Timon and Pumbaa are back in Disney's latest addition to the Lion King franchise with the release of this straight to video sequel come prequel - The Lion King 11/2. First impressions were favourable packaged as it is in a very similar design to the recently released original with nice gatefold front slipcover, which houses the DVD case proper. So what about the actual movie? Let's see.........
This time round the story is centred on Timon who, we soon realise, is an absolute klutz! The friendly looking meercat is a walking disaster area and as one calamity quickly follows another he finds himself ostracized by his peer group and decides, much to the relief of friends and family, that the time has come to find his own way in the big wide world. After receiving some much needed advice from Rafiki, the omniscient monkey, who suggests that his search for Hakuna Matata should take him beyond “that which you can see” our little hero finds himself drawn to the farthest object he can see - “the big pointy rock” in the distance. Along the way we learn how Timon first meets Pumbaa and exactly why everyone bowed when Simba was held aloft at Pride Rock back in the original Lion King tale.
What we have here is a “coming of age” story and the moral is a simple one - selfishness begets selfishness, but treat others the way you would like to be treated and everyone benefits. Unfortunately it takes more than worthy morals to make a good movie and I feel that this release, although by no means dire, does pale rather when compared to its illustrious forerunner. Perhaps a simple quote from the inside front cover of the DVD would sum up best how I feel about this release - “Find out where they came from, how they met, and why some of the greatest moments in The Lion King look a little different from their perspective. They were there and they ain't lion!” Indeedy.
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