Review by Lucy Hayes
THE Lion King is described as the mightiest Disney animated feature on the screen, so having not seen it, I was expecting amazing sights at the IMAX, in 2D large format, having heard of the breath-taking opening sequence.
And there we were. Seated in a 450-capacity seated cinema, seats slanting downwards, looking up at a screen 20m high by 26m across (the equivalent of five double-decker buses), totally engulfed in the experience.
And what a spectacle it proved, from the vast, sweeping panoramic opening scene, in which the camera pans across the whole animal kingdom and all of nature, flying upwards to the extreme mountain top and the raising in the air of the baby Simba, to the fast-moving, thunderous marching hooves of the antelope and elephants below.
The participation effect, although much better and digitally re-mastered, was similar to the old Cinema 180 effect at Thorpe Park!
The film is a touching tale of young Simba, a young lion learning about 'the circle of life', the power and order of the animal kingdom and his eventual birthright as Lion King.
It incorporates the traditional 'good triumphs over evil' fairytale, as well as the traditional Disney element for children, yet appeals to all ages.
The host of celebrity voices, such as Whoopi Goldberg and Matthew Broderick, serve to complement the characters, while the scenery is beautiful and the music, courtesy of Elton John, serves the touching scenes well.
For added effect, there was a star-lit sky at the back of the cinema and glitterballs, which spun the stars around the cinema when a poignant scene involving a night-lit sky came on screen. This was a truly magical experience, which, in 3D, must be absolutely phenomenal!
The Lion King is still showing at weekends, so if, like me, you haven't seen it yet, then get yourself along. Click here for specific times and details...
RELATED LINKS: Click here for the Bfi/IMAX website.
Click here for The Lion King website.