Lion King II: Simba's Pride
G
Entertainment: +2 1/2
Acceptability: -1/2

Editor's Note: This film is rated NR. This animated sequel to the very popular 1997 The Lion King film is being released direct to video. It continues the story of Simba (voice of Matthew Broderick), the lion king of the Pridelands in Africa, and his struggle with the descendants of the deceased evil lion Scar, who have been banished to the Outlands. Simba now has a baby lioness daughter, Kiara (voice of Neve Campbell), who is lured by curiosity into the Outlands. Here she meets young Kovu (voice of Ryan O'Donohue), Scar's hand-picked successor, who's supposed to be her mortal enemy. But the two young lions fall in love and are determined to end the conflict between their antagonistic family groups. How they attempt to do this makes for an exciting, sometimes lighthearted adventure. But the conflict between the two opposing groups often gives the film a dark, foreboding feeling with constant fighting and tension. The film is rather short on fun sequences, but does have comical animals, colorful animation and inspiring musical numbers. The plot will be difficult for children to follow and parents may not find it as entertaining as the original Lion King.

Some of the questionable elements in the original LION KING also appear in this sequel. Communication with dead spirits is portrayed favorably when the shaman witch doctor communicates with dead spirits and one of the young lions seeks counsel from the spirit of a dead lion king. Also, the Hindu concept of the universality of the soul again is presented as real when Kiara and Kovu look at the stars and say that the spirits of all the great lion kings of the past are up there. Young princess Kiara disobeys her parents on occasion, but her father lovingly chastises her. And jokes are developed around the comical warthog animal passing gas. A number of times the antagonistic lion groups threaten and fight each other. Also, the young lions are chased by alligators and rhinos and threatened by raging grass fires, but none of this violence is excessive or likely to frighten small children. And there are strong commendable messages of families being loyal to each other and reconciling with groups who are their enemies. More than once, the point is made that love is never wrong and will find a way through difficult circumstances. Like the original, the film is free from foul language and sexual content. Only the favorable portrayal of occultic practices and Hindu religious beliefs prevent us from recommending this otherwise family friendly film.

Preview Reviewer: John Evans
Distributor: Buena Vista Home Entertainment, 3900 Alameda Blvd. Burbank, CA 91521

Summary
Crude Language: None
Obscene Language: None
Profanity: None
Violence: Many Times-Moderate (Lions fall in water, are chased by alligators and rhinos, and threatened by raging fires. Lions battle each other and mother lion strikes young son; young lioness captured, lion falls off cliff and is killed)
Sexual Intercourse: None
Nudity: None
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: None
Drug Abuse: None
Other: Witch doctor talks to spirits, Hindu concept of universality of soul portrayed as real, young lion tries to communicate with spirit of deal father, young lion asks for forgiveness, family loyalty and reconciling with enemies encouraged, love said never to be wrong and will always find a way)
Running Time: 75 minutes
Intended Audience: Ages 10 and Older

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