THE LION KING 2: SIMBA’S PRIDE
MOVIE: **** (out of 5)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: **1/2 (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
Everyone knows that the original “The Lion King” was an allegory for Shakespeare’s “Hamlet,” so it makes sense that the direct-to-video sequel “The Lion King 2: Simba’s Pride” would mirror the bard’s other play, “Romeo and Juliet.” The story follows Simba’s daughter Kiara who falls in love Kovu, an outsider who has been banished because he comes from Scar’s group of lions. The forbidden romance is frowned upon by both prides, but everyone has an opportunity to learn from their relationship.
I’ve been very critical of some direct-to-video Disney sequels, but I quite enjoyed this one. In fact, I found it a bit better than the original “The Lion King” because it wasn’t surrounded by so much hype. Sure, the production values are quite lower, but they’re pleasant and well done. It’s a fun story that actually gives something more to the characters than most sequels do, from the animated Disney line or not.
Plus, there’s plenty of hijinks from the more entertaining side characters like including Timon, Pumbaa and Rafiki. It’s worth picking this film up on Blu-ray to complete your “Lion King” collection before it goes back in the vault.
Unlike the two-disc DVD that was released almost a decade ago, “The Lion King 2: Simba’s Pride” on Blu-ray has much more limited special features. This is the kind of movie you’ll pick up for the format and hi-def presentation rather than the slate of bonus material that was on the earlier release.
Features include “Timon & Pumbaa’s Insectapedia,” “Timon & Pumbaa: Find Out Why” scientific shorts, the “One By One” animated short film, a music video for “Love Will Find a Way” and the featurette “Proud of Simba’s Pride.” At least the package also contains the feature film on DVD for easier portability for the children.