The Circle of Life affects us all. Kids in 1994 watch a great movie on the big screen, they grow up, they have kids of their own, and those kids….watch the original on DVD because darned if this unnecessary remake is going to make their parents feel old. No matter how you feel about The Lion King CG remake, it will assuredly make a ton of cash through its brand alone. It’s as unstoppable as a wildebeest stampede.
The Lion King is, roughly, about the life of an African cat who feels cocky about his privileged future until he’s socked with reality and runs from it. With the help of his girlfriend, his dad’s giant ghost head, and a flatulent warthog, he learns to face his responsibilities and become a true king. It’s awesome, and I remember being blown away by then-new computer-assisted effects like the giant tracking shot into Simba’s face when he sees danger ahead.
The original was loaded with big-name stars in its voice cast, and the same is true here, though the only connecting thread is James Earl Jones, who played Mufasa in 1994 and is really unreplaceable. Joining the old veteran are Donald Glover as Simba, Seth Rogen as Pumbaa, Billy Eichner as Timon and some “Beyonsay” chick as Nala.
The new trailer, released today, marks the first time we’ve heard this cast talk. It’s undoubtedly weird hearing “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” crooned out by a realistic warthog and meerkat, but that’s the price of progress, I guess. Scar is definitely less intimidating than he was when Jeremy Irons played him…”Run, Simba, and NEVER return!” sounded way better in the original.
The Lion King will roar into theaters July 19, 2019.