My opinion right after watching movie
My opinion right after the film is that it is pretty darn good. Sure, there are some contrivances that I do have an issue with, and it is one of the most cheesy Disney film that I have ever seen, but there is a lot of effort that was put into this film, and I have to give props where props is due.
Apparently this film was being planned before The Lion King was released (just like they did with the Aladdin series), and the plans for the sequel was revealed in January 1995, and it was supposed to be released in late 1995 but got pushed back years and years until its 1998 release. Scar’s son and Simba’s daughter were supposed to hook up, and the kids ended up being Kovu and Kiara, but their relationship was changed because of the familial connection (though that is how Lions run things biologically).
The film starts off with the animals of the Pridelands gathering for the birth of Kiara (Neve Campbell), and while this is happening, we hear the song He Lives in You, which I personally feel is the only song in this film that can hold to The Lion King. A few years later, we see Simba (Matthew Broderick) become very overprotective of his daughter, and has Timon (Nathan Lane) and Pumbaa (Ernie Sabella) go after her when she goes for a walk. They bump into Kiara, and then they start to ramble on and on about eating bugs, which causes Kiara to walk away. I know I said in my other review that I am not really fan of Timon and Pumbaa, and my opinion most certainly has not changed from this film.
Simba then talks to her about the Circle of Life stuff, and we learn that she does not want to be a queen, but he tells her that it is in her blood. We get another song called We are One, which is self explanatory by the title of the song.
We are taken to the outlands, where we see Kovu’s siblings Vitani (Jennifer Lien) and Nuka (Andy Dick) talk about how he left Kovu to wander by himself. Zira shows up with Kovu, and yells at her other children (who are also Scar’s children) for not watching over Kovu. She then yells at Kovu, who she is coercing to be the one to kill Simba and take over the pridelands. After what happened, she wants him to befriend Kiara to get closer to Simba. So after Zira sings about her golden child Kovu, we age a few years to see a teenage Kovu, prepared, trained, and ready to kill Simba.
While Kovu and Kiara go on their hunt, Timon and Pumbaa soon bump into them, and they confuse Kovu for Scar. Soon enough, they all start having fun as they run from Rhinos, and start to hide in a compressed space, which is to set up the romantic chemistry between the two of them. They are looking at the stars, and Kovu is scared, since he is falling in love with the daughter of the man he is to kill. Rafiki (Robert Guillaume) shows up, and sings “Upendi”, which means love in Swahili I believe, and the two spend more time falling in love with one another.
The next morning, Kovu wants to tell Kiara the truth about Zira’s plan, and his love for her, but Simba wants to speak to Kovu. So they go on a walk, and he tells Kovu about Scar (who never saw that Scar let the power destroy him), but Zira and crew show up.
Timon and Pumbaa carry Simba back to their land, and he tells his daughter that Kovu is the reason why he is like this. After Kovu gets banished by his mother, he gets banished from the Pridelands as well. Kiara does not want him to go, and refuses to believe that Kovu had any part of this, even after Simba tells her that he used her to get closer to and to kill her father. He tells her that she is not going anywhere without his permission. Because she is a horny girl in love, she gets mad at her father, and tells him that he will never be Mufasa, right before running off. There is no reason for her to not believe this when all of the facts say otherwise.
So it is the night, and she runs off to find Kovu. They both have a little song, and after a moment, he asks her to run away, so they can start their own pride (the way it was said in the movie was so weird), but Kiara tells him that they need to go back, to unite the two prides. Simba goes to Timon and Pumbaa, who are arguing about losing Kiara again. Zira’s pride approaches Simba’s pride for the final climax, and the young couple arrive to see the both of them attack one another. After Kiara and Kovu tells everyone to stop, mostly everyone agrees with them but Zira, who is still on her vengeance trip. Right as she is about to attack Simba (for Scar), Kiara jumps in, and they both fall down a cliff, and when Kiara tries to save Zira from falling down into the river, Zira refuses, and drowns to her death. All of them become one, and they all join the Pride Lands to be happy.
If any of you know me, than you know that I have never really been impressed with any of the characters in this franchise, and in this film, it is not really any different. I do not care enough to give Timon and Pumbaa their own section.
The animation is actually pretty good, and it almost looks like it was something from the WDAS canon. The designs and backgrounds were consistent from the first movie, and the color was very vibrant. You can tell that the animation was not just thrown together like most of the other films in this canon.
The music is good enough, but something about it is just a bit off to me. It sounds much more broadway than the african themed music of the first film, It does the job good enough I guess. The only memorable song is the introduction song in the beginning of the film.
Reception at Release
When the film was released on October 27th, 1998, it received a lot of negative reviews, and received the same complaint that the other Disney sequels got. Many stated that it is better than the other Disneytoon films though.
It has the same reputation today that it had when it came out, though I found from the online blogs that a lot of people are seeing it as being overrated. It is still known by many to be THE best film in this canon.
28.5/40 = 71%