Reviews - The Lion King (1994)
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The Lion King (1994)

Genres: Animation, Adventure, Drama

Taglines: Life's greatest adventure is finding your place in the Circle of Life.

Director: Roger Allers, Rob Minkoff

Writers: Irene Mecchi, Jonathan Roberts, Linda Woolverton, Brenda Chapman, ...

Stars: Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Matthew Broderick, James Earl Jones, Jeremy Irons, ...

A young lion Prince is cast out of his pride by his cruel uncle, who claims he killed his father. While the uncle rules with an iron paw, the prince grows up beyond the Savannah, living by a philosophy: No worries for the rest of your days. But when his past comes to haunt him, the young Prince must decide his fate: will he remain an outcast, or face his demons and become what he needs to be?

100 | Jami Bernard

Pure, eye-popping pleasure.
Read More: New York Daily News

100 | Peter Travers

A hugely entertaining blend of music, fun and eye-popping thrills, though it doesn't lack for heart.
Read More: Rolling Stone

91 | Owen Gleiberman

Has the resonance to stand not just as a terrific cartoon but as an emotionally pungent movie.
Read More: Entertainment Weekly


A timeless classic, full of excitement, humor, witty asides and memorable characters.

90 | Desson Thomson

This is the Mickey Mouse factory at its finest, with inventive animation, stirring music and a pride of inspired, almost-human animals.
Read More: Washington Post

88 | James Berardinelli

There are moments of fun and humor, to be sure, but the undercurrent is of a far more serious, "adult" nature. The Lion King is primarily about guilt and redemption.
Read More: ReelViews

88 | Roger Ebert

Basically what we have here is a drama, with comedy occasionally lifting the mood. The result is a surprising seriousness; this isn't the mindless romp with cute animals.
Read More: Chicago Sun-Times

80 | Jeremy Gerard

A dazzling -- and unexpectedly daring -- addition to the Disney canon.
Read More: Variety

78 | Robert Faires

It's a thumping good adventure.
Read More: Austin Chronicle

75 | Rick Groen

For all the undeniable merits, it somehow feels manufactured, and thus, to a degree, calculated - the product not of a collective imagination taking esthetic chances, but of an imaginative collective putting the rivets into a well-wrought plan that can't go awry.
Read More: The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

70 | Jonathan Rosenbaum

The result is a step toward multiculturalism and ecological correctness, though not without a certain amount of confusion. The movie is not quite as entertaining as "The Little Mermaid" or "Beauty and the Beast."
Read More: Chicago Reader

63 | 2011-09-12 | Rob Humanick

Although far from the worst offender in Disney's canon, The Lion King is nevertheless host to many of the less savory qualities common to the studio's output.
Read More: Slant Magazine

60 | Staff (Not credited)

The film has some of Disney's most spectacular animation yet -- particularly in the wildebeest stampede -- and strong vocal performances, especially by skilled Broadway comedian Nathan Lane. However, it suffers from a curiously undeveloped story line.
Read More: TV Guide Magazine

50 | Hal Hinson

Shakespearean in tone, epic in scope, it seems more appropriate for grown-ups than for kids. If truth be told, even for adults it is downright strange.
Read More: Washington Post