THE LION KING has roared into theaters but if you haven’t seen it yet then you might want to consider going the extra mile and enjoying it in 4DX. While the movie itself seems to have mixed reviews, one thing is certain that this enhanced format coupled with 3D is an awesome way to enjoy the movie. Given the opportunity to review the new Disney film in this way, we pounced on the opportunity.
A lot of people have made observations that the live-action reboot is almost a shot-for-shot recreation of the animated feature but one thing that’s absolutely certain is that you’ve never seen THE LION KING like this!
We’ve said it before but short of a safety spiel and a lap bar, the 4DX experience is basically a theme park attraction in its own right. On first glance, it doesn’t seem entirely different than what you’re used to in a modern cineplex but these plush comfy sweats offer more than meets the eye with a wide range of motion and also the ability to vibrate.
THE LION KING is an interesting one in this format. Other films we’ve seen have been big blockbuster action movies so the motion of the seats are naturally integrated but for a souped-up nature flick like this one, the focus changes a little.
The most exciting segments were the iconic fights between the lions but where the motion is most poignant and fun is during the unforgettable and pivotal stampede scene. At other points, the motion can be a bit mismatched such as the opening scene with “Circle of Life.” It’s not overly-distracting, but does seem slightly earnest in its application at times.
But moving seats aren’t the only effect to make this journey special. This is a multi-sensory experience that can include gusts of wind while flying high over the Savannah with Zazu; sprinkles of water from waterfalls in the jungle with Timon and Pumbaa; strobe effects adding lightning into the theater when Mufasa appears in the clouds; and puffs of smoke/fog giving an extra layer of dimension to the stampede scene. Another effect we noticed for the first time in a 4DX movie was the usage of scent effects which — at our theater for some reason — was a little hard to discern. We couldn’t quite tell if it was supposed to be grass or fresh air or dirt or something else; there was clearly a scent in the air at various points but it was muddled and hard to decipher. Plus, although we didn’t notice their usage for this picture, 4DX theaters are typically also equipped to deliver additional effects including snow, hot air, and bubbles.
You might have seen a ScreenX mega widescreen presentation or noshed on over-priced eats in a dine-in theater, but if you haven’t experienced a 4DX format picture before, you’re truly missing out on a really fun way to enjoy blockbuster movies.
THE LION KING is now playing in theaters in several formats including 4DX which you can learn more about here.