The Lion King remains to this day my favourite animated movie. It has spawned two sequels and a Broadway musical, among other things. However, as it has happened so often in the past with a lot of films, the sequel is a path to the dark side.
Whereas darker and edgier sequels like The Empire Strikes Back and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets have worked and done their predecessors justice, The Lion King 2 fails miserably.
It is refreshingly different to see a Disney sequel that picks up immediately after the events of the first film.
It is also refreshingly different to see a Disney sequel that doesn't come out six decades after the original.
"He Lives In You" is a great song... and so is "Upendi". Too bad the rest of the songs had to be so depressing...
Rafiki the Matchmaker? Now that was a subplot with great potential. Unfortunately, we have to spend a lot of the film with a teenage lion voiced by that lame-boy Andy Dick...
Kiara's transition from newborn to lion cub is so quick she could win the Indy 500 with it.
Kovu (despite being a splitting image of him) is NOT Scar's son.
The movie leaves us to fill in the numerous plotholes by ourselves.
Simba is a hypocrite, who tries too hard to be his father, while treating the Outsiders with the same disdain that Mufasa treated the hyenas with. Granted, Mufasa had his REASONS for keeping the Hyenas OUT of the Pridelands, but Simba was just being irrational.
Ostensibly, this is the same film as the first one.
Not enough fun songs in the film.
The original film had Hyenas. All this one's got is FUCKING ANDY DICK!
Zira is far too mean-spirited and evil, even for a Disney villain.
Kiara never gains her independence. Her quest to find out who she wants to be remains unresolved. When she finds love with Kovu she's suddenly... okay with being the future Queen? I don't get it.
After watching this movie, I became convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt in order to solve all my problems, someone had to die. I am lucky I didn't end up sitting on a therapist's couch or being strapped to a bed in the psychiatric ward at eight years old. I CRINGE every time I hear "My Lullaby" now. That's ONE SONG you don't want your child to sing in public.
I have gone out of my way to tell people NOT to watch this movie. I told my boss at one point, don't let your daughter watch this one, unless you want her to think that violence is ALWAYS the answer. The other Lion King movies (even the midquel!) had that spark of Disney magic that all the good ones have. Sure they can be dark at times, but the great Disney films, like The Lion King are also more often than not uplifiting.
This one is just mean-spirited and cruel- even for Disney! The story is full of plotholes the size of pot holes. Simba has gone from a mighty king in the first film to a effeminate weakling in this one. Zira is far too evil- even for Disney. "My Lullaby" makes "Be Prepared" sound like "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother". Hell, even Maleficent (THE MISTRESS OF ALL EVIL) would tell her this raging bitch She's Got Issues (see what I did there, Offspring)!
More attention should have been paid to Rafiki playing matchmaker- that was a sweet subplot. And maybe Timon and Pumbaa could have helped him out as well. You could have given them another song or something; rather than forcing us to spend at least 60% of the movie with a conspiracy murder endorsing lioness.
FINAL SCORE 5.5/10