Starring: Donald Glover, Seth Rogen, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Billy Eichner, John Oliver, Keegan-Michael Key, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, James Earl Jones, John Kani, Florence Kasumba, Eric Andre, Alfre Woodard
OUR RATING: ★★★☆☆
Live-action re-imagining of the 1994 Disney classic directed by Jon Favreau. The Lion King (2019) journeys to the African savanna where a future king is born. Simba (Donald Glover) idolizes his father, King Mufasa (James Earl Jones), and takes to heart his own royal destiny. But not everyone in the kingdom celebrates the new cub’s arrival. Scar (Chiwetel Ejiofor), Mufasa’s brother and former heir to the throne, has plans of his own. The battle for Pride Rock is ravaged with betrayal, tragedy and drama, ultimately resulting in Simba’s exile. With help from a curious pair of newfound friends, Pumbaa (Seth Rogen) and Timon (Billy Eichner), Simba will have to figure out how to grow up and take back what is rightfully his.
Our Favorite Quotes:'While others search for what they can take, a true king searches for what he can give.' - Mufasa (The Lion King) Click To Tweet 'A true king's power is his compassion.' - Sarabi (The Lion King) Click To Tweet
Scar: [to a mouse] Life’s not fair, is it, my little friend? While some are born to feast, others spend their lives in the dark, begging for scraps. The way I see it, you and I are exactly the same. We both want to find a way out.
Zazu: The king approaches! This is not a drill. His Majesty has requested an audience. Upon his entrance, you will rise and genuflect.
Scar: Zazu, you’ve made me lose my lunch.
Zazu: You will answer to Mufasa for missing the ceremony this morning.
Scar: I answer to no one.
Zazu: [as Scar approaches him threateningly] Scar? Scar. Scar. Scar, scar, scar, scar. No, no. Don’t look at me like that.
Scar: Are you hungry, Zazu? Perhaps we could have a bite together!
Zazu: [Scar lunges at him] You can’t eat me! It is forbidden to eat a member of the king’s court! Ow! No, please! Stop it!
Mufasa: [as Scar is about to eat Zazu] Scar!
Scar: Well, look who’s come down to mingle with the commoners.
Mufasa: Sarabi and I didn’t see you at the presentation of Simba.
Scar: Was that today? Must’ve slipped my mind. Of course I meant no disrespect towards His Majesty, or Sarabi. As you know, I have tremendous respect for the queen.
Zazu: As the king’s brother, you should’ve been first in line.
Scar: I was first in line. Or don’t you remember? That is, until the precious prince arrived.
Mufasa: Don’t turn your back on me, Scar.
Scar: Oh, no, Mufasa, perhaps you shouldn’t turn your back on me.
Mufasa: Is that a challenge?
Scar: I wouldn’t dream of challenging you again.
Zazu: A wise decision. You are no match for His Royalness.
Scar: Well, as far as brains go, I got the lion’s share. But when it comes to brute strength, I’m afraid my big brother will always rule.
Mufasa: Not always, Scar. One day, it’ll be my son who rules. Simba will be your king.
Scar: Then long live the king.
Mufasa: [referring to Scar] What am I going to do with him?
Zazu: Oh, come on. We both know he should’ve been expelled from the Pride Lands long ago.
Mufasa: He’s my brother, Zazu. This is his home. As long as I am king, that will never change.
Zazu: Well, there’s one in every family, sire. I had a cousin who thought he was a woodpecker. He slammed his head into trees, and our beaks aren’t built for it. He was concussed regularly.
Zazu: [Mufasa walks off] Oh, you’ve gone. Sire, coming back!
Mufasa: Look, Simba. Everything the light touches is our kingdom.
Young Simba: You rule all of that?
Mufasa: Yes. But a king’s time as ruler rises and falls like the sun. One day, Simba, the sun will set on my time here, and will rise with you as the new king.
Young Simba: All of this will belong to me?
Mufasa: It belongs to no one, but will be yours to protect. A great responsibility.
Mufasa: [to young Simba] While others search for what they can take, a true king searches for what he can give.
Mufasa: Everything you see exists together in a delicate balance. As king, you need to understand that balance and respect all the creatures, from the crawling ant to the leaping antelope.
Young Simba: But, dad, don’t we eat the antelope?
Mufasa: Yes, Simba. But let me explain. When we die, our bodies become the grass, and the antelope eat the grass. And so we are all connected in the great circle of life.
Scar: Go back to your den, Simba. I don’t babysit.
Young Simba: Babysit? I’m going to be the king of Pride Rock. My dad showed me the whole kingdom. Said I’m going to rule it all.
Scar: Is that so?
Young Simba: Think about it. When I’m king, I’ll have to give you orders. Tell you what to do. How weird is that?
Scar: You’ve no idea.
Zazu: Oh, how lovely it is to see the future king with his future queen. I could just molt.
Young Simba: What do you mean, “future queen”?
Zazu: Well, one day the two of you will be betrothed. Intended. Affianced.
Young Nala: Simba, you speak bird?
Zazu: Married! One day you will be married. To each other.
Young Simba and Nala: Ew!
Young Simba: Mm-mm. That’s not going to happen, Zazu.
Young Nala: Never ever.
Young Simba: Nala and I are friends.
Young Nala: [referring to young Simba] We are never getting married, Zazu.
Zazu: A monarch who ignores tradition? With an attitude like that, I’m afraid you’ll be a pretty pathetic king.
Young Simba: Well, I’m not letting anyone tell me where to go, what to do, and even who to marry. There will never be a king like me.
Zazu: Simba, you can’t escape your destiny.
Young Simba: Just watch.
Shenzi: [referring to young Simba and Nala] Now, this is a meal I’ve waited my whole life for. What an unexpected treat, to eat the son of a king.
Kamari: Wait a second, the king? As in you know who?
Azizi: Who rules you know where?
Shenzi: Mufasa does not rule me!
Young Simba: You can’t do anything to me, because I’m the future king!
Shenzi: He’s telling me what to do. His father’s strength flickering inside. I wonder how all that bravery will taste.
Zazu: [suddenly flies in between them] Let them go, Shenzi! They made a mistake, a horrible mistake! But if you do this, you will start a war with Mufasa!
Shenzi: Hyenas and lions have been at war since the beginning of time. But Mufasa’s bloodline will end here!
Mufasa: You deliberately disobeyed me.
Young Simba: I know.
Mufasa: You could have been killed. And what’s worse, you put Nala in danger. Do you understand what’s at stake? You jeopardized the future of our pride.
Young Simba: I just wanted to show you I could do it. That I could be brave like you.
Mufasa: I’m only brave when I have to be, when there’s no other choice.
Young Simba: But you’re not scared of anything.
Mufasa: I was today.
Young Simba: You were?
Mufasa: Yes. I thought I might lose you.
Young Simba: I guess even kings get scared, huh?
Mufasa: More than you could ever know.
Mufasa: Simba, let me tell you something my father told me. Look at the stars. The great kings of the past look down on us from those stars.
Young Simba: Really?
Mufasa: Yes. So whenever you feel alone, just remember that those kings will always be up there to guide you, and so will I.
Young Simba: But I can’t see them, dad.
Mufasa: Keep looking, son. Keep looking.
Azizi: Mufasa is strong. Like, way stronger than us.
Kamari: [lays right next to him] Please give me some space.
Kamari: You could lay anywhere in this cave.
Azizi: Where do you want me to…
Kamari: I need some personal space.
Kamari: Next time I see Mufasa, I’m going to teach him a lesson he will never forget.
Azizi: Well, you’re in luck! He’s right behind you.
Shenzi: [he turns and see Scar approaching] That’s not the king.
Scar: You fools have stripped your land of every living thing. And yet I send two little cubs your way, and they come back alive.
Kamari: I guess we’ll have to eat you instead.
Scar: Why eat one meal when you can be feasting the rest of your lives?
Shenzi: What could you possibly offer us?
Scar: A place where you can fill your bellies. Where everything the light touches is yours for the kill.
Shenzi: The Pride Lands are not yours to give. The king controls those hunting grounds.
Scar: That’s why we’re going to kill him.
Scar: Mufasa has always shown too much restraint when it comes to hunting. When I am king, the mighty will be free to take whatever they want. Because a hyena’s belly is never full.
Shenzi: Mufasa’s far too powerful to challenge.
Scar: Simba! What have you done?
Young Simba: [crying] It was a stampede. He tried to save me. It was an accident. I didn’t mean for it to…
Scar: Of course you didn’t. No one ever means for these things to happen. But the king is dead, and if it weren’t for you, he’d still be alive. Your father had such hopes for you, gave you so many chances. And this is how you repay him.
Young Simba: I didn’t know. I didn’t know.
Scar: Oh, what will your mother think? A son who causes his father’s death. A boy who kills a king.
Young Simba: What am I going to do?
Scar: Run. Run away, Simba. Run away, and never return!
Scar: [announcing to the pride] Mufasa’s death is a terrible tragedy. The greatest leader the pride has ever known. To lose a brother, such a deep, personal loss. And little Simba, who had barely begun to live. A cub whose blood held our future. It’s almost too much to endure. I only wish I had gotten to the gorge in time, been there to save them. And so, it is with a heavy heart that I must assume the throne. Mufasa and Simba are gone, which means I am your king. But I must admit, I cannot bear this burden alone. And I will need some help to ensure the safety of the pride.
Sarafina: [the hyenas start to surround them] Nala, stay close.
Scar: And so, from the ashes of this tragedy, we shall welcome the dawning of a new era. A great and glorious future!
Pumbaa: [referring to the unconscious Simba] Oh, no. It’s a little lion!
Timon: That is not a lion.
Pumbaa: Well then, go check it out. What is it?
Timon: That is not a lion, it’s a furry bird!
Pumbaa: It looks like a lion!
Timon: [goes over the to the unconscious Simba] That’s not a lion. Let me get a closer look. Excuse me. Alright, let me see what we’re dealing with here. It’s a lion! Run for your life, Pumbaa!
Pumbaa: [after discovering the Simba is a lion] Wait! Hey, Timon. Wait, Timon, wait! It’s a little lion!
Timon: It gets bigger.
Pumbaa: Can we keep him? Can we please keep him? Oh, oh, okay. I promise I’ll walk him every day. If he makes a little mess, I’ll clean it up.
Timon: You’ll be his little mess. He’s going to eat you and then use my body as a toothpick!
Pumbaa: But one day, when he’s big and strong, he’ll be on our side.
Timon: I’ve got it. What if he’s on our side? Hear me out! Having a ferocious lion around might not be such a bad idea.
Pumbaa: Well then, can we keep him?
Timon: Yes, of course we can keep him! My God, who is the brains of this operation?
Pumbaa: We’re going to name him Fred!
Pumbaa: I’m Pumbaa. This is Timon.
Timon: Did I mention that we saved your life?
Young Simba: It doesn’t matter.
Pumbaa: Woh. How bleak is that? It doesn’t even matter?
Timon: Like I don’t have enough that I’m dealing with, right? And now his problems are my problems?
Pumbaa: But we can help him. We’re in a position to help him.
Timon: So, how are you, in as few words as possible?
Young Simba: I did something terrible. I don’t want to talk about it.
Pumbaa: Look, kid, we’ve all made mistakes. There must be something we can do, right?
Young Simba: Not unless you can change the past.
Timon: Well, you know, that’s a lot to ask, if I’m being honest.
Pumbaa: That’s pretty hard. That’s a biggie.
Timon: I mean, change the past? It already happened.
Pumbaa: Yeah, so you can’t change that.
Timon: But you know what you can change? The future. That’s our specialty.
Pumbaa: Kind of our thing.
Young Simba: How can you change something that hasn’t happened?
Timon: Well, to change the future, you got to put your past behind you.
Pumbaa: Way behind.
Timon: Look, kid, bad things happen, and you can’t do anything about it, right?
Young Simba: Right.
Timon: Wrong! When the world turns its back on you, you turn your back on the world!
Pumbaa: And only embrace what’s next!
Timon: And turn the “what” into “so what”?
Young Simba: Well, that’s not what I was taught.
Timon: Well, then maybe you need a new lesson. Repeat after me, kid. Hakuna matata.
Young Simba: What?
Pumbaa: Hakuna matata.
Timon: Hakuna matata.
Pumbaa: Most people get a bigger reaction when we say it the first… Okay, well anyway. Hakuna matata.
Timon: Some people start clapping immediately.
Pumbaa: It means “no worries”.
Young Simba: Hakuna matata?
Pumbaa: Yeah, it’s our motto.
Young Simba: What’s a motto?
Timon: Nothing. What’s a motto with you?
Pumbaa: Those two words will solve all your problems.
Timon: [to young Simba] Listen, kid, if you want to live with us, you have to eat like us.
Bush Baby: And most importantly, not eat us!
Timon: [as Simba watches them eat insects] Mmm. Now that’s what I call umami!
Pumbaa: Slimy, yet satisfying.
Timon: Mmm. Extra crunchy.
Pumbaa: They’re local.
Timon: Yeah. Oh, are they?
Pumbaa: They’re from right there.
Timon: [picks up an insect] I’m telling you, kid, this is the great life. No rules. No responsibilities. Ooh! The little cream-filled kind. I love these!
Pumbaa: Those are good.
Timon: I love these.
Pumbaa: Those are the best.
Simba: [referring to the impala running away from him] What’s up with that guy?
Timon: Simba, How can I say this? He’s prey.
Timon: And he is never going to want to frolic with a carnivore.
Pumbaa: No. You two will never frolic.
Simba: Why not?
Timon: You see, in nature there’s a delicate balance.
Simba: Oh, yeah. The circle of life. I know that.
Timon: No, no, no. I don’t know where you’re getting “circle” from.
Pumbaa: No, yeah. There’s no circle of life.
Timon: No, it’s no circle.
Pumbaa: No, not at all.
Timon: In fact, it’s the opposite.
Timon: It’s a line.
Timon: It’s a meaningless line of indifference.
Pumbaa: And we’re all just running towards the end of the line. And then one day we’ll reach the end, and that’ll be it. That’s it. Line over!
Pumbaa: Nada. And you can really just kind of do your own thing and fend for yourself, because your line doesn’t affect anyone else’s lines.
Timon: [as he eats an insect] You’re alive, and then you’re not. Like this guy. Mmm.
Simba: You sure it’s not a circle? That we’re all connected?
Pumbaa: A circle would mean we’re all this. That would mean what I do affects him, affects that thing, affects that thing.
Timon: Yeah. No. That’s not how it goes.
Pumbaa: Which would make doing whatever we wanted not that cool.
Timon: Let me simplify this for you. Life is meaningless.
Pumbaa: Yes. That’s why you just got to look out for yourself. That’s why you do you, Simba.
Timon: Yeah, Simba, for the first time, we’re entrusting you to make a plan for us today.
Pumbaa: This is important. Think about all you’ve been taught.
Timon: What do you want to do?
Simba: Absolutely nothing.
Pumbaa: He gets it!
Timon: [as Simba burps] Oh.
Timon: Nice one, Simba.
Simba: Oh, thanks. Must’ve been the termites.
Pumbaa: [breaks wind] Or the crickets.
Timon: And you wonder why I prefer to sleep underground.
Pumbaa: [referring to the stars] Hey, Timon. Do you ever look up there and wonder what those sparkly dots are?
Timon: Oh, Pumbaa. I don’t wonder. I know.
Pumbaa: Really? What are they?
Timon: They’re fireflies. Fireflies that got stuck on that big bluish-black thing.
Pumbaa: Oh. I guess that makes sense. I always thought they were balls of gas burning billions of miles away.
Timon: Oh, Pumbaa, why is everything always gas with you?
Pumbaa: I know.
Timon: [referring to the stars] What do you think, Simba?
Simba: Oh, I don’t know. But somebody once told me, the great kings of the past are up there, and they’re all watching over us.
Pumbaa: [laughs] That’s a good one! That’s insane! That’s insane!
Timon: Royal dead guys watching over us! Well, I hope they don’t fall out of the sky!
Pumbaa: Hang on, Your Majesty! Don’t let go!
Timon: Oh, that would be a mess.
Pumbaa: Oh, man!
Timon: I mean, Simba, think about it. Why would a bunch of kings be looking out for us? We’re outcasts.
Pumbaa: Royal warthogs!
Timon: I can’t!
Pumbaa: I can’t!
Timon: I can’t!
Pumbaa: I actually can’t.
Timon: I can’t.
Pumbaa: No, you can. I can’t.
Simba: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. That’s stupid. I’m going to go get some grubs, or something.
Timon: [as Simba gets up and leaves] What did you say to him?
Pumbaa: I don’t know.
Timon: As you were saying it, I thought, “This won’t end well.” You just start laughing.
Pumbaa: You laughed too.
Timon: I did not. I would never.
Pumbaa: Man, I blew it.
Simba: Timon, Pumbaa, I want you to meet my best friend, Nala.
Timon: Best friend? Well, that hurts.
Simba: Nala, you’re going to love it here. This place is amazing. It’s everything you could ever want.
Nala: Simba, we need to leave. Scar has taken over with the hyenas. You have to take your place as king.
Timon: King? Simba?
Pumbaa: We kneel before you as loyal servants.
Simba: Pumbaa, relax. She’s wrong.
Timon: Lady, you’ve got your lions crossed.
Nala: Seeing you again, you don’t know what this will mean to everyone. What this means to me. You have to come home.
Simba: This is my home. Please stay. This place is incredible. I know you’ll love it.
Nala: I can’t.
Simba: Who are you?
Rafiki: I know exactly who I am. The question is, who are you?
Simba: I’m nobody. So leave me alone. Alright?
Rafiki: Everybody is somebody. Even a nobody.
Simba: Yeah, I think you’re confused.
Rafiki: I am confused? You don’t even know who you are.
Simba: Oh. And I suppose you do?
Rafiki: I held the son of Mufasa.
Simba: You knew my father?
Rafiki: Correction. I know your father.
Simba: He died a long time ago.
Rafiki: He’s alive! And I can take you to him. Follow me. I will show you!
Rafiki: Your father is waiting. Do you see him?
Simba: [looks at his own reflection in the water] I don’t see anything.
Rafiki: Look closer. You see? He lives in you.
Mufasa: [Simba is visited by the ghost of Mufasa as he looks up at the stars] Simba.
Mufasa: Simba. You must take your place in the circle of life.
Simba: I can’t.
Mufasa: You must remember who you are. The one true king.
Simba: I’m sorry. I don’t know how to be like you.
Mufasa: As king, I was most proud of one thing. Having you as my son.
Simba: That was a long time ago.
Mufasa: No, Simba. That is forever.
Simba: Please. Don’t leave me again.
Mufasa: I never left you. And never will. Remember who you are. Remember.
Simba: [after Simba is visited by Mufasa’s ghost] And so, I ask again. Who are you?
Rafiki: I am Simba. Son of Mufasa.
Simba: [after returning to the Pride Lands] I didn’t want to believe you.
Nala: So what are you going to do?
Simba: My father once told me to protect everything the light touches. If I don’t fight for it, who will?
Nala: I will.
Simba: It’s going to be dangerous.
Nala: Danger? Ha! I laugh in the face of danger.
Pumbaa: [as they catch up with Simba and Nala] We’re here!
Timon: Oh, everyone, calm down. We’re here.
Pumbaa: The backup has arrived!
Timon: [referring to the desolate looking Pride Land] Wait, hold on. Now, this is the place you’re fighting for?
Simba: Yes, Timon. This is my home.
Pumbaa: Is it behind that terrifying rock?
Timon: Talk about your fixer-upper. I like what you’ve done with it. Although, a bit heavy on the carcass.
Timon: Hyenas everywhere.
Pumbaa: I hope it’s a quick death. You know, just not a lot of chewing.
Timon: What’s your plan for getting us past the slobbering guards?
Simba: Live bait.
Pumbaa: That’s a great idea. Those guys could never resist fresh meat. So all we need to do is find something that’s like big, and plump, and juicy. Maybe like a gnu? Why is everyone looking at me?
Timon: [as Timon and Pumbaa are trying to distract the hyenas] Ma chère mademoiselle. It is with deepest pride, and greatest pleasure, that we proudly present, your dinner.
Timon: [starts singing] Be our guest…
[the hyenas start to chase them off]
Scar: Sarabi, why put yourself through this? All you have to do is be my queen. You’re suffering for what? The memory of a life you once knew? A king you once loved? I tried to make you understand what a true king can be.
Sarabi: Scar, a true king’s power is his compassion.
Scar: I am ten times the king Mufasa was!
Sarabi: You are nothing compared to Mufasa!
Scar: [as Simba is hanging on the ege of Pride Rock] This looks familiar. Where have I seen this before? Oh, yes, I remember. This is the way Mufasa looked before he died. I looked down, saw the fear in his eyes. And here’s my little secret. I killed Mufasa.
Simba: My father! Your own brother! How could you?
Scar: First he kills Mufasa, and now he wants to kill me!
Simba: You killed him! Tell them the truth!
Scar: Don’t believe his lies!
Sarabi: Scar, you told us you didn’t get to the gorge in time.
Scar: That’s true!
Sarabi: Then how did you see the look in Mufasa’s eyes?
Scar: [to the hyenas] Kill them all!
Timon: [referring to the hyenas that were chasing them] Pumbaa, I think we lost them.
Pumbaa: That was terrifying.
Timon: Do you hear a low growl?
Hyena: Looks like we’ll be having pig for dinner. Plump and chubby.
Pumbaa: Chubby? Did he just call me chubby?
Pumbaa: It sounded a lot like he just said chubby. Which would be a mistake, because I will not be made to feel ashamed of who I am!
Timon: Oh, boy.
Pumbaa: I may run from hyenas, but I will always fight a bully!
Simba: [follows Scar onto the Pride Rock] It’s over, Scar.
Scar: Have mercy. I beg you.
Simba: Mercy? After what you did?
Scar: It was the hyenas. Those revolting scavengers made me do it. I was planning on killing them all.
Simba: You fooled the hyenas, just like you fooled me.
Scar: Simba, you wouldn’t kill your only uncle.
Simba: No, Scar. I’m not like you.
Scar: Oh, Simba, you are truly noble. And I will make it up to you. Just tell me how I can prove myself. Tell me what you want me to do.
Simba: Run. Run away, Scar. Run away and never return.
Scar: Yes. Of course. As you wish, Your Majesty.
[as he starts to walk away, he suddenly tosses embers of fire at Simba’s face]
Simba: [as they are fighting on Pride Rock] You can’t win, Scar!
Scar: This is my kingdom! My destiny!
Scar: [after Simba has tossed Scar off the Pride Rock, the hyenas slowly approach him] My friends, it will take some time, but together we will build our army.
Kamari: Friends, huh? I thought you said we were revolting scavengers?
Azizi: Yeah. That you wanted to kill us?
Scar: No. No, let me explain. I was trying to fool him. We will rule together!
Shenzi: There’s only one true thing you ever said, Scar. “A hyena’s belly is never full.”
[the hyenas attack Scar and kill him]
Mufasa: [ after defeating Scar, Simba climbs onto Pride Rock and looks up at the stars] Remember…