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What went wrong in the live-action Lion King remake?

They tried to remake the animated hit classic Lion King (1994) but fell short of recreating the magic of the 90s.

They tried to remake the animated hit classic Lion King (1994) but fell short of recreating the magic of the 90s.

You can blame it on the unwanted pursuit of reality by the makers who decided to ground it to actuality. It’s a fantastic adaptation, but one whose sole intention was to make money. It failed to capture the brilliance that is usually associated with trademark Disney movies.

The makers, in the quest of making it look as if it was a National Geographic documentary, ended up losing a lot of its charm.

I get it that wild animals lack ways to emote, as in, show different streams of emotion like a human does, but they could have done better. Lions, in particular, can definitely emote.

Various emotions of lions
Lion with its cub

Let’s forget about Lions in real. Take Chronicles of Narnia. That movie was released in 2005, but Aslan, the lion in the movie could emote just the way any human does.

The movie was released 14 years before this Lion King live-action came out but does a far better job in highlighting expressions.

Why so dull?

Scared in the animated version and live remake

The color palette of the original Lion King was incredible and vibrant while the colors in the remake are dull and mute. Yes, that is more realistic, Absolutely. But why pursue realism in a movie about talking lions? But if lions could talk in the movie, what’s the point of preserving the real-world feel? I agree that the visual effects team have worked immensely hard for the movie. However, in a rush to make it so much life-like, they forgot to add soul to the movie.

Next, voice acting.

Instead of choosing the right fit for the characters in the movie, the makers went on to hire huge stars to voice the characters. Many of us couldn’t imagine this guy—

Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino in ‘This is America’

voicing this—

Simba in the live-action remake

In the original animated movie, Nala doesn’t get much screen time. But our Nala from the live-action movie got more screen time and dialogues, especially just because she was voiced by none other than Beyonce, which in my opinion doesn’t make sense and is better left alone.

Scar, voiced by Jeremy Irons was exceptional in the Animated movie but its live-action movie counterpart Chiwetel Ejiofor failed to meet up to the mark. Benedict Cumberbatch could have done a better job. The only good in the voice department, in my opinion, was the portrayal of Timon and Pumba.

In terms of cinematography, the remake remained true to its animated version, scene by scene. I am not against a scene-by-scene recreation, but they could’ve added a thing or two fresh so that we could have better relived our nostalgia of the 90s Lion King.

Disney hopes to make $1.5 Billion, and it will probably make more than that globally, for a remake that failed us to inspire and didn’t quite deliver up to its mark.

Yes, there were some instances of Nostalgia, and some really intense hair raising moments, but for me, the animated Lion King will always be my true Lion King. Speaking of which, I am now gonna sit down, and watch the 90s Lion King so I can recreate the sense of awe and satisfaction, once again.

What do you think?

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