Film Review: The Lion King: Return of the Roar

Return of the Roar

Return of the Roar 1

Plot: Simba has a son. One just as reckless and spontaneous as his father, who wants to prove he can take on responsibility just as much as his big sister. But while Kiera trains to be the future Queen, Kion doesn’t have a role waiting for him.

Until, suddenly, he does. Kion possesses `the roar`, a powerful roar that makes him the leader of the Lion’s Guard – a guard destroyed by Scar. Kion must find the best animals in the kingdom to reform the guard and protect both the kingdom and the Circle of Life, proving himself along the way.

 

Quote: `Have you lost your mind?

Kiera, I never had one!`

 

Opinion: I shouldn’t have done it. I really shouldn’t have. I said when planning this month’s posts I would regret watching Return of the Roar because it would only disappoint. Not only did it do that, it made me cringe. Perhaps I was reading too deeply into something created for both children and television. But perhaps not – some children’s films have some pretty intense messages in them.

The plot might have worked. A big might… had they not turned back time, gone to when Kiera was young and inserted Kion into the story. As if! They could have just as easily set it after the events of Simba’s Pride, or even made him Kiera’s son. Instead, for the audience who have seen the original films, it was jarring from the very off-set. But I can let this go, as maybe it worked for the younger audiences as they wouldn’t remember the other films.

There was an obvious message in the film. Kion doesn’t stick to tradition and chose lions for the guard, but the animals he thinks are worthy of the title and proves himself to everyone that he made the right choice. But the other films always had hidden messages, ones that could make you think rather than having it thrown in your face. It broke away from Disney tradition of being a touch subtler and that just didn’t work for me.

The Lion King scared me as a child. It was severely dark in places and can still make me cry today. Maybe times have just changed and Disney no longer create things that has that sort of emotional impact. But Return of the Roar made me feel nothing other than exasperation. And I don’t think that is because I watched it as an adult, because I loved Frozen when it came out and still get excited about watching Aladdin. It simply did not have the impact.

All in all, if anyone else is feeling nostalgic and think this will bring back fond memories of their childhood, don’t do it. I should have just got hold of The Lion King and re-watched that rather than venturing into anything new. It was shallow, silly and the songs weren’t that catchy. The animation was good though, so that gives it one tick. But seriously, don’t do it to yourself!

Amazon | HMV

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