Members say: Entertaining, Enchanting, Great staging, Delightful, Must see

About the show

In Julie Taymor's Tony Award winning retelling of Disney's animated hit, puppets and live actors weave a dreamscape of jungle characters, creating the story of young Simba's rise to the throne.

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The award-winning stage adaptation of the 1994 Disney film, 'The Lion King' tells the story of a young lion prince, Simba. He idolizes his father, the king Mufasa, while at the same time youthfully shirks the responsibility his position in life requires. When an unthinkable tragedy orchestrated by Simba’s wicked uncle, Scar, takes Mufasa’s life, Simba must fulfill his destiny to be king. 'The Lion King' is the winner of 6 Tony Awards, including Best Musical.

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See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews

The New York Times

"You can only marvel at the exotic procession of animals before you: the giraffes and the elephants and the hippopotamuses and all those birds in balletic flight. These are creatures of air and light and even a touch of divinity. Where are you, really, anyway? Somehow you have fallen into what appears to be a primal paradise. Such is the transporting magic wrought by the opening 10 minutes of ''The Lion King.''" Full Review

Time Out New York

"Taymor populates the stage with an amazing menagerie of beasts; her audacious staging expands a simple cub into the pride of Broadway, not merely a fable of heredity but a celebration of heritage." Full Review

St. Petersburg Times

"The Lion King is a spectacular rendition of the animated film, a brilliant theatrical adaptation that stands on its own...Taymor has risen to the challenge, translating the physically complex tale to the stage with an endlessly clever, visually stunning use of masks, puppetry, costumes and scenic effects; the stage show has the delighted audience firmly in its grip." Full Review


"The opening scene unfolds with moment after giddy moment of astonishment. South African choral harmonies, with their calming and yet exuberant rhythms of attack and release, seem to come from everywhere in the darkness. A magical rich jungle parade." Full Review

The Associated Press

"Make no mistake: The Lion King is a rare theater experience. The musical is intelligent spectacle, extravagance with a purpose -- and a heart. From the moment it begins, The Lion King offers astonishing stage magic. Performers walking on giant stilts become giraffes, birds, and a pride of lionesses, dance with a solemn gracefulness that is breathtaking." Full Review


"A stunning stage event. Combining a graceful horde of actors, singers and dancers with a stylized world of fantastic puppets and theatrical wonderment." Full Review

New York Magazine / Vulture

"You will be bombarded by some of the most beautiful and spectacular sights theater can offer from before and behind, so eyes in the back of the head will come in handy. Full Review

Washington Times

"A bold work of art, and stylistically the most daring piece of theater, to hit mainstream musicals in years. You gotta love it - and judging by the roars at a preview performance for critics and insiders last week, Broadway does. "The Lion King" - arguably the most expensive puppet show in history - is a long, imperfect musical. But it is also a dazzling, one-of-a-kind entertainment." Full Review

Broadway Voice

"Watching the faces of all the actors as they dance and sing with their puppet counterpoints make this show an enchanting evening of enjoyment for just about any age audience." Full Review

Sarasota Herald Tribune

"The opening number alone is enough to send you leaping from your seat. With bursting sunrises, a stampede, and comical interactions among the diverse characters...The Lion King offers enough eye candy to satisfy audiences inured to lavishness by rising helicopters and crashing chendeliers." Full Review

Columbus Dispatch

"Breathtaking moments abound: The wildebeests stampede directly toward the audience, growing ever bigger; fish and eels swim through a river; the heat of an African drought evaporates a shrinking lake; and the second act opens with multicolored birds flying above and through the theater." Full Review

USA Today

"From the very first minutes of The Lion King, you feel yourself on new ground -- no, in a whole new world....When The Lion King is good, it's enthralling." Full Review

Flying the Nest

"The Lion King musical is a great starter drug to the theatre world as the familiarity can give you a very enjoyable night out. If you are a Disney fan or theatre fan it is hard not to recommend going to see the show. If you don’t like theatre – why not give it a try." Full Review


"One comes away with a sense of having witnessed a dazzling kaleidoscope of perfection, both in performance and in spectacle, yet with the profound satisfaction of experiencing something beyond theatre. To say the effect is breathtaking is an understatement, it is overwhelming." Full Review

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

"Taymor's creation is a breathtaking visual and aural feast that begins with a thrilling opening scene so euphoric the rest of the show is almost anticlimactic. The animal kingdom has never been so spectacularly re-created on a stage." Full Review

Post and Courier

"To see "The Lion King," winner of the 1998 Tony Award for Best Musical, is not only to witness a groundbreaking combination of music, scenery and puppeteering, but also to be made aware that every living being, from the largest elephant to the smallest bird, is connected in some way." Full Review


"It is a wonderfully colorful spectacle with some of the most imaginative staging you are ever likely to see." Full Review

Denver Post

"The dramatically imaginative "The Lion King" is perhaps the most visually amazing production ever seen on stage...Heart-grabbing and jaw-dropping, "The Lion King" inspires awe from its opening moment." Full Review

Virginian Pilot

""The Lion King,'' with its life-sized puppets, tribal drums and revolving scenery, is not a product of re-creation but one of creation...Julie Taymor has kept the basic plot of the 1994 cartoon movie while expanding it into a purely theatrical form all its own." Full Review

Seattle Post-Intelligencer

"A powerful multicultural cast that steals your breath and makes you feel your heart will burst with pleasure.Taymor's use of elegantly ingenious puppetry obliterates the realistic theater as we know it and takes us to exotic new places. Every performance is a standout." Full Review

Syracuse Herald Journal

"Disney delivers razzle dazzle, plus pomp and pageantry..."The Lion King" needs it. The coming-of-age story is about as fresh as yesterday's bread and as tiny as one of those sidekicks in Disney's animated film." Full Review

Plain Dealer

"If you liked the film of "The Lion King," you will not be disappointed by the Broadway musical. And if you have not been a Disney fan you will be knocked out by this transformation of an animated film to a live theater piece." Full Review

Family Vacation Critic

"So come find out what all the fuss is about, and re-introduce the kids to all their favorite characters -- Simba, Nala, Mufasa, Zazu and of course, Timon and Pumbaa -- in a vibrant, colorful and magical new way." Full Review

Street Directory

"The show is a visual masterpiece...The characters are as lovable and enduring as in the film." Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews

Refreshing, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if you like Disney musicals, you are interested in new takes on traditional productions

Don't see it if you can't stand stage adaptations of Disney films, want an indepth musical experience

Also It took 20 years to see this and the opening was quite impressive with... Read more Read less

Delightful, Enchanting, Masterful, Great singing, Great staging

See it if You love the Lion King movie and want to see a brilliant live action version.

Don't see it if You don't like Broadway musicals or the Lion King.

Ambitious, Entertaining, Great singing, Great staging

See it if you want to see the giant hit. I saw this long ago when my kids were young and this was a fairly new show. A colorful pageant.

Don't see it if Kids love the movie. Not sure the play is any better for them. But maybe nice for them to see a play where they know the story and music.

Also A good first experience for kids at the theater EXCEPT -- all the nois... Read more Read less

Profound, Insipid, Juvenile, Overrated, Great staging

See it if You are drawn in by the Disney magic and cannot get those Elton John songs out of your head. Some of them will drive you mad.

Don't see it if Kiddie plays disguised as blockbusters annoy you.

Also Seeing this again for the second time in 20 years reminded me of how u... Read more Read less

Delightful, Exquisite, Must see, Refreshing, Great staging

See it if I have never been a fan of the movie but this musical version is just stunningly beautiful. Director Julie Taymor's vision is astounding.

Don't see it if The sheer physical execution by the actors and puppetry will take your breath away.

Exquisite, Intelligent, Masterful, Must see, Great writing

See it if You want to see one of the best shows in your life fabulous costumes fabulous story fabulous singing fabulous staging

Don't see it if You hate musicals or stories with a moral

Ambitious, Cliched, Overrated, Dated, Great singing

See it if You want to see the Disney movie classic

Don't see it if You want something that is new and current

Clever, Disappointing, Overrated, Dated, Great staging

See it if you are a big fan of the movie and want to witness creative puppetry.

Don't see it if you're going on the assumption a long running show equals excellence. This production is running on fumes, it could use an updated reboot.

Overrated, No heart, Souless, Puppet show, Movie is better

See it if You want to see an impressive puppet show.

Don't see it if Want to feel anything. All spectacle and no soul. Staged but not directed acting wise.

Disappointing, Overrated, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if like the way the animal and set was done.

Don't see it if I cannot get into the play. If you want the movie

Overrated, Slow, Great staging

See it if You like Disney, although the cartoon was better. Julie Taymor's puppets are a hoot, probably the best thing in the show.

Don't see it if You don't like Disney. You're not missing much. Rent the cartoon instead.

Masterful, Disappointing, Cliched, Overrated, Great staging

See it if Absolutely masterful costumes and ingenious staging. A visual treat with instantly recognizable references to the source you grew up with

Don't see it if Predictable and formulative where you expect depth but in return receive watered down short dialogues. Iconic yes, the best, no.

Clever, Banal, Disappointing

See it if You are bringing kids or you a a big Disney fan

Don't see it if You expect a moving story from cartoonish characters. I know a lot of people would call this a show not to be missed, but it was lost on me

Funny, Great acting, Entertaining, Great singing, Great staging

See it if you like the music, the story, and you want to see magnificent designs.

Don't see it if you didn't like the film or the story.

Enchanting, Disappointing, Overrated, Slow

See it if you like Disney style of music, etc. and your kids are begging to you to spend money on this production.

Don't see it if you don't have any children to take to the theater.

Also The Lion King is overrated, but at the same time is one of the longest... Read more Read less

Delightful, Enchanting, Must see, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if you like big splashy musicals with amazing sets and costumes...

Don't see it if you don't like fairy tales...

Absorbing, Ambitious, Delightful, Enchanting, Great staging

See it if you want your kids to see a great performance

Don't see it if if you don't like a great feel good story. Music and dancing are incredible.

Absorbing, Ambitious, Must see, Riveting, Great staging

See it if You love a spectacle

Don't see it if You don't like puppets

Entertaining, Great singing, Great staging

See it if you liked the movie, you like puppetry, you have children to bring.

Don't see it if you want a new telling of the story you know. It's basically a live action version of the movie.

Enchanting, Epic, Must see, Riveting, Great staging

See it if you appreciate talented dancing, puppetry, visionary staging, and like the movie.

Don't see it if you want a well-behaved audience.

Ambitious, Epic, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if you want to be awed by theater magic and creativity.

Don't see it if You are not a fan of the Disney movie or are generally adverse to being in a theater surrounded by children

Disappointing, Overrated, Slow, Great singing, Great staging

See it if you are familiar with disney's lion king, and enjoy the music.

Don't see it if you are die-hard disney fan and have high expectations.

Clever, Delightful, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if You love great muscals, staging, costumes,

Don't see it if If have no wimsy.

Clever, Great acting, Must see

See it if you love the movie. It is a great show for the family and the costumes are unbelievably good.

Don't see it if you do not like shows that are geared towards children.

Creative, Absorbing, Enchanting, Must see, Great staging

See it if you love theater/musicals but (wrongly) assume this show is just a live-action staging of classic scenes from the movie

Don't see it if …no reason not to see it! Even if you hate theater I can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t be impressed by the inventiveness of this production

Also 3 major misconceptions:... Read more Read less

Cast & Creatives (65)