When the original Lion King first came out, I was 11 years old. It was as if the film was designed for me at the time because I was obsessed with it. Looking back, I think the movie was much bigger than any kid's movie. It was groundbreaking and arguably the best animated movie ever made.
When I saw the trailer for the remake, I was mostly excited about the prospect of a reimagined CGI version of Scar and the hyenas. If you haven't seen it, you can watch it here. It's essentially a shot for shot remake of the opening sequence from the original Lion King, but in a CGI world. It even has the voice of James Earl Jones, who also played Mufasa in the 1994 version. Based solely on what the trailer is selling us, it looks like we're going to get a meticulous copy of the original, even down to some of the shot sequences and voice actors. This concerned me.
I haven't seen all of the other live-action remakes of the Disney classics that have been coming out in recent years, but I think director Jon Favreau is talented and probably did a great job with this one. I just hope it's a new twist, or interesitng update on the story, and not a shot for shot translation into a 3D world, which is what it looks like we're going to get.
One analysis that really captivated me was by a Twitter user who astutely points out how the CGI universe in the trailer fails to use color as effeftively as the 2D version. I thought this was an amazingly spot on observation, and a much needed reminder of how versatile 2D animation is as a filmmaking format, which is something we forget in the CGI era:
What do you think? Are you excited to go see the new Lion King? How do you feel about Disney's live-action remakes of 2D classics?
I will definitely see it, but based on the trailer, am skeptical. I hope I'm pleasantly surprised, but this is sacred ground we're walking on here! The original was a masterpiece, and so the bar is already pretty darn high as far as Lion King movies go.