We all have a special place in our heart for Disney movies. It’s not because they’re action-packed, nor do they always keep you on the edge of your seat in the theater. We love the Disney classics because they are movies for everyone. Disney movies don’t have any one audience. There’s something in the movies for everyone. This communal feeling of joy and experience makes these movies so special. That’s why, when we heard that The Lion King was coming back in theaters this summer, all of our nostalgia kicked in as we prepared ourselves for The Lion King remake. The Lion King, a family classic, is back in theaters, but with a high-tech twist. The visuals in The Lion King truly represent everything that motion picture is able to accomplish today, transporting viewers to the African savanna. Cartoons are gone – it’s real life.
We attended Bloomingdale’s pre-screening of The Lion King, and we’ve got the scoop on the movie review, Bloomingdale’s Carousel shop, where to watch The Lion King, and more! There are three main takeaways we got from this movie as compared to the original movie. First, if you cried during the original version, you better bring a tissue box (or two) to this one. Not only is the bond between Simba and Mufasa set up brilliantly, but the visuals heighten the emotional impact. Because everything in the movie looks so real, it also feels more real. An especially sad scene, that perhaps little ones should look away during, is when Simba goes down to help his father, and he tries to get him up, but Mufasa is dead. There’s no other word to describe this scene but heartbreaking.
We love Mufasa and Simba’s father-son relationship. Photo by IMDb.
This brings me to the next takeaway, which is that The Lion King achieves the perfect balance between emotion and humor. One minute I was crying, and the next I was laughing at Pumbaa and Timon. You really can’t stay sad for long, because right after Mufasa’s death, Simba finds Pumbaa and Timon, and the duo is absolutely hilarious. The jokes were definitely amped up in this version of the movie, and they’re very kid-friendly. Kids will surely get a kick out of Pumbaa and Timon – they might even end up being their favorite characters (Timon was mine)!
Finally, with Beyoncé in The Lion King cast, you can expect amazing vocals. The music speaks for itself in this movie with Beyoncé as Nala, Billy Eichner as Timon, Seth Rogen as Pumbaa, Alfre Woodard as Sarabi, JD McCrary as young Simba, Donald Glover as grown Simba, Shahadi Wright Joseph as Nala, and Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar. A side tip with Scar’s character: he is much scarier in this movie. With the very real visuals, the changes to Scar’s iconic song, “Be Prepared,” and his insistence that Sarabi be his queen when he becomes king, Scar is a true villain. If you have really little ones, they might get scared during Scar’s “Be Prepared” or other scenes with Scar, so just be aware!
The Lion King cast is amazing! Photo by IMDb.
A bonus takeaway: we loved the heightened female presence in this version. Nala has much more of a role when she runs away to seek help and she has many more singing lines. Sarabi is a strong female who refuses to be Scar’s queen – she’s not scared, and she even fights him! There’s also this amazing scene, in which Nala calls out for the support of the female lions to challenge Scar, and they all unite together in strength and courage. Female empowerment is very much present in The Lion King, and we’re here for it!
Nala is a strong female lion to root for in The Lion King! Photo by IMDb.
The private screening we attended was hosted by Bloomingdale’s, who’s Carousel shop now features Style Kingdom. Actress Florence Kasumba, who plays the voice of Shenzi in The Lion King, curated the shop, and she also made a special appearance at the pre-screening! Style Kingdom features African-themed products, including incredibly stylish, animal-printed clothes. The shop will be open through September 2nd, so be sure to visit before then.
Check out some of the clothes at Style Kingdom!
There are plenty of movie theaters in NYC to see The Lion King, but we recommend that you pre-purchase your tickets if you’re planning to see it on opening night (or even in a few days after). Conveniency is always a priority, so we want to make sure that you know of the movie theaters closest to you. Here are a few movie theaters, by borough, to see The Lion King on opening night:
247 West 42nd St., Midtown Manhattan
3D: 6:00 pm, 9:00 pm, Standard: 6:30 pm, 7:00 pm, 7:30 pm, 8:00 pm, 8:15 pm, 8:30 pm, 9:30 pm, 10:15 pm, 10:30 pm, 11:00 pm, 11:15 pm, 11:30 pm
260 West 23rd St., Chelsea
Standard: 6:30 pm, 7:00 pm, 8:15 pm, 8:45 pm, 9:30 pm, 10:00 pm
1998 Broadway, Upper West Side
IMAX 3D: 6:00 pm, IMAX: 9:00 pm, 12:00 am, 3D: 6:00 pm, 9:15 pm, Standard: 6:00 pm, 6:30 pm, 7:00 pm, 7:30 pm, 8:00 pm, 8:30 pm, 8:50 pm, 9:30 pm, 10:00 pm, 10:30 pm, 11:00 pm, 11:30 pm, 11:45 pm
570 Second Av., Kips Bay
3D: 6:00 pm, 6:30 pm, 7:15 pm, 7:30 pm, 9:00 pm, 9:30 pm, 10:15 pm,10:20 pm, 10:30 pm, Standard: 6:45 pm, 7:00 pm, 7:45 pm, 8:30 pm, 9:45 pm, 10:00 pm, 11:00 pm, 11:30 pm
1170 Coney Island Ave., Coney Island
3D: 6:00 pm, 8:00 pm, Standard: 10:00 pm
265 Court St., Cobble Hill
Standard: 6:00 pm, 7:00 pm, 8:45 pm, 9:45 pm
Alamo Drafthouse Downtown Brooklyn
445 Albee Square West, Downtown Brooklyn
Standard: 6:00 pm, 6:15 pm, The Lion King Opening Night Fan Event: 5:00 pm
217 Grand St., Williamsburg
Standard: 6:00 pm, 7:00 pm, 8:45 pm, 9:45 pm
190-02 Horace Harding Blvd., Fresh Meadows
IMAX 2D: 6:00 pm, 8:45 pm, 11:30 pm, 3D: 6:30 pm, 9:15 pm, 12:00 am, Standard: 7:45 pm, 10:30 pm, 11:45 pm, 12:30 pm, 12:45 pm, 1:00 am, 1:15 am
211-01 26th Ave., Bayside
Standard: 6:00 pm, 6:30 pm, 7:00 pm, 7:30 pm, 9:00 pm, 9:30 pm, 10:00 pm, 10:15 pm
103-22 Queens Blvd., Forest Hills
3D: 6:20 pm, 9:20 pm, 10:30 pm, Standard: 6:00 pm, 7:30 pm, 9:00 pm, 10:00 pm
15902 Jamaica Ave., Jamaica
3D: 6:30 pm, 6:40 pm, 9:50 pm, 10:00 pm, Standard: 6:00 pm, 6:15 pm, 6:45 pm, 7:00 pm, 9:30 pm, 9:45 pm, 10:15 pm, 10:30 pm
Bronx & Staten Island
2210 Bartow Ave., Baychester, Bronx
3D: 6:30 pm, 7:00 pm, 8:00 pm, 9:30 pm, 10:00 pm, Standard: 6:00 pm, 7:30 pm, 9:00 pm, 10:30 pm
214 East 161st St., Concourse Village, Bronx
3D: 6:30 pm, 10:00 pm, 10:30 pm, Standard: 6:00 pm, 6:15 pm, 9:30 pm, 9:45 pm
680 Arthur Kill Road, Staten Island
Digital: 6:00 pm, 8:30 pm, APEX: 7:30 pm, 10:00 pm
2474 Forest Ave., Staten Island
RPX: 6:00 pm, 9:00 pm, 2D: 6:30 pm, 7:30 pm, 8:00 pm, 9:30 pm, 10:30 pm, 3D: 7:00 pm, 10:00 pm
Although Scar is the villain in The Lion King, he said it best in his song, be prepared for this epic remake of The Lion King. From tears to laughter to feelings of joy and nostalgia, The Lion King has everything you could want in a movie for families. No matter if your kids are infants, toddlers, elementary school age, or teenagers, they will surely appreciate the movie. Grab your popcorn, and head to a movie theater to catch The Lion King on opening night!