Another iconic Disney film gets a 2019 makeover with this week’s theatrical release of The Lion King.
Directed by Jon Favreau, this re-imagined version of the story blends live-action filmmaking with computer generated imagery that looks incredibly lifelike. Favreau used a similar technique when he directed The Jungle Book in 2016.
The highly anticipated film is packed with some of the biggest names in Hollywood, including Donald Glover as adult Simba, John Oliver as Zazu, Keegan-Michael Key as the hyena Kamari and the one-and-only Beyoncé Knowles-Carter as Nala.
As a significant part of popular cultural history the new film has left fans divided, particularly with the look of Scar, when the trailer was first released. This has been a theme across some of Disney’s recent remakes of its classic films, including the look of Will Smith's Genie in Aladdin.
To all the sceptics Billy Eichner, who voices the character Timon in the new film, told Yahoo Canada that there will always be “purists” but this is an opportunity for people to go to the theatre and experience something that looks incredibly beautiful and “spectacular.”
“The Broadway version looked completely different than the original...of course it’s going to be re-visualized using new technology,” Eichner said. “You will be blown away by how the movie looks and if you don’t like it, you can go watch the original.”
Fans of The Lion King know that the character of Timon is constantly alongside his pal Pumbaa. Eichner was able to record with Canadian actor Seth Rogan, who voices the character, to help establish the bond and camaraderie between the two characters, a practice that’s not usually done in voice recordings.
“There’s a lot of improv that was kept in the movie and that all just happened naturally between me and Seth, and that could only happen because we were together,” Eichner said.
Fans of The Lion King will also get to enjoy the classic canon of music with some epic new recordings featuring, Beyoncé, Glover and the rest of the cast, that have already taken social media by storm.
The Lion King is in Canadian theatres on July 18, 2019.