User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 376 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 30 out of 376

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  1. Sep 22, 2011
    Disney animation's "The Lion King" is a masterpiece and the godfather of all animations.
  2. Sep 19, 2011
    An outstanding film, back when people put there heart into everything to be proud of there achievements and to express there talents which were recognized by Disney later choosing the cast very, very well. This film I want to say is my best Disney film however I also love Aladdin :). Then B&TB and Hercules. Anyway. This film has a lot of guidance and morals for all ages. Makes me think whats happened to Disney :( Mufasa (James Earl Jones) is Simba's dad and has the perfect voice for a strong lion teaching his son the lessons in life. Like not to take being future king for granted, it's not about getting your own way. And that everyone is one. He also tells his son about the stars, and if he is not here in later life, then to look up at the stars as all of the great kings are up there watching over him. Samba being a small cub has to learn the hard way because of his evil uncle scar. At first he truss to trick samba and forces him to go against his fathers will. It ends up with samba leaving pride rock, but finds two true friends who bring him back to his normal self with the help of an old friend and his fathers friend who christened him at birth. Samba returns to pride Rock some years later, returning the once great land back to how it used to be. And continues with Simba and Nala having a child of there own. And continues, the circle of life. such powerful scenes that can make grown men cry (who are not dead inside) and powerful voice acting that fit each roll perfectly. A brilliant soundtrack that fits very well. And also the meanings and morals in this film alone are what society today is very rappdley loosing. If only James Earl jones could be the king of England! Ohh and must say that I love zazu too :) (probally spelt it wrong) Expand
  3. Nov 17, 2012
    A wonderful work of animation that is vibrant with color, song, and a stellar emotional core.
  4. Oct 1, 2011
    The Lion King may not be *the* greatest movie of all time, but it's probably in the top 10 or so. The plot is pretty standard fare, but it doesn't even matter, because it's all about the presentation of that story. Speaking of which, the animation, voice acting, songs, and emotional element of The Lion King carry it to such great heights, and come pretty close to perfect. I look back on it today, and some of the opening scenes still give me goosebumps when I watch the sun rising over the savanna. And then you have the saddest scene in just about any modern Disney movie... those who've seen it (everybody at this point) know what I'm talking about. All in all, it's a beautiful film of love, fatherhood, death, betrayal, revenge, friendship, and rising to destiny. Expand
  5. Aug 14, 2011
    This movie was simply well made. The songs were memorable and amazing, the characters were believable (and arguably acted more human than many movies with human actors), and the animation was vibrant and lush, depicting a unique style of art, and still getting the movements of the characters down pat. The story really digs deep into Simba's character, which leaves the other characters a bit stagnant, but that's not to say they aren't developed. They each have their own part to play in the story. The comic relief detracts from the heavier story just enough to keep the feature from being too depressing (it is disney, they like a lighter feel to their movies).

    Now, on the controversy some people have brought up about "Disney ripping off 'Kimba: The White Lion'", I looked into it, and in terms of story and characters, it seems the two are separate. Some art direction seems to have gone the same direction, although Disney and the guys who did Kimba did start working together on a project related to Kimba. The project was scrapped, but the people who had worked on the project probably decided to adapt some concept art to Lion King. Btw, the similarity of the names "Simba" and "Kimba" is probably coincidental, considering most of the names in "The Lion King" are based on Swahili words (simba means 'lion').

    Regardless, it is a solid movie that I recommend.
  6. Jan 7, 2012
    An epic and lovely adventure in every way, this animated production is definitely an icon of its genre. First of all the storyline is great, very unique and funny that will submerge you into a whole new world inside this movie with its very well made visual production and style. The plot is interesting and entertaining too, with a friendly story and a light atmosphere that takes exiting shifts as it progresses introducing different scenarios that all together construct a beautiful movie. The characters are just adorable with charming performances, and often a musical number with a memorable soundtrack is included that adds to the wonderful experience this is from beginning to end. Expand
  7. May 6, 2012
    Who would believe this is my first time watch this classic Disney jewel in the crown and the location was ruefully in the plane. After last year's mega-successful re-entering into 3D multiplexes, clearly it becomes more urgent for me to cancel it from my unfinished masterpiece list (there are more horrifying ones on my list which I wish I could show it here). THE LION KING is a timeless artwork, it's technical index could not remain its cutting-edge 2D advances in 1994, the story nevertheless is in perfect pitch for audience from every degree of ages, the HAMLET-inspired plot could feasibly find more evocation with adult groups while the colorful appealing is irresistible for youngsters. It's an archetypical win-win Disney Animation. The narrative is tightly intriguing, the O.S.T. is top-notch although I can hardly admit Elton Johnâ Expand
  8. Feb 16, 2013
    With it's amazing animation, great voice acting, funny humor, amazing music, and stunning visuals this movie is a masterpiece and is worth seeing many times.
  9. Jan 23, 2014
    I watched this wonderful masterpiece when i was only six years old. Up to now i have still remembered every detail about it, about the story that i know inspired millions of people not only children but also adults all around the world. This is like "The Godfather" for children, with a little exception that it is bright, funny and, most importantly, humanitarian. I think even grown-up men can learn something meaningful from Disney's greatest animation - The Lion King. Expand
  10. Oct 6, 2010
    A classic that will live forever in the hearts of kids who grew up watching this movie, like me. I am really shocked that the movie doesn't have a high user score. Oh well, Hakuna Matata, no worries!
  11. Oct 4, 2010
    A timeless Disney classic that soars near the top of the list of 'Best animated films of all time'. Heartfelt, featuring a stunning musical score and superbly animated, this is one of Disney's finest achievements, and a must watch for fans of animated films.
  12. Jun 11, 2011
    While the Disney Renaissance presented us such great classics like "The Little Mermaid", "Beauty and the Beast", and "Aladdin", they released another movie that has talking lions and other talking animals and such great wonder also known as "The Lion King". Before I begin, let me ask one question: Why is it that every movie you have saw just literally become such great classics? It's because of their creative efforts and mere pride and this movie is one of them.

    The story tells of a young cub named Simba (Jonathan Taylor Thomas), the son of Mufasa (James Earl Jones) who is destined to become king of the Pride Rock. One day, Simba's ruthless evil uncle Scar (Jeremy Irons) plots to take over Pride Rock by killing his father and tricks Simba into feeling guilty which causes him to flee from the kingdom never to return. Once he disappears, he meets two friends named Timon, a meek rat, and Pumbaa, a warthog who helps teach him the meaning of "Hakuna Matata". A few years later, after reuniting with his friend Nala, Simba, now an adult (Matthew Broderick) realizes that he doesn't know who he is anymore and is aware that Scar has destroyed everything that the lions had hunted for. He is then persuaded to return to Pride Rock and must overthrow his uncle to restore the kingdom to its rightful place.

    After its success at the box office with $783 dollars which marks this movie as the 32nd highest grossing feature film, everything else has been praised due to Disney and their intelligence.

    The music score by Hans Zimmer and the songs written by Elton John and Tim Rice were considered to be successful in cinema history, The animation and characters were very memorable, The acting was superb and the cinematography was terrific.

    The Lion King is one of the greatest animated movies of all time and is one of my childhood favorites that will teach me that this movie means no worries. Thank you Disney. With your charm and brilliance, a thumbs up from me.

  13. Nov 20, 2011
    Its one of the greatest animation films of all time for a reason (if not the greatest). The Lion King is great from start to finish. I really enjoyed it and I am confused that it has recieved such a low score from critics and users when its so much better then that.
  14. Nov 15, 2011
    A masterful film that is the absolute best from Disney. I say this is my favorite animated film of all time, if not my overall favorite. Disney put their best effort into this film, and all the haters can suck Mufasa's nuts.
  15. Nov 6, 2013
    Disney's greatest movie. Every song in this movie is at worst extremely good, with Circle of Life and Can You Feel the Love Tonight just being amazing; the worst song in this movie is better than most musicals' best songs by a fairly wide margin.

    Amazing, beautiful animation, a solid story, strong characterization, good flow it just works.
  16. Apr 18, 2011
    I first watched The Lion King when I was eight, and enjoyed it for all the quirky characters. But after rewatching it years later, I discovered the deeper meaning behind it. This is one of my favorite movies of all time, and is the last epic disney movie. They could have done better with Lion King 2, but you cant win all the battles. And to the people that said that this is a rip off of Kimba the White Lion, What the **** are you talking about? I read the plot line, its about humans trying to kill animals. I dont understand your point of view to this movie. And this is also probably one of the darkest things I have ever seen, and I saw Suckerpunch and played Portal. Expand
  17. Feb 19, 2011
    This is one of Disney's best movies, it has likable characters, humor, action, drama, a great plot, ultimately this is one of the best movies ever a must see.
  18. Oct 31, 2011
    This movie brings back so many childhood memories. I loved it then and I love it now and I will always love it. Recommend it HIGHLY. In my opinion, one of, if not the best, Disney movie
  19. Mar 14, 2011
    Classic. Emotion, suspense, stunning visuals and audio, great storyline, entertainment- what more can you want from a movie? The Lion King is the best animated movie of all time. An epic story, but better visuals.
  20. May 12, 2014
    The Lion King is the best ever Disney movie and the best animated movie of all time. It is an emotional and heart warming journey. The Lion king showed what a powerful and stunning film it was in 1994 and why to this day it is still the best Disney movie of all time.
  21. May 29, 2011
    The best animated movie of all time. And one of the greatest movie ever made! Every time I see The Lion King I get a special feeling inside me, something that I can't explain with words. The movie is so beautiful and the characters are memorable. The songs are excellent, the soundtrack made by Hans Zimmer is so touching and the opening scene itself are breathtaking. The Lion King is a true masterpiece. Expand
  22. Oct 9, 2011
    A beautifully drawn animation allied with a strong narrative and fantastic musical numbers made "The Lion King" one of the Disney greatest accomplishments.
  23. Sep 21, 2011
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. PURELY BOOOOOORING
    the lion king was great when i was 6 but i recently watched this and thought what the hell was i thinking, THIS MOVE SUCKS!!! lame jokes, random singing, and terrible voice acting. my opinion: WORST DISNEY MOVIE EVER!
  24. Jul 24, 2012
    Funny how Disney and Pixar can make films and get praised for them. I mean, I love the songs - Hakuna Matata is my favourite - it's understandable though that they can say it's merely 'a coincidence' that this is similar to another animation and obtain a huge profit. It's unfair how companies like this can prey on the smaller ones for the sake of it. They can add these certain things to films, but I'm not saying that they're bad. I love how they can inject humour into animation, which I only really saw when Timon and Pumbaa were on the screen, and actually make the characters work, but this doesn't mean it's completely original. I don't think The Lion King can actually be given a higher score, because, although it did work, it didn't feel like they had done it themselves. Expand
  25. Nov 5, 2011
    Emotionally resonant and beautifully animated. The Lion King stands tall within Disney's pantheon of classic family films. This should have gotten a Best Picture nomination at the1994 Oscars. 4/4 stars.
  26. Nov 18, 2011
    The Lion King has great characters and a lot of memorable songs. I think that the story is thin and short though, which makes the idea of the film very simple.
  27. Nov 16, 2011
    Hands down one of the greatest movies of all time, if not the best animated one. Only few movies can take a very sad moment and then turn around and make you life when just a few minutes.
  28. Feb 7, 2013
    Honestly, The Lion King may not get the highest rating from me but it will always be my favorite animated movie of all time. Star studded cast that does their job well, Great and memorable songs, Likeable characters. Only thing I don't care for was the casting of Matthew Broderick as the adult Simba, I didn't feel that he fit the part well. Aside from that, It's a great movie and once again, My favorite animated film of all time. Expand
  29. Apr 2, 2012
    An absolute masterpiece. A truly wonderful film for the whole family. This movie is a cartoon but it is more compelling, emotional then most non animated films. Truly spectacular.
  30. Mar 26, 2012
    You can't go wrong with classic Disney. The Lion King is phenomenal in every aspect - the songs, the characters, the animation, and the musical score by Hans Zimmer. It's an amazing movie and it's guaranteed to entertain people of all ages for years to come.
  31. Mar 26, 2012
    When Simba is young he is naive to the world. Like any child he easily believes almost anything someone tells him and he is eager to discover new things. When his father tells him that one day he will to be king, Simba immediately gets that sparkle of astonishment in his eyes. However being the naive child he is, he thinks being king is all about having power and just doing what he wants. This can symbolize the way kids think when they are little, they think growing up means you can boss around anyone you want and you have no responsibility. As he goes into exile he develops a more carefree attitude and thinks he has found what it means to be an adult. Like many of us when we were teens, we didnâ Expand
  32. Jul 18, 2012
    I seriously can't find any flaws. It's a masterpiece. It has great visuals, a touching and epic story, and many songs and sequences that make you cry not only out of nostalgia, but also because it's just so touching.
  33. Nov 15, 2013
    It surely isn't the best Disney movie but it's still a powerful and emotional adventure. In my opinion, the film will be more appropriate for grown-ups. I'm not saying that kids shouldn't see this, it's just that adults might find the themes in the film more understandable and suitable.
  34. Apr 20, 2013
    Amazing movie, set the bar for modern-day animation, really stays in your heard for years after you watch the movie, with exceptional work on soundtracks by the brilliant Hans Zimmer. The characters are depicted extremely well, making viewers empathetic with characters like Simba, Mufasa, Zazu etc. Overall, this is a great movie and will be remembered for generations.
  35. Nov 9, 2012
    If you don't like The Lion King than I don't like you.
  36. Mar 27, 2013
    If you have not seen this movie, do so. The Lion King is my favorite movie ever, on all levels. It's not just a fantastic kid's movie. It's a movie that just about all people can enjoy. There are no flaws that bring down this movie whatsoever. Every single level of production goes way beyond its expectations. From the excellent main cast to the classic musical numbers, everything about this movie is memorable. This film should be used as a tool for up-and-coming animators who want to make movies at the same level of this movie. There aren't any movies that are as good as this, and there never will be another movie that even surpasses this movie in quality. The Lion King is an epic masterpiece that takes so many risks and overcomes all of them. Expand
  37. Feb 2, 2013
    One of Disney best movies. Simba and Mustafa are awesome characters and the story is heartwarming. Animation's best movie is the Lion King, screw the Aladdin and Snow White, this is the best Disney movie of all time!
  38. Apr 22, 2014
    One of the best animated Disney films ever (if not the best), puts Frozen to shame. It is also one of the most successful films ever (not only animation). Great story, great message, amazing characters, iconic moments, probably the best Disney soundtrack ever and several heartbreaking and emotive scenes. The minutes at the beginning when Mufasa talks to his son alone are so full of beauty and depth. Or just the first 5 minutes where we get introduced to the whole experience thanks to the amazing and unforgettable main song beat almost any other animation film in recent years. The Lion King is in the top 20 of most successful films ever adjusting by inflation. Frozen does not even make it to the top 100. That gives you an idea of the phenomenon it was. So deserved. Expand
  39. Mar 12, 2013
    My words are not necessary! I'm sure you watched this masterpiece...if you haven't seen it, then do it now! The soundtracks are amazing! The story is very instructive and emotional, a pure perfect Disney classic!
  40. Jul 7, 2014
    An amazing masterpiece of animation by Disney. With such power and thought into it, it's no wonder this film is as acclaimed as it is. The voices fit the characters perfectly, the music's rhythm coincides perfectly with the tone of the movie. And Timon and Pumbaa ease the tense moments with pure hilarity. As amazing as Hamlet itself.
  41. Sep 19, 2013
    A classic tale of "survival of the fittest", The Lion King is an all-time classic for the ages that will never die and will remain as one of the best animated movies ever made.
  42. Sep 18, 2013
    One of the biggest hits created by Disney in 1994 was The Lion King. This movie entices children with its memorable songs and fantastic characters. It is one of Disney’s greatest musicals, even though there are some scary moments. Despite the few violent scenes, the overall messages portrayed are hope, love, family, and responsibility. This film is a great choice for children as well as adults.
    The film is about Simba (Jonathon Taylor Thomas) and how he “just can’t wait to be king.” That being said, his evil Uncle Scar (Jeremy Irons) is extremely jealous of his brother Mufasa (James Earl Jones) because Mufasa is the king of the jungle. His extreme jealously gets the best of him, and Scar has Mufasa killed by a stampede and makes Simba feel responsible. Simba, feeling overwhelming guilt and despair, then runs away and becomes friends with Pumbaa (Ernie Sabella) and Timon (Nathan Lane) who teach him that the best philosophy is “Hakuna Matata”, which means no worries. Simba is having the best time while with Timon and Pumbaa. He feels free and great about himself because he has nothing to worry about. Simba grows up thinking he has escaped his childhood until his old friend Nala, who is living under Scar’s leadership, finds him and tells him that the tribe has been having severe issues.
    The Lion King was originally inspired by William Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet. The Lion King’s themes and imagery relate to cultural and political situations in the United States and Africa. Along with this, many parts of the film resemble a famous Japanese television show Kimba the White Lion. Two characters in this show are Kimba and Simba. In The Lion King, the camera angles and composition are almost identical to this television show. The voice of Simba almost believed he was working on a remake of Kimba because he was familiar with the show. The movie is mainly about lifestyle choices and collective responsibility. This is where the majority of the movie got several of its ideas.
    The protagonist, Simba, starts off as a rebellious character whom then grows up and learns to accept his responsibilities instead of seeking revenge. The characters in the film are always filled with energy which shows how much hard work went into each character and their personality, looks, and overall appearance. Each character has there own appealing look and personality, which draws so much attention to them. Along with this, they each have a voice that is very engaging to listen to. The characters have comical senses of humor and perform each scene in a joyful way. When Mufasa emerges in a cloud for Simba and talks to him, he gives Simba hope and inspires him to go and regain his throne. This scene shows how family is always there for you, even when all hope is gone. Not only are the characters funny, but they have a meaningful and serious side as well.
    The Lion King is a spectacular film for all ages. Although the movie is a cartoon, it is appealing to adults as well because it has a message behind it that can captivate even the oldest of audiences. Even if the children do not grasp the entirety of the overall message, they still love the film because of its entertainment. It keeps you interested the entire time and captivates everyone into feeling compelled to finish it. The directors and producers used great sounds effects and were able to get the audience to sing along with them. The colors and their brightness that was used enhances the film and makes it much more enjoyable and fun to watch. Every scene has an attracting look and amusing music, which always makes it pleasurable to watch. They used music to connect the funny scenes back to the overall message such as “Circle of Life” and “Hakuna Matata”. Circle of Life is played during the ceremony when Simba is born and at the end for Simba and Nala’s newborn club. Simba is baptized here and the whole kingdom comes together to see him. Hakuna Matata is played when Simba arrives at the jungle home and continues to play during a sequence in which Simba grows up. This shows that Simba puts his problems behind him and lives the life he wants. The music makes a child not want to take their eyes off the screen because of the energetic characters and catchy rhythm. The filmmakers used animated programs to show their visuals. The stampede scene was created in a 3D computer program so the characters could be multiplied. The visuals are very clever and give off a fun, loving, and spirited tone. The movie is presented with amazing animation, music, and choreography. The animators of the story studied real-life animals for reference and some even journeyed on a trip to Africa. This assisted in how the animators made the characters act during many of the scenes. This also helped them to better understand the animal environment and way of life. A wildlife expert visited the studio to help the writers with the animal behavior and to help the artists with their drawings. Brenda Chapman, one of the story heads, said that writing an original story is very challenging because there is nothing to fall back on.
    The Lion King displays that if one is in a dark place, be strong and take the next challenge as it comes. Each character has there own way of doing this, which makes the film so much more interesting to watch. The film portrays many different ideas and responsibilities making it a movie for everyone to watch and enjoy with a lesson learned. The writers created a wonderful original story. The filmmakers did an incredible job with the characters, scenery, and animation. The Lion King is a warm, loving, fun film that everyone should have a chance to see.
  43. Dec 14, 2013
    I grow up with this and my children's will, too. I have no intention to make them watch the (sorry) of cartoons of these days. This is just a masterpiece. Extremely funny, engaging, colorful, intelligent. Immortal.
  44. Mar 8, 2014
    Very good plot, with an unforgettable music and makes you think about the blows of life. I do not see bad things, but on the contrary, this great, amazing, wonderful and serious, but I do not give 10, and I'll tell you why: the movie itself is good, but the characters like Scar and the hyenas were disturbing , desperate and perverse. You can not think clearly about the attitude of these characters, I was left stunned. And the other characters did not cause me any grace, except Mufasa, which was great, but the others are ridiculous or strange, this was the only bad thing about this movie. Expand
  45. Mar 31, 2014
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The Lion King is probably not my absolute favorite Disney film, but it's still a piece of my childhood I will always cherish. The story is outstanding, the characters are unforgettable; of course there is really nothing I am saying that hasn't been said before. That scene at the end where Simba walks up Pride Rock to become the new King still gives me chills to this day. If you have not seen The Lion King, you really should, it's one of Disney greatest films, however I do like some others a bit more Expand
  46. Apr 28, 2014
    This classic Disney movie has catchy songs, wonderful colours and lovable characters! Obviously it is one of the disney movies to feature death, which I think in a way is good to ease children into the idea of it.
  47. Aug 12, 2014
    "The Lion King" deserves praise for its unique animation design and its messages about "the Circle of Life". A decent attempt to create a picture both thought-provoking and suitable for all audiences. Its main weaknesses are an overall short and somewhat shallow plot and some stereotypical characters, as well as some disturbing views about monarchy. Its soundtrack is the culmination of Disney's using pop music in its productions, and some songs are very good, even a bit commonplace and perhaps unevenly positioned throughout the film. A good attempt that was slightly overrated because of its simplicity and wide approachability. Expand
  48. Sep 3, 2014
    The king of Disney indeed. The Lion King marks the pinnacle of Disney's Renaissance of the 1990s, and the best film to come out of that studio ever. Taking its roots from Shakespeare and Hamlet, it is more grown-up and epic than one would expect. Definitely one to keep on your DVD shelf.

Universal acclaim - based on 14 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. Reviewed by: Rob Humanick
    Sep 12, 2011
    Although far from the worst offender in Disney's canon, The Lion King is nevertheless host to many of the less savory qualities common to the studio's output.
  2. For all the undeniable merits, it somehow feels manufactured, and thus, to a degree, calculated - the product not of a collective imagination taking esthetic chances, but of an imaginative collective putting the rivets into a well-wrought plan that can't go awry.
  3. Reviewed by: Robert Faires
    It's a thumping good adventure.