Edinburgh Film Festival 2011/ Take 11

Day 11

The Lion King 3-D *****

Director Roger Allers & Rob Minkoff/ 89 mins 

What would be the best way to close a troubled Film Festival? Showing the UK Premiere of The Lion King 3-D of course. Families across the country came in their droves to witness the fantastic spectacle for themselves.


Before the screening, viewers had the first glimpse of Pixar’s next animated masterpiece Brave. The film is set in the Scottish Highlands and revolves around Merida (Kelly MacDonald), a skilled archer and impetuous daughter of King Fergus (Billy Connolly) and Queen Elinor (Emma Thompson).  Determined to carve her own path in life, Merida defies an age-old custom sacred to the uproarious lords of the land: massive Lord MacGuffin (Kevin McKidd), surly Lord Macintosh (Craig Ferguson) and cantankerous Lord Dingwall (Robbie Coltrane).  Merida’s actions inadvertently unleash chaos and fury in the kingdom, and when she turns to an eccentric old Wise Woman (Julie Walters) for help, she is granted an ill-fated wish.  The ensuing peril forces Merida to discover the meaning of true bravery in order to undo a beastly curse before it’s too late.


Although the teaser trailer was extremely brief and did not give anything away, it did show off the stunning animation that we have accustomed to from Pixar. It also appears that they have been respectful to our Scottish culture and folklore.


After the trailer, the audience was treated to a special performance of the Circle of Life with Brown Lindiwe Mkhize  from the West End musical giving a breathtaking solo performance.


Then came the moment all Disney fans were waiting for, the main feature. Walt Disney Animation Studios have spent three years converting the animated classic into 3-D and it clearly shows. The job they have done here is fantastic and brings more depth and scope to the images. The backgrounds in particular are spectacular and work really well. The fire, rain, blowing leaves and flying sequences float out of the screen. While Scar’s chin seems to point directly to the audience. Unfortunately the stampede sequence does not work as well, but this is a minor problem as the film looks spectacular in 3-D.


The film is over 17 years old and is still The Disney Company’s best technically hand drawn animated movie. As they have already demonstrated with Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, a 2-D animated film can be converted to 3-D if the job is done right. With The Lion King 3-D they have given a whole new dimension of fun to families of all ages for years to come. What a great way to end the Edinburgh International Film Festival.


Reviewed by Paul Logan







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