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These Are My Views.
I would like to start off by stating a fact: The Internet is a place of free speech.
I have different views than you. Just because I have different views than you does not give
you the right to Flame me, just because you don't feel the same way as I do. Flaming me will
not change my views. If you actually have something intelligent to say on the following topic, I
will be happy to *Maturely* discuss things with you. I find discussion on opposing views interesting
and educational. All Flames will simply be ignored. Thank you. :)
Original Characters from TLK
Below is an explanation for each character on why I don't like them in Simba's Pride. (Keep in
mind I like *EVERY* character from TLK, so I can do this for every character in SP.)
I have to say, I love Simba in TLK, both young and adolescant. However,
in Simba's Pride, he seems to be overprotective and weird. This could be the
product of his bad childhood, where he did not properly learn how to be King
or a Father. Nonetheless, I think he was a little *too* overprotective and nasty,
even considering his past. Another thing is the way his character was drawn.
In TLK, his mane had lines. Now it's just this big ugly re blob on his head,
and it's not really even the right shade of red. At times during the "We Are One" scene,
his eyes aren't the brownish-red they usually are, they were almost a pale, faded green (this
only occured for a few seconds though.) All in all, he is pretty messed up.
Nala, it seems to me, apparently has retained most of her character. Although in this one,
she has a much smaller role (however she is still guiding Simba). The only things I have a problem with
Nala is her character design. Since when are her eyes blue? (NOTE: In TLK, they turned a slight
blue during CYFTLT, I believe they turned this color to match the hue of the surroundings, much like Scar's fur
and mane take on a greenish tint during "Be Prepared".) Also, her chin seems to have gotten a little bigger.
Maybe they were trying to show some age (?)...
I think when they stuck his big grinning Image in the clouds in the "He Lives In You" sequence,
it sort of took away from the awe-striking majesty of his original ghostly apparition in The Lion King.
I think the wind blowing around them and the song was enough to hint that Mufasa was always watching over,
and that his presence was felt at the presentation of Kiara. I don't think it was nessecary to put his big
face in a gold cloud. Otherwise, he seems to be in okay form.
Timon & Pumbaa
*Shudder*. That's the only way I could think of starting this. I admit, I really like Timon and
Pumbaa in TLK (Not to the point where I would make a webpage for them but I *do* enjoy them.) However,
they were just plain annoying in SP. I thought Pumbaa's head was weirdly drawn, and Timon's jokes were out of
context and came in at the worst times. Timon's "Throw Pillow" and "Beeper" jokes were far to Human-oriented. (I realize
that there are Human-oriented jokes in TLK, and I'm not bending the rules for TLK. I'm simply saying the ones in SP
were misplaced where at least TLK's was tasteful for where it was.)
Poor Zazu! He was so funny without him realizing it in TLK. I realize he is not
really that important to the plot in Simba's Pride, much like Nala, but I feel as if
he should be done a greater justice. Edward Hibbert, no offense to him, but I don't think
he was the best choice to replace the ever-talented Rowan Atkinson. It just took away from his character.
Does he seem shorter to you?
Rafiki shows mostly his derranged side during the film. However, we rarely
see the mysterious shaman like we did in TLK. "It is time!" was blunt but meant so much.
Sure, he still did his painting but that was about all we saw of the mystic shaman.
Okay, so he only says two words. But he looks sorta Cartoonish to me. *shrug*
Maybe that's because it was in Simba's dream, but Mufasa looked normal to me. I dunno.
New Characters Making First Appearances
Princess of the Pridelands, Kiara is Simba and Nala's daughter.
At first, she strongly suggests that she doesn't want to be a Queen because it's "no fun."
However, she seemed to have dropped this subject pretty quickly.(?) Kiara is okay at times
but she is a sort of flat character. She really only has seven or eight different facial expressions,
and they are almost identical to Kovu's. There is not really much else to say about her...mainly because
she's such a flat character. I like the way she looks though.
Kovu is the son of Zira and Scar. (That was the original intent and I'm sticking with it, even though
they changed it for obvious Family relation reasons.) He is in training to overthrow Simba and rule the Pridelands in
Scar's place. His facial expressions are sort of bland, except for a frightened look or two. (To me, his facial expressions are so
dumb it's almost as if he were some bad actor on a Soap Opera or something...at least that's what it reminds me of.) He is a weird character;
he turns too quickly against his pride (even though he does love Kiara, I don't see how he could just turn his back on them so fast). He also seems
untouched by Zira's death (suicide). Yes, he lowers his head for a moment and breaths heavy but then he's all happy-doo-da-let's-go-back-to-the-pridelands again.
Also in Nuka's death, Vitani seems very hurt by her brother's death, but Kovu doesn't seem as depressed. Even though Nuka was not especially fond of his
brother, I still think Kovu would have some sort of reaction to his death! I don't like his Adult Voice, either. I also don't enjoy the way he is animated.
Zira is Scar's widow. (Or at least she was until they cut out all those scenes!) She is blinded by rage to train Kovu in a loveless (to him at least) childhood to eventually
overthrow King Simba. Zira, actually, is a very interesting character. It seems to me she would be even better if they had left her cut scenes in the film.
It would help explain a lot of things to the people who only saw the finished
version of Simba's Pride and heard of no cut scenes. (My Friend, infact, did not understand who Zira was, and what
connection she had with Scar and the Pridelands. I understand this confusion entirely.) The only thing I don't like
about Zira is that she is animated weirdly and often moves like a human (How many lions do you know that can just
lift their arms above their head like that?).
Vitani. Everyone seems to love her, even though to me she is too underdeveloped
to have such a following. ("Well Sarabi was underdeveloped," you protest. True, but she did show strength and
good motherhood, and her character stayed true the entire film.) Vitani was too quick to turn on her mother, it seems to me,
since she was basically raised in the twisted world her mother had put her in. How her views could be changed
so quickly I'll never know. I do have a confession, however: I was the first Vitani-holic. That's right folks, KK her old self was
the first. Way back in July, 1998 when the only trace we had of Vitani was her Beanie Baby and a picture nametag. I then announced
I was a Vitani-holic because I "liked the way she looked." Little did I know about how Disney later made her into..I still do think she
is a different and interesting looking lioness. But her character is opposite thereof.
Nuka is probably another interesting character in the film; he constantly tries to gain his mother's attention
and respect. However, Zira, too wrapped up in her plans, pays no attention to her son until it is too late to make
up for the time they lost. I feel that Nuka's character would have been summed up better had they left in his last line
spoken in the film: "Well, I finally got your attention, didn't I? ...Didn't I?" I am slightly bothered by his mauled appearance,
but he is probably one of the only characters I like in the film.
BAD STORYTELLING, ANIMATION AND CUT SCENES
Bad Storytelling and Cut Scenes
I feel that because of the cut scenes, there was far too much confusion with as to
why characters were doing certain things in Simba's Pride. I feel that the "Upendi" scene was
unessecary, I feel that Kiara and Kovu would have realized they had feelings for each other on their own.
Did we really need a big goofy rainbow song thing? I think Love Will Find A Way was enough (Despite how generic the
song is). I feel that the Outlanders were "left in the dark". They were not explained enough as to why
they were Outsiders in the first place, and what Zira had to do with Scar. Had they left one scene in (Vitani and Nuka bring the
news of Simba's child), things would have fit into place better. I feel that Zira's suicide should have been left in,
it would have given her character more meaning and we would see how loyal she really was to Scar. (Plus she wouldn't be smiling for
no reason when she flew off that cliff!)
I feel that the Animation for The Lion King II: Simba's Pride is a giant leap compared to the other
Disney sequels. Things were actually shadowed this time and had a little more eye-pleasing appeal. However,
I felt that the animation was too fuzzy, like they were trying to hide the fact that it wasn't as good as
TLK's. I realize budgets are lower in Sequels, but I still feel the way the characters were drawn, at least, could be drawn
better. Settings were also changed. I would have rather they stuck with the true TLK layout.
Example: When Kiara runs away after the (cornily animated) One Of Us scene (I say corny because I feel the song is good [except for that hippo guy] but the scene that
goes with it is just lame), she runs into a forest that seems to be directly in front of Pride Rock. Er? I don't remember any forest suddenly sprouting out in TLK there...
Well, that's all I'm going to say about The Lion King II: Simba's Pride (That is, of course, until I think of more stuff).
And remember kids, Flaming is stupid. Don't try it. :)