THE LION KING 1 1/2
MOVIE: **** (out of 5)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: **1/2 (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
What I always appreciated about “The Lion King 1 1/2” is that it seemed to be made more for the parents of the children that watched “The Lion King” 194 times a week than it was for those kids. Sure, the children will get some entertainment out of it, but the parents who know the movies backwards and forwards can really appreciate the tongue-in-cheek retelling of the story from Timon and Pumbaa’s point of view.
The film has been described as an “inbetweenquel” rather than a sequel or a prequel. It plays through “The Lion King” at every beat, only showing the humorous side from our C-3PO and R2-D2 characters in the film. We see what motivates them to take Simba under their wing, and it also shows how they were integral to helping him become king again.
Whimsical and fun, “The Lion King 1 1/2” is an enjoyable romp behind the fake scenes of a real movie. Kids will like the bigger role of Timon and Pumbaa. Parents will enjoy all the in-jokes that are made for their sake.
Like its companion movie, “The Lion King 2: Simba’s Pride,” “The Lion King 1 1/2” had more bonus material in its special DVD release about a decade ago. This one has some limited special features, all of which are available on the out-of-print DVD. These imported features include deleted scenes, “Timon & Pumbaa’s Vacation Safari,” “Timon: Behind the Legend,’ “Before the Beginning: The Making of The Lion King 1 1/2” and a music video of “Grazing in the Grass.” The package also includes the DVD of the feature film with the “Vacation Safari” special feature.