Casabloga review of The Lion King, so much has been said about it that I couldn’t think of anything new to add, I just did that post because I wanted to add it to my Casabloga list. With Desolation of Blog, there is no list. SO much negativity has been thrown at Simba’s Pride that if I really thought it was that bad, I would just move on.
The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride isn’t Casabloga good, but it is still good. It isn’t a pointless film, and it definitely furthers the story. You even get character development from characters you know well. Most notably from Simba himself. In the first film, he’s presented as a perfect king with no (or limited) flaws. He’s basically good personified. But in the sequel, he’s honestly a bit of a jerk through most of the film.
Between the films, he had banished Scars’ entire family to the Outlands. He now has a blind rage towards all of them, even Kovu, Scars’ chosen heir, though he had nothing to do with Scar and wasn’t even his son. Kovu rescues Kiara, Simba’s daughter, and he still doesn’t trust him. Granted, Kovu was part of a plot to kill him, but he didn’t know that.
It doesn’t take long for Kiara to melt his heart and they fall in love. Over the course of a musical number, you can practically see his heart melt. He goes from cold and calculated before the song, to loose and laughing at the end and stays that way for most of the rest of the film.
I think that the reason this film gets so much hate is because it’s unfairly compared to the original. It’s nowhere near as good as the original, and I don’t think it was meant to be. This isn’t as big of a story as that one was, and yet the outcome is the reunification of the Pride Lands. Not to mention that the songs aren’t as memorable as the first one’s, except maybe He Lives In You, which is so good that they used it in The Lion King Musical, which is based on the first film, not this one.
While this may not be as good as the original, I still feel it’s worth checking out. I give it a 7 or of 10.