The Lion King doesn't lack for other entertaining songs. The kids will love the boppy "Hakuna Matata," the "What me worry?" carpe diem anthem of Pumbaa and Timon that occupies Simba's long hiatus as a dropout. Simba's "I Just Can't Wait to Be King" keeps up the enthusiasm. Quite touching are "Can You Feel the Love Tonight," sung at the end by the principals, and the reprise of the lesson-song "He Lives In You," as Rafiki personalizes the circle of life to Simba.

This musical improves upon its less ambitious source in ways beyond adding dimensionality to a cartoon. When Simba points out that they will soon be eating the antelopes they are admiring, his father reminds him that when they die their bodies become the grass that the antelopes will eat. Call me naïve, but I occasionally detected sincerity in this entertaining but primarily commercial enterprise.

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