Last night was a dream come true. And it was better than I ever could have imagined. I felt like Rapunzel in Tangled (why yes, I am citing a Disney movie in a post about a Disney movie); before living her dream, she has a fear that it will either not live up to her high expectations or it will and then she won't have the dream anymore. I was a little afraid I had built up my Lion King love a little too much; what if the theatrical re-release wasn't as amazing as I expected? I'd never seen a 3D movie before, what if I didn't like it?
I had absolutely nothing to worry about. I loved the 3D aspect; I got teary during The Circle of Life just as I did during the Broadway show. The sun rises over the horizon and I just tear up. I can't help it; majestic beauty makes me cry. But in a good way. Zazu flew in over my head and I made more excited noises than the theatre full of kids.
When I had dreamed of seeing The Lion King on the big screen again, I had never thought about the audience. I see animated films in theatres all the time; I'm used to sitting in an auditorium full of children. I have the same capacity for wonderment and amazement I had as a child (this is why I'm such a happy person-- little things excite me. That's the secret of life: enjoy the little things without letting little things bother you), but it was a completely different experience to watch my favorite movie, on the big screen, surrounded by a generation that had never seen it. The sense of wonderment was undescribable. They were ooh-ing and aah-ing and completely enraptured by this film. It was amazing.
The scene in the gorge is one I often avoid. I always hope it will somehow end differently. I get a sense of dread the moment Scar walks away and leaves Simba under the little tree, waiting for Mufasa. As if Mufasa's death weren't heartbreaking enough, this exchange went on between the mother and child in front of me (in whispers, of course-- they were very respectful):
Child: (gasps) No, he didn't die. He doesn't die, does he, mommy?
Mom: Yes, honey, he dies. But it'll be okay.
And then the child started crying. Of course I was already crying, but this only made it worse. Also? Crying under 3D glasses is kind of obnoxious.
The 3D aspect was handled really well. It's not like I imagined, or like shows at theme parks, where the only 3D is throwing stuff in your face. I felt like I was surrounded by my favorite characters in my favorite movie. There were a few scenes added to enhance the 3D by having the camera angle be first-person, but only someone who has watched TLK as often as I have would notice. It didn't detract or distract from the plot in any way. It was the ideal amount of new technology mixed with an amazing film.
And I'm not even the one who started the clapping at the end. I joined in, but for once I didn't start it. I might when I see it again next weekend, though. ;)