The Lion King 2: Simba’s Pride is generally considered to be one of the better Disney Sequels. But it is, is it really? Let’s find out.
The plot is Romeo and Juliet pretty much. After Simba dethrons Scar, Simba banishes Scar’s Loyalists which I guess divided the Pride. The leader of Scar’s Loyalist is Zira, who is the mother of Kovu, the one Scar picked to succeed him. Simba’s daughter, Kiara, and Kovu meet and have a thing. Zira uses this to try to take her revenege on Simba and Rafiki plays matchmaker to help restore the prides. In the end the two factions come together and yay big happy lion family. Timon and Pumbaa as well as Nala and Zuzu do very little.
The first thing is compared to the other sequels, this one looks like an effort was put in to it. The animation is very nice and the songs are all pretty good. No ear bleeds here. So in the technicals, yes it’s good. But there is a lot of weirdness going on here.
It feels like a Fan-fiction in the conflict. Where were these lionesses in the first movie? Shrugs. This conflict isn’t in keeping with what happen in The Lion King. I also find it hard to believe that Scar had supporters. I think the real issue and the way Scar got supports in that that Pride Rock faction wear white eyeliner and the outlanders like black eyeliner. It’s a Make-up war.
Another thing with these “other” Lions is that they look like Scar. Are the darker hues and black eyeliner a recessive genetic trait? Who is Kovu’s father? This movie makes it very clear it’s not Scar but there are no other males. The logic in this isn’t thought out. And it’s not a small thing, people discuss this massive plot-hole and come up with theories.
Even the logic of set-up isn’t super great, in fact, it’s really bad, this story feels different from the Lion King. Whereas Simba’s story is one of redemption and loss, this one is a forbidden love story. The forbidden love alway gets people invested. But the forbidden love angle comes at the expense of Simba’s character, who a jerk in this movie. Kiara and Kovu are interesting and likable. Kiara and Kovu act like Simba and Scar in some ways and are quite different in others. For instance Kiara as cub gets into mischief like Simba but she doesn’t really want to be Queen whereas Simba couldn’t wait to be King.
However the movie as a weird little addiction of making referencing the original movie. Zira at the end of My Lullaby is practically the same shot as the ending of Be Prepare. Kovu’s scar is just like Scar’s, in fact Kovu means Scar . Kovu’s brother, Nuka, dies, Simba’s father dies. A song heavily features a Swahili word. Hakuna Matata is said for no reason other than to be said. I’m sure there are more. I just want to point out the Nuka’s face is burned and he’s ok but a rotten log hits him and he dies.
Another thing annoy about the movie, is the haphazard time jump. It’s like bam, Kovu is an adult. You blink, you miss it. It’s so quick that the Kiara’s pride misses it. One Lioness says “Look how you’ve grown.” People only say that because when there is a large gap in seeing a child. Like when you haven’t seen a child in like 7 years. Not when you see the kid every day. Did Kiara spend x number or months or years in a cave? The original movie has a really nice time lapse, why couldn’t this movie steal that? Also Kiara says she and Simba used to stare at the stars together. That would have been a nice scene, too bad we missed it. Hey movie screenwriting 101, show, don’t tell.
The Lion King 2: Simba’s Pride had a big act to follow but I think despite all the weirdness, it’s alright. It’s not like a fantastic movie but when you consider the Disney sequels, this is one of the better ones even with all the flaws.