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The Lion King II: Simba's Pride
Blu-ray + DVD
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The king of animated films reigns in this final chapter of The Lion King trilogy! Experience the power of "Upendi"-which means "love"-as Kiara, Simba's strong-willed daughter, seeks adventure away from her father's watchful gaze. Timon and Pumbaa can do only so much to protect her, especially when she encounters an intriguing rival, Kovu, a cub who is being groomed to lead Scar's pride. As Kiara and Kovu search for their proper places in the great "Circle of Life," they discover that it may be their destiny to reunite their prides and bring peace to the Pride Lands. Featuring the original all-star voice cast, breathtaking animation, and enchanting songs, Kiara and Kovu's adventure thrills audiences of all ages as the glorious "Circle of Life" continues for a new generation.
Top Customer Reviews
And it was. In 1998, Disney got most of the principal voice-over actors back from the original---Matthew Broderick as Simba, Moira Kelly as Nala, Nathan Lane and Ernie Sabella as Timon & Pumbaa, respectively, and of course, Robert Guillaume as the hilarious Rafiki---and made THE LION KING II: SIMBA'S PRIDE, which follows our favorite Lion hero (and King) & family as they pick up from where they left off in the first film. Now Simba is the King and his young offspring is a lioness cub named Kiara; he's the worried dad in this one, always fearing for the safety of the young precocious girl, but they're nevertheless a happy family just the same. Of course, danger lurks in the shadows, as Zira (Suzanne Pleshette---yes, *that* Suzanne Pleshette), the villainous ex-mate of Scar, is training her young son Kovu to grow up to avenge Scar's death by killing Simba. However, Rafiki, the silly-acting but nevertheless wise monkey, finds out to his horrified amazement that Kiara and Kovu are destined for each other. Sure enough, Kiara and Kovu meet each other as cubs and take an immediate strong liking to each other. Can true love overcome true evil?
This film, by itself, is very well-written and acted, with excellent production values for the fact that it is a direct-to-video sequel. It has really no flaws of its own, just one obvious inconsistency between it and the first film: Scar's 'ex-mate' Zira (and, by extension, Kovu) simply did not exist in the original THE LION KING! She was obviously made up just to have a sequel. However, this is the only major thing to overlook, and if you can forgive this movie for it, then you should be able to easily enjoy yourself. As I said, this is a good animated movie, and I recommend it for any fan of the original. This sequel isn't quite as dark; however, I still would not recommend showing it to very young kids. Suzanne Pleshette does a surprisingly good job as the evil, scheming, vengeful Zira (basically a female versdion of old Scar himself). Neve Campbell does a solid job as the voice of the adult Kiara, and Jason Marsden does excellently as the conflicted Kovu, who wants to do good, but...he made a promise to his mother...didn't he?!
Listen, THE LION KING II: SIMBA'S PRIDE is not the masterpiece that THE LION KING is...however, it is much better than it perhaps should be. Fans of the original should definitely own it.
RECOMMENDED, AGES 8 & UP
The animation is high quality, especially for a direct-to-video sequel. Instead of using hand-drawn characters and computers to color the images, TLK2 was done in traditional cel animation, unlike the original Lion King. This makes the movie even more classic, and easily appreciated not only for its wonderful story, but the artwork involved in creating it.
The story is stunning and picks up basically where TLK left off. Simba and Nala's daughter, Kiara, is being raised to become the future queen. In the meantime, she encounters a cub from a tribe of outsiders named Kovu, and they immediatly become friends. However, both of their families stand in the way of their friendship continuing, and they never see each other again until they are adults - and that's where things really get interesting! Zira, the leader of the outsiders and Scar's mate, is trying to kill Simba, and Kovu figures into the plan. In the end, both tribes clash in all out war. You'll just have to watch to see how the story ends.
Definitely a worthy sequel to the first, get a copy if you can.
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