Leo the Lion: King of the Jungle (Video 1994) Poster

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Underrated Story
wolfofmoonandsun28 January 2005
Some of the best children's stories are not on Nickelodeon or in published in Highlights, but hiding in the darkest corners of run-down movie stories. Leo the Lion is a perfect example of this. Even though I was already around seven or eight when I had the pleasure of first seeing this movie, it instantly became one of my favorites. Today that copy is sitting on my dresser, almost broken from being played so much.

The title character is a lion king who doesn't care one bit for the animals he's supposed to be in charge of ("We demand your attention!" "Or your resignation!") He's happier just to lay around in the sun and steal from weaker animals. And to top it all off, he's too stupid to notice that animals are going missing. Sounds like George W. Bush turned into a big cat.

Naturally, kiddie movie protocol demands a cute little kid to get through to the big guy. And in this case, it comes in the form of a lion cub (strangely, his mother never named him. Leo eventually starts calling him Tooie.) He's left to fend for himself when his mother is captured by poachers to be sold to a circus and it's then that he meets Leo. Long story short, he wins the king over and they plan to free all the animals that where captured, all the while teaching Leo about being kind to others. And stuff.

The plot? Predictable. The villains? Beyond cliché. But that's to be expected and Leo the Lion really is a sweet story. In fact, it has a good share of moments that deserve an "awwww!" With his big sad eyes, strange chocolate points, and the fact that his life sucks, Tooie is downright adorable. I wish I knew who did his voice...they're very, very good. So is Leo's, if a tad overboard with the gruffness.

Quite possibly the best thing about this movie is the music. Leo the Lion has an incredible soundtrack for a low-budget, made for children under six. The opening theme is just plain catchy and I dare you not to tap your toes to it. The second is sung by Tooie post-orphaning but pre-Leo, when he's alone and desperately trying to take care of himself...he sounds so genuinely heartbroken. The third is the "Hey, audience! Leo's changed! He's a nice guy now! See? See? See?" It's not as good as the other two but not at all unlikable.

Leo the Lion is not Disney by any means. In fact, it must be viewed as what it is--a short movie meant to entertain a few kids--to be enjoyed. But I think it's a sweet little gem of a movie that, as well as its intended purpose, can easily put a smile on the face of adults. It's a shame more people don't know about it.
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Badly Done
samdman699122 February 2008
The faults of this film are many. For starters, what could have been an interesting story was completely wrecked by bad delivery. The animation is choppy and the timing is badly directed to the point of confusing rather than supporting the story. Long pauses and unnecessary scenes contort the plot until it takes physical effort to sit and watch. Vocal talent is OK, but the voices are wasted on mediocre music writing and weird songs: songs memorable only for their strange lyrics. And while the music is bad, the sound effects are horrible!

All in all, this movie isn't worth the money it costs or the time it takes to watch it. I can imagine really, really little kids enjoying it some, but anyone older then 3 will find this movie extremely boring. Life is too short to waste it on things like this!
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A Poor Film
davejohnstephens4 March 2008
This movie was very poorly done. The animation was awful, and painful to watch, often repeating the same frames over and over and over and over...O_o Then the music is horrible, and the lyrics don't rhyme very well.

Characters are not developed well, and vocal talent definitely could be better.'Tui' sounds screechy, and gets hard to listen to, especially in his song. Leo's song had some potential. But it dissipated in the strange lyrics.

All in all, I would give it a nothing. But since I have to give it something, I say 1 star out of 10.
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Leo the Lion; exploitation?
onward-110 August 2006
Leo the Lion seems to have been released at a time when lions were "hot."

The release date of this film coincides with the 1994 release of a redone "Kimba the White Lion" series on television, and of course The Lion King in theaters.

In fact, The 1994 release of Kimba shares voice talent with Leo the Lion.

I suggest that you simply find DVDs of Kimba from the 60's or view the 1997 theatrical release of Osamu Tezuka's Jungle Emperor Leo, which is also out on DVD and can be found on IMDb.

A word of warning though. Jungle Emperor Leo, although animated, is probably not for younger children.
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How do I rate a zero out of ten
gamerfury17 September 2019
This movie was released in 1994 which implies that it was a lion king ripoff
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Actually I found it one of Jetlag's better efforts
TheLittleSongbird26 July 2012
I had very fond memories of Leo the Lion as a kid, and while it is not quite as good as I remembered it is one of Jetlag's better efforts. I do prefer Heidi, Magic Gift of the Snowman, Little Red Riding Hood and Cinderella(all of which held up watching them again from an adult perspective), but I also find it superior to A Christmas Carol, Alice in Wonderland, Jungle Book and Hunchback of Notre Dame(neither are unwatchable though, just left wanting). Leo the Lion is not perfect, the weakest asset being the animation quality, which I found uneven. I liked the colourful backgrounds, but the character design and movements were jerky and could have done with being much more graceful. However, things more than make up for that, because the characters are actually likable- true the villains are on the clichéd side but that is hardly the first case for an animation- and the voice acting is much better than the likes of Snow White and Alice in Wonderland, much more empathetic and not as corny. The story has a couple of predictable spots, but at least there is one, that it doesn't try too hard and it is mostly engaging for primarily the target audience. The writing is simple, but again unlike A Christmas Carol and Alice in Wonderland doesn't feel overly-so, some of it is quite witty. The best asset of Leo the Lion is the soundtrack, the score is alongside Heidi and The Nutcracker one of their best individual scores with some both rousing and whimsical moments. The three songs are really well done also, with Jetlag either all three are great(Magic Gift of the Snowman), two are great but one not so much(Hunchback of Notre Dame) or there is just one song that sticks out(A Christmas Carol), or there are one or two Jetlags where the singing could have been much better(Hercules). Leo the Lion is one of those cases of all three songs working. King of the Jungle is very upbeat and catchy, and I'm a Really Nice Guy makes its point across and does move the story forward. I'm Alone, emphasising Tooey's loneliness, is effective in its poignancy. In a nutshell, I liked Leo the Lion actually, it's not perfect and perhaps not Jetlag's very best but it doesn't deserve I feel to be disregarded as a cheap rip-off. 8/10 Bethany Cox
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Disney could sue good times
janepercival111 September 2005
i am a massive Disney fan and have seen every movie jungle book being my favourite then i came across the good times library and sure enough i watched all off their movies and guesse what they were terrible their titles were all the same as Disney hear is a list Aladdin Alice in wonderland jungle book hunchback Hercules Cinderella snow white Pinocchio little mermaid and the above all i have to say is this movie is a lion king RIP off and shouldn't be viewed unless your desperate. Disney could sue have good times never heard off copywright. if i was the producers i would think off looking at their notes before relesing anymore movies
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