Chris Willman
February 20, 2004 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Lion King 1 1/2

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
G
performer
Matthew Broderick, Ernie Sabella, Nathan Lane, Whoopi Goldberg, Julie Kavner, Cheech Marin, Jerry Stiller
director
Bradley Raymond
genre
Kids and Family, Animation

We gave it a B

If your kids beg for ritual ”Lion King” viewings but you’ve got hang-ups about a movie with a couple gnarly death scenes, Disney’s got your number: The Lion King 1 1/2. This chronologically concurrent quasi-sequel is sort of the Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead to the original’s ”Hamlet,” viewing the same narrative via meerkat Timon (Nathan Lane) and warthog Pumbaa (Ernie Sabella), taking the piss out of — or putting more farts into — ”LK”’s mortal pretensions. A little borscht-belt humor goes a long way, but it’s hard not to warm up to a Disney movie whose ”meshuggener”-spouting characters make ”The Prince of Egypt” look gentile, and in which an ironic burst of ”Sunrise, Sunset” gets equal time with ”Circle of Life.” EXTRAS Peter Graves parodies Biography and Meredith Vieira hosts a trivia game on a second disc where too much ado is made about a direct-to-video flick.

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