Is The Lion King Appropriate for Young Children?

I was invited by Disney Studios to attend the red carpet premiere of Disney’s The Lion King. All opinions expressed are my own.

When I found out that Jon Favreau was going to be directing the 2019 version of The Lion King, I was confident that we were in good hands. The Jungle Book is amazing visually and I think it’s slept on! Partner that with an all-star cast and childhood nostalgia and I have literally been waiting years for The Lion King to come to theaters again. Like with all live-action remakes there were definitely some differences between this version of the Lion King and it’s 1994 predecessor. But the visuals were amazing, the cast was selected perfectly and the movie did not disappoint.

I got the amazing experience of being in the audience when the movie was screened for the first time ever. We all filed into  the Dolby Theater (home of the Oscars) and viewed the movie among a star studded audience. I can’t wait to share all about that experience in a future post, but for now I will give you the information you came for. Is The Lion King appropriate for young children? There are a few things you should be prepared for.

THE LION KING – Featuring the voice of John Kani as Rafiki, Disney’s “The Lion King” is directed by Jon Favreau. In theaters July 19, 2019. © 2019 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

What is The Lion King About?

Disney’s “The Lion King,” directed by Jon Favreau, journeys to the African savanna where a future king is born. Simba idolizes his father, King Mufasa, and takes to heart his own royal destiny. But not everyone in the kingdom celebrates the new cub’s arrival. Scar, Mufasa’s brother—and former heir to the throne—has plans of his own. The battle for Pride Rock is fraught with betrayal, tragedy and drama, ultimately resulting in Simba’s exile. With help from a curious pair of newfound friends, Simba will have to figure out how to grow up and take back what is rightfully his.


How long is the movie?

The run time for The Lion King is 118 minutes. And though the 2019 version being almost 30 minutes longer than the animated version, you do not notice. I actually found myself sitting in the movie theater thinking about how fast the story goes by. If your child is used to sitting through the animated version this one shouldn’t feel much longer.

Are there any parts of The Lion King I should be concerned about?

Short answer, yes. The Lion King is rated PG compared to the rated G animated version. With this new version being so beautifully animated through CGI, scenes feel even more real. The stampede scene and the scene right after (you should know the movie) were extremely intense. Also, our villains are a little more smarter and a little more dark this go around. There is a scene that shows Scar eating a dead animal (the animal can’t be scene but you do see blood on his mouth). Shenzi is also a lot smarter and a little more scary. If you have a child that is easily scared or sensitive to death then the Lion King may not be appropriate for them.

THE LION KING – Featuring the voices of Florence Kasumba, Eric André and Keegan-Michael Key as the hyenas, and Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar, Disney’s “The Lion King” is directed by Jon Favreau. In theaters July 19, 2019. © 2019 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Should I take my toddler/young children to see The Lion King?

I definitely think that if your child has not seen the animated version of The Lion King you should start there. The first time my 4 year old watched the animated version he cried. The second time he didn’t cry but he hid under the blankets during the stamped. He now watches the movie multiple times a week and he is READY to see the live action version. He is an animal lover and frequently watches nature programming on TV/YouTube so he knows about the realities of nature. I think it is important to know your child’s threshold for “scary” because like I said this version definitely feels darker than the animated one.

The King Returns – Disney’s The Lion King is in theaters everywhere July 19th 2019!

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