The Lion King – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 1994 film The Lion King.

Story

The story is an extremely simple retelling of Hamlet with a little less brooding. It’s iconic and still believable. It’s not perfect, but it’s pretty good.

Score: 0.5

Characters

The characters are fun and have believable arcs. I find it extremely strange that Simba and Nala have separate voice and song actors. I have also always found Simba miscast at both ages.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

The dialogue is extremely clever and the one liners are part of any Disney fans vocabulary. There’s little dialogue in the movie that doesn’t have more than one meaning and that’s a lot of fun.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

The movie is beautiful and the animation, especially right at the beginning, is spectacular.

I’ve seen the shows at Disney and heard parts of the Broadway play. Both are a little richer and cleaner. However, the music in this is wonderful. The opening song is one of my favourite opening sequences.

Score: 1

Fun

Older Disney movies are hard for me to judge the fun factor because they are so enmeshed with nostalgia. However, my kids were glued to the screen and my four year old gasped in all the right places.

Score: 1

Overall

Other than a few awkward jokes (and some miscasting in my opinion) the movie has aged extremely well and is worth watching just for the opening sequence. This is a movie that all ages will and have loved.

Final Score: 4 Stars out of 5

Monsters, Inc. – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2001 Monsters, Inc.

Story

Behind a cutesy story there’s a lot of great messages and social commentary. I’m a huge fan of the moment Sully realizes that what he’s always been told was the right thing to do actually hurt people. That moment was extremely relatable. The subtext of child labour, exploitation of others, and being a good person doesn’t mean you always do good things, are still very powerful.

Score: 1

Characters

A little bit of an odd couple, but with a great friendship, Sully and Mike are the heart of the movie. They are genuinely nice people who’ve been socialized to do bad things. It’s a wonderful dichotomy. The rest of the cast are a little less nuanced, but show different aspects of how this society molds people.

Score: 1

Dialogue

Every time I watch this movie I’m shocked by the amount of things in it that I’ve integrated into my everyday. From “Put that thing back where you found it or so help me” to “Follow the sultry sounds of my voice.”

The wonderful thing about the dialogue is that most of it does double or triple duty; humour, character development, and world building.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

At now 20 years old, the 3D rendering does look dated. Especially compared to newer Disney or Pixar. That being said, the hair particles and snow are stunning. The character design is well balanced between creepy and funny. Even dated, it looks great and the attention to detail is amazing.

Score: 1

Fun

This is the hardest category to judge. I watched this one in theatres and it’s a staple in our house. My daughter was glued to the screen when she was younger and she was still glued this time. My son sat and watched the entire time, although he was pretty freaked out at the beginning. He loved Boo and kept asking for her when she wasn’t on screen.

Score: 1

Overall

A classic film with all the heart and levels that Pixar is so great at. Its warmth and humour make it a joy to watch. Even twenty years after, the hair and snow animations are amazing. I’ll be honest, I’m not objective since this is one of my top ten movies of all time.

Final Score: 5*


*A 5 star review doesn’t mean the movie was perfect nor that it is perfect for everyone but it is a movie I believe is as close to perfect as possible.