Dear Steemit friends, let me take you into the pride lands of Disney's The Lion King. The Lion King has a very special place in my heart. It was the first movie that I ever saw at the cinema. I was 4 years old. I laughed, cried and sang along to the beautiful soundtrack. This movie ignited my love for Disney that I still have today. The original Lion King was released in 1994. 2019 marks the remake. I absolutely loved the original Lion King. The remake both excites me and makes me nervous. On one hand, I desperately want to relive the story in live action high definition and on the other hand, I am afraid that they will ruin the story.
For instance, Dumbo, another movie I adored as a child. I went to see the remake and Disney changed the story too much, it ruined it for me. The animation was spectacular and Dumbo looked like a real baby elephant. However, I feel that if they had kept to the original storyline, it would of been better. Many great movies have been adapted into stage productions and vice-versa. I went to see The Lion King live on stage at the Lyceum Theatre in London's West End.
To find me, look for my Chihuahua's face
"Oh yes, the past can hurt. But from the way I see it, you can either run from it or learn from it" ~ Rafiki
When it comes to stage productions, two places come to mind, Broadway in New York and West End in London. This is because of the calibre of performers that Broadway and West End produce. If you can make it on Broadway or West End, you can make it anywhere. The Lyceum Theatre is situated within close proximity to many other theatres in London, just off the Strand. The theatre can hold over 2,000 people in the audience. The origins of the Lyceum theatre date back to 1765. Over time the theatre has served as a chapel, an Opera house and was the first building in London to hold the famous Madame Tussauds wax works. It is now famous for being the home of The Lion King.
Lyceum Theatre, London
Upon arriving at the theatre, we were greeted by an usher. She was extremely helpful and made it stress free and easy to get seated. My younger brother Scott is wheelchair bound and this sometimes means that he is restricted to seats that have an obstructed view. I have to say that this was not the case in the Lyceum. We had a great view of the stage and there was wheelchair accessibility throughout the theatre allowing Scott to get to the bathroom, snack stand and gift shop unhindered.
The show started off with a parade of life-sized puppeteer animals that danced down the aisles and flew overhead. I have to admit that this was the most spectacular kick off to a show that I have ever seen. It was truly awe inspiring. The costumes were unique and very clever in their design. The live stage show had to portray African animals without of course using any real animals. Instead of making the entire show with puppets, the costume design was intricate and detailed. It showcased the incredible talent of the performers whilst incorporating the animal's characteristics. The best thing was that the storyline was exactly the same as the 1994 film. The only difference was that the stage production had its own original score and soundtrack.
The Lion King 1994
Live stage show - Rafiki
Introducing baby Simba
The animal kingdom celebrate
Timon and Pumbaa
Simba grows up
Simba returns to face Scar
"Hakuna Matata, it means no worries for the rest of your days" ~ Timon
The show went for about 2 and a half hours including a 30-minute interval. The performers were great, there was a mix of powerful vocalists, contemporary and modern dancers, even acrobats. I honestly cannot recommend the show more. It was a moving experience. As a performer myself, I always like to be able to compliment the cast on their performances. Unfortunately, there wasn't an opportunity to meet the cast in London. I did however, get a photo with a very convincing wax figure of Rafiki in New York a couple of years earlier which I have added below.
“It’s times like this my buddy Timon here says: you got to put your behind in your past.” – Pumbaa
Meeting the cast - Wax figure of Rafiki, New York
Going to the theatre is a big part of British culture. Traditionally, the family will get together to see a show then have dinner afterwards. This is where the famous expression "dinner and a show" stems from. There are countless dinner options to suit every taste palette and budget in London. We decided to go to the Rainforest café. The rainforest café is unlike any other restaurant. It is incredibly themed with exquisitely detailed décor, moving life-like animatronics, lighting and sound effects. There is even a thunderstorm every once in a while, with thunder, lightning, wind and a sprinkle of misty rain. It is an experience all in itself. The menu is extensive and offers a variety of options with dietary specific needs. I bet that you can all guess that the show put us in a jungle mood with all of Timon and Pumbaa's antics and this was exactly the place to carry the mood through the night.
Dinner at the rainforest café, London
As the night draws to a close, our bellies filled with food and our imaginations reignited. I cannot help but be emotional. The Lion King will always be my favourite story. It is amazing to think of how much impact one story can have. I have included some of my favourites quotes from the movie in this blog. I hope you will find them inspirational as well. This story has influenced my life in so many ways, I don't doubt that my love of all things African stem from watching The Lion King when I was 4. Even my stubborn perseverance of staying true to my identity no matter how much the modern world tries to influence it. No matter which version of this story you see, I hope it is magical for you.
1994 vs 2019
"Remember who you are, you are my son, and the one true king." ~ Mufasa
I was surprised at all the negative publicity the remake was getting prior to its release. I understand how popular the original was, however, I feel it is completely unfair to pull apart the remake before watching it. Most of the criticism for the remake was made by people who haven't even bothered to see the film. In my opinion, you cannot criticize a film without even seeing it. The Lion King is such a beloved classic and the whole point of the remake was to update it. I loved the animation, honestly, I think it was the best animation I have ever seen. It really brought the story to life. The film was 30 minutes longer but didn't feel like it was. I, personally loved it. I did not like the music as much, I feel like the songs even though lyrically the same, were over-stylized. Nothing will ever beat the original movie of course but this one really pulled it close. I give both the original and the remake 5 stars, for different reasons but both deserving nonetheless.
The 2019 remake
I would like to end this blog by sharing some of my cherished Lion King memorabilia and my favourite conversation from the movie.
" Everything you see exists together in a delicate balance. As king, you need to understand that balance and respect is for all creatures, the crawling ant to the leaping antelope." ~ Mufasa
" But Dad, don't we eat the antelope?" ~ Simba
" Yes Simba, but let me explain. When we die our bodies become the grass and the antelope eat the grass. So, we are all connected in the great Circle of Life." ~ Mufasa
Mufasa and Simba Pandora necklace
I hope you have enjoyed my blog on The Lion King on West-End, London, thank you for reading and I look forward to sharing more adventures with you, until next time, Vegoutt Everybody!
My Chihuahua Monkey (aka my logo) and I vs Rafiki and Simba