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Black Is King Movie Review - Visually Stunning

Beyoncé’s movie loosely tells Simba’s story as a “visual album”.

Reviewed by on Aug 02, 2020
Rating: 5 Star Rating

Kidzworld saw Black Is King, Beyoncé’s visual album on Disney+. It is an eye-candy series of mini-music videos with an empowering theme. Hold your head high and remember your roots.

Beyoncé and her tribeBeyoncé and her tribeCourtesy of Walt Disney Pictures

Black Is King, produced and directed by Beyoncé (and other directors) is based on the music of Queen Bey’s “The Lion King: The Gift” album. Overall, it tells the stories of Black families, throughout time, honored in a tale about a young king's transcendent journey through betrayal, love and self-identity. His ancestors help guide him toward his destiny, and with his father's teachings and guidance from his childhood love, he earns the virtues needed to reclaim his home and throne. It is a story of how the people left most broken have an extraordinary gift and a purposeful future.

Black Is King Trailer



The tale is not told as a narrative story with a definite beginning, middle and end but includes various song-driven visuals that loosely start with a baby who represents Simba growing into a child, to a young man and finally a king. Every setting from Black families in mansions to the poorest slums helps tell the story. The wedding of a beautiful young couple representing Simba and Nala and a debutante ball are in the mix.

A debutante ball is includedA debutante ball is includedCourtesy of Walt Disney Pictures

Various The Lion King story elements and relationships are stressed. Especially prominent are lessons taught young Simba by his father Mufasa like “All the kings who came before us are in the stars” and “I have never left you” and “remember who you are”. Although one of my favorite of all the truths narrated in the film is “You can’t wear a crown with your head down”.

Daughter Blue Ivy appears in the filmDaughter Blue Ivy appears in the filmCourtesy of Walt Disney Pictures

My favorite segment is “Brown Skin Girl” set at a debutante ball and focusing on empowering little girls to find their beauty, inner strength and intelligence. It’s just gorgeous in so many ways.

A mother must part with her endangered sonA mother must part with her endangered sonCourtesy of Walt Disney Pictures

Some segments are heart tugging, like that of a mother in a drought-ridden area tearfully setting her baby afloat on the last waterway in a basket (like Moses). He is found by a luckier, less downtrodden tribe who accept him. This is set to the song “Otherside" including words like “If it all ends and it's over/ If the sky falls fire/ Best believe me, you will see me/ On the other side." Whoa, heartbreaking! Beyoncé’s acting as she sings will also knock you out.

Animal magnetismAnimal magnetismCourtesy of Walt Disney Pictures

A list of songs expressed in the film with great visuals are the mentioned “Otherside” along with “Spirit”, “Scar”, “My Power”, “Keys to the Kingdom”, “Bigger”, “Nile”, “Don’t Jealous Me”, “Water”, “Find Your Way Back”, “Already”, “Mood 4 Eva” and “Ja Ara E”.

Beyoncé's mom Tina is featuredBeyoncé's mom Tina is featuredCourtesy of Walt Disney Pictures

An army of amazing artists contributed to the movie like Lupita Nyong'o, Kelly Rowland, Pharrell Williams, Naomi Campbell, Jay-Z and daughter Blue Ivy, Tina Knowles-Lawson, Beyoncé's mother, Childish Gambino, Kendrick Lamar, 070 Shake, Tierra Whack, Jessie Reyez, as well as Wizkid, Shatta Wale, Burna Boy, Mr Eazi, Tiwa Savage, Tekno, Yemi Alade, Busiswa Salatiel and others.

Black is beautiful!Black is beautiful!Courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures

Poetry by Yrsa Daley-Ward is included in Beyoncé’s narration and is very effective.

A beautiful familyA beautiful familyCourtesy of Walt Disney Pictures

In addition to the colorful and widespread locations like Nigeria and Ghana, London and Belgium which are a visual feast, we can’t forget to mention the mind-bending costumes, yes worn by Beyoncé but on the entire cast! Many are designed by Alon Livné who has designed some outrageous threads for Lady Gaga.

Beyoncé displays universal appealBeyoncé displays universal appealCourtesy of Walt Disney Pictures

Is the release of the visual album timely? Of course. Black Lives Matter has never been so beautifully illustrated. If there is a downside I would only say that some of the songs aren’t as powerful as the visuals representing them but for sheer message and beauty we can award a rare five stars.

Black Is King Movie Review: 5

Black is King Movie Review - Visually Stunning  Courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures

Black Is King is now available on Disney+!

What Do You Think?

Are you into Beyoncé’s music? Are you a big Lion King fan? Are you behind the Black Lives Matter movement? Discuss with your besties and some newbies with a comment or on your Kidzworld Profile page.