‘Black is King’ surpasses expectations

Disney Plus film proves Beyonce is still queen


Fair use from Disney and Warner Bros. Pictures

Aiden Cullumber

Disney Plus has provided an opportunity to view Beyoncé’s latest visual album, “Black is King,” an empowering celebration of Black and African culture.

“Black is King” is a visual companion to Beyoncé’s album “The Lion King: The Gift,” which was used as the soundtrack to the live-action remake of Disney’s “The Lion King” (2020). The album’s songs loosely follow the plot of the film. It also features many guest artists and celebrity appearances, as well as Beyoncé’s children and Jay-Z. 

Many scenes in “Black is King” feature symbolism. In the beginning, Beyoncé hides her baby in a basket and floats him down a river, alluding to the biblical story of Moses escaping enslavement. Then, near the end of the movie, Beyoncé receives the basket again, and the baby is now a fully grown and free man. The film also features rich African tribal imagery throughout, with lots of colorful clothing and painted faces. The modern scenes also include dramatic settings.

While the mix of visuals is interesting, at times the movie’s imagery feels disjointed and jumps around a lot. It moves back and forth from ancient and modern, often during the same song. Despite this, the dance and choreography is excellent and entertaining.

Ultimately, Beyoncé fans will not be disappointed, and there is still plenty to enjoy for those who aren’t.

“Black is King”: ★★★★☆