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Director Jon Favreau worked CGI magic with his reimagined version of The Jungle Book and now he applies the same lifelike animation to Disney’s animated classic The Lion King. The revered story is intact, with a few new touches. Donald Glover voices Simba, the crown prince of the Pride Lands whose father Mufasa (James Earl Jones, reprising his original role) is murdered by his treacherous brother Scar (Chiwetel Ejiofor).
The cast also features Beyoncé Knowles-Carter as Nala; Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen as the meerkat and warthog duo Timon and Pumbaa; and Florence Kasumba, Keegan-Michael Key, and Eric Andre as Scar’s sneering hyaena henchmen Shenzi, Kamari, and Azizi. With Amy Sedaris voicing a new character, an elephant shrew, The Lion King promises surprises and an affirmation of the power of the Circle of Life.
- Chiwetel Ejiofor
- John Oliver
- James Earl Jones
- John Kani
- Alfre Woodard
- JD McCrary
- Shahadi Wright Joseph
- Penny Johnson Jerald
- Keegan-Michael Key
- Eric André
Did You Know?
- This is Jon Favreau's second Disney remake based on a Disney animated movie after directing The Jungle Book (2016).
- This is being referred to as a "live-action" remake of the original animated Lion King. However, CGI is still another version of animation. Unless the filmmakers are truly using real animals to play the parts, this film is an animation.
- Mufasa: Everything the light touches... is our kingdom. But a king's time as ruler rises and falls like the sun. One day, the sun will set on my time here, and will rise with you as the new king.
Atom User Reviews
Beyoncé destroyed LION KING for me sadly.
They could have just used the original cast recordings for the voice and it would have been better
Blessed with some excellent voice performances, this new King is familiar but still lively enough to encourage audiences to emotionally invest again in story they are already so familiar with.
By and large, very few remakes, other than Gus Van Sant's shot-by-shot reproduction of Psycho, have adhered as closely to their original versions as this one does. Everything here is so safe and tame and carefully calculated as to seem pre-digested. There's nary a surprise in the whole two hours.
Uncanny singing animals aside, a secondary effect of the film’s commitment to zoological verisimilitude is to place the voice actors in a relatively powerless position. It’s a strange choice to assemble an all-star cast from various walks of celebrity—actors, pop singers, rappers, comedians—and then make their only contribution a verbal one.