The King is Back
By Paul Morrone CFP®, CPA/PFS, MSA
Before the days of Netflix, on demand and streaming video, our TV watching options were limited to what we had in our VHS inventory and whatever was playing on TV at the time. There was no such thing as binge-watching TV shows, and you had to go to Tommy K’s or Blockbuster to get the latest video tape of the movies you wanted to watch. With the digitizing of the TV and movie watching experience came a modernization of the movies themselves. As the ‘old’ versions slowly get phased out in favor of newer, more ‘modern’ takes on the originals, I begin to question whether that is really a good thing. During the past few years, many of the classics I grew up with have been remade including Cinderella, The Jungle Book and Beauty and the Beast, with several more on the horizon in the next couple of years. I really hadn’t been excited for any of them, until now.
Over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, Disney released the first trailer of the Lion King and I’m ashamed to admit I’ve watched it nearly a dozen times since I saw it on TV on Thanksgiving Day. Hearing James Earl Jones (now at age 87!) as Mufasa brought me right back to my childhood and watching Rafiki hold Simba over Pride Rock as “Circle of Life” plays in the background still gives me goosebumps from head to toe. I used to watch the original version any time I could find it on TV and had a VHS backup just in case. I think most people from my generation would agree that the Lion King is a movie for the ages.
Much like many of the classic James Bond films from the 70s got remade in the 90s and early 2000s, we are now seeing a lot of the children’s animated movies come back in CGI as computer animation technology continues to evolve. While there is definitely more of a ‘wow’ factor as animation becomes more realistic, the simplicity and innocence of the original cartoons has a nostalgic factor that the new movies just can’t match. The difference, at least for me, is that many of these movies are the ones I grew up watching, and I have a sentimental attachment to the original cartoons.
Maybe this latest version of the Lion King will be the one to change my tune on the new generation of the Disney classics. Maybe it won’t. While we have yet to see the final product (we’ll have to wait until July 2019 for that), the teaser has certainly done its job and piqued the interest of many. The internet went crazy once it was released, and I’ve even seen it mentioned on many talk shows and news programs since. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.