Columnist embraces ‘Hakuna matata’

October 6, 2011 — by Sabrina Cismas

Senior Sabrina Cismas

Some of the greatest acts of recycling can be found in the business of movie making. For a fraction of the work, producers can manipulate an old storyline into many sequels, or even more easily, reintroduce a classic movie to theaters in 3D. I have often ignored horrible sequels, comforting myself with the thought that the good originals still existed, but, alas, when one of my favorite movies had been tampered with, I could no longer avert my eyes.

“The Lion King,” Disney’s greatest animated movie, made a limited time debut in 3D at the end of September. I first learned of this atrocity from a billboard ad while driving.

I nearly crashed. How could they? Is Disney, the animated film central and the owner of Pixar, so low on ideas that they resort to distorting this original, timeless classic? When one thinks of movies with the label “Walt Disney Masterpiece Collection,” images of richly colored, hand-drawn, musical movies viewed from home VCRs come to mind. Such classics don’t need any extra editing or add-ons; they are called masterpieces for a reason.

With this disposition, I entered a 3D movie theater to watch “The Lion King” on Sept. 23 out of pure curiosity. I watched the movie around 25 times when I was little and even went to the ‘90s musical in New York as well as the refurbished one in Las Vegas last year. I could not miss another presentation of this “tour de force.”

As the movie started and I put on my 3D glasses, I was once again, for the first time in half a dozen years, immersed into the African savanna and the kingdom of Pride Rock.

It shocked me to see that from the very beginning, the 3D was extremely subtle. The perfect aspects were chosen to be accentuated, from rays of light to raindrops. By having the 3D focused on the nature, rather than on the animals’ every movement or on chucked items, the world of the Lion King became more vivid, emphasizing the characters and the storyline.

The surprises continued as I saw that the images had not been re-digitalized. Everything still looked hand drawn and the colors were warm, not sleek and shiny. Even on such a high quality screen with the add-ons, the creators chose to tweak the movie on a miniscule level, making the viewing experience very natural, and for that, I am grateful to them.

It is true that some of the greatest acts of recycling can be found in movie making. Memories came back to me of watching this movie as a kindergartner in PJ's, and those same emotions that I had felt as a child resurfaced during the movie. Once more, I couldn’t wait to be king, and indeed, I felt the love that night.

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