New Lion King Trailer: My Initial Thoughts and Questions

Is A Live Action Adaptation Worth It?

Erin Kiple, Staff Writer

Disney movies have been a staple in many children’s lives and childhoods all over the world for many years, from all of the Disney princess classics, to pixar movies like the “Toy Story” series, and “Monsters Inc.” Disney movies were a huge part of my childhood, and I watched them all of the time. One of the most famous Disney movies and one of my personal favorites is “The Lion King”.

The original “The Lion King” was released in 1994 starring Matthew Broderick (Simba) and James Earl Jones (Mufasa), won 2 oscars and was a hit with many children. It had many hit songs like “Circle of Life”, “Can’t Wait to be King” and “Can You Feel The Love Tonight”. Now in July 2019, Disney is remaking “The Lion King” as a live action film. This new live action version of the iconic film will star huge names in Hollywood, such as Donald Glover (Simba), Seth Rogen (Pumbaa), and Beyoncé (Nala). James Earl Jones is returning to revive his role as Mufasa.

Remaking old animated favorites into live action films is not a new concept for Disney. In the past few years, Disney had remade some of their most famous movies, including “Cinderella”, “Beauty and The Beast”, “Dumbo”, and “The Jungle Book”. They also are releasing a live-action version of “Aladdin” on May 24th, 2019. I think people (including myself) love these films so much because of the nostalgia factor. Almost anyone can relate to watching these movies when they were kids, and now that all of us are in our teens and twenties, it is “cool” to be nostalgic with the movies that really shaped us as children. Obviously many small children will be attending these movies because they are children’s stories, but I would not be surprised to see many older teens and young adults going to theaters to relive a little of their childhood.

After watching the trailer, I am very excited to go and see this movie in theaters. Just from the trailer, I can tell the setting and the colors are going to be so beautiful. The pictures of the landscape truly look like you were standing in the savanna in Africa. The animals are so realistic and look beautiful. I also think the casting for the voices is very interesting and exciting in the best way possible. Some of the names on the cast list are unexpected to me, but I am interested to see how people like Donald Glover and Beyoncé do with voice acting. These musicians (though they may have acted in some capacity before) probably haven’t done anything like this. I do not think Disney would sacrifice the quality of this project to have big names on the cast list, so I am sure that they will do a fantastic job.

I also am interested to see what they do with many of the beloved musical numbers in this movie. From the trailer, none of the musical number were remotely mentioned, except for “Circle of Life” and “Hakuna Matata”. Will they cut the other numbers and focus more on the actual acting out of the story, or are they just not showing what the have in store? I will be a little disappointed if they do leave out all of the musical numbers. I can see cutting one or two songs, but the music is one of the main reasons why I love “The Lion King’.

My other interest is to see how close the stories are in relation to each other. The movie has been described in some places as a “re imagined version” of the story, whatever that means. Does this mean the basic story line will be the same with some changes? Will it be the same story just written in a totally different way? Or will it be almost exactly like animated version scene to scene? I cannot tell the future, so I guess only time will tell.

The full length movie is being released in July 2019. I will definitely check out the movie in theaters, write a review, and let you all know the answers to my questions and my full thoughts on the remake.