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April 25, 2024

Where Every Family Matters

“The Lion King” in 4DX

The highly anticipated Disney movie, The Lion King, opened over the weekend and did not disappoint ... too much. — Spoilers Below! —

There are 22 4DX locations in the U.S. and Canada — only ONE in Middle Tennessee. It's at Regal Cinemas Opry Mills and there's only one theater room with this grand feature.

Here are some big moments of what you can expect to experience when you go see the new Disney live-action, The Lion King:

  • As the wildebeest stampede through the gorge, you'll experience fog at the front of the room, wind, motion + vibration as your seats move to the movements of the wildebeests, and air shots – capturing the suspense, chairs following the thunderous movements.
  • Scent: The movie captures the scents of the safari plains in a pleasant floral smell. There's supposed to be a smell with the ominous elephant graveyard, but I didn't notice it. The other big moment of wonderful smells was during the iconic waterfall from the famous "Hakuna Matata" scene.
  • The chairs also move to the beat of the music, which make you feel as if you're dancing right along with the animals. There are several other moments where the chairs move to the beat of the music or to the rhythmic run of the animals.
  • Another element to experience is the rain that falls after Simba takes back the kingdom. The seats squirt water straight up into the air to land back down on you like it's raining.

While every little detail — the coarse animal fur, facial features, water droplets on the animals, plants, bugs and more — was absolutely stunning, the animals lacked expression. The movie stayed true to real animal movements and facial expressions. Even the famed song where Simba can't wait to be king, you will not see the tower of animals. They just run around … a lot.

With the subdued characters and solemn feel held throughout the movie, the one part I was looking forward to, they took out. The funny and quirky song between Timon and Pumbaa, "The Hula Song," added a funny moment to the animated film. But, I guess with the rest of the movie sticking to real animal moves, it would make sense not to have Timon appear in a hula skirt and sing about the hyenas eating his pal, Pumbaa. Not sure as to why it was changed. They instead make a nod to Beauty and the Beast as Timon and Pumbaa appear and start the "Be Our Guest" number in a Lumiere-style French accent.

There are a few other details that you'll notice between the two movies, but as a movie seen all on its own, it's wonderful. My son, age 9, has never seen the animated film (never showed an interest in it), but he loved this movie.

While the tickets cost $24.20 adult matinee ($26 thereafter), $23.20 child and seniors, there is a special collector's combo for a drink and a big bucket of popcorn for less than $11. However, they were sold out on Sunday, which was a major disappointment for the kids who were already eyeing the advertisement for it while standing in the long line for concessions.

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