Safari Date Night: The Lion King 3D and the Rainforest Cafe
The Lion King is the best Disney movie ever made. I’ve seen every version, from the original theatrical release when I was ten years old, to the most recent DVD release. So when my boyfriend and I saw a commercial for The Lion King 3D, we made sure to get tickets for opening night.
The Lion King 3D was still the beautifully animated movie that it always has been, but with more depth and richness than ever before. Scenes with smoke, dust, or fog were absolutely amazing to watch. Each character popped from the screen. I’ve been a 3D hater for a while now, ever since Resident Evil: Afterlife left me with a migraine and motion sickness, but The Lion King uses 3D in a subtle way. It’s used to accentuate the movie, not completely take it over with crazy 3D tricks.
I half expected to see some scenes redone in order to take advantage of the 3D, but this is the same movie we’ve always loved, and I was very glad that Disney didn’t change anything in the story. Certain filmmakers (*cough* George Lucas) should learn from this. Just because you’re changing film formats that doesn’t mean that you have to change the movie as well, especially a movie as perfect as this one.
What else can I say about The Lion King 3D? It looked gorgeous and the sound was amazing (Rafiki startled me at one point thanks to the surround sound). The addition of 3D doesn’t make it a better or different movie, but it’s still great to see The Lion King on the big screen again.
Another great addition to the movie was the theater we saw it in. We’re lucky to live close enough to Walt Disney World that we got to see it at the AMC Downtown Disney theater. I’d never been there before, and I was very impressed. It is an absolutely beautiful and meticulously maintained theater (duh, it’s Disney). Being surrounded by Disney immediately before and after the movie added to the night’s experience.
After the movie, we walked to the other side of Downtown Disney to eat at the Rainforest Cafe. In case you’ve never been there, the Rainforest Cafe is a theme restaurant with tropical fish tanks, animatronic jungle animals, and a “thunderstorm” every half hour. The food is great, although pricey. It’s a small, crowded restaurant, and calling ahead for preferred seating is a must. We jumped ahead of a long line at 6:30 on a Friday night.
It was a great safari date, and I encourage everyone to go see The Lion King 3D at some point within the next two weeks. It’s a movie that really benefits from being on the big screen.