Saw the stage show production tonight - bloody brilliant! Amazing what can be achieved with theatre know how. Had to stop myself trying to figure out how they did a few bits and just sit back in awe. Excellent exploration of puppetry and the possibilities of the human form integrating with a puppet. Beautifully stylised animals and characters, except for the meerkat dammit!
Not happy with the meerkat. The puppeteer was green and it diverted attention away from the bold orange puppet. It made them seem like 2 separate entities. I thought perhaps it would be because there would be a predominance of green background following the first scene with this character. When there was more green on stage it still didn’t work for me. It also looked more like the animated version. I was never keen on his look, despite raising common awareness of the existence of the charismatic critter.
There are still elements of the animated film in terms of Disneyness (?). They are the parts that slightly grate. However it's so much more than that.
When the music reached a crescendo, lighting, staging, sets, costumes and puppets worked together so beautifully, I felt goosebumps several times. Wonderful. The opening scene, the stampeding wildebeest valley scene, and father's voice from the stars scene were my favourites.