This July, Disney continues its streak of telling its classic and well-loved animated stories with a fresh take for the new generation. After 25 years, the animation studio goes full circle with the big screen comeback of the mighty Simba in its newest live-action The Lion King, which in 1994 received great praise and love from fans of all ages.
From its breathtaking animation that took audience on an adventure in Pride Lands, to its original songs that captivated the world, The Lion King is indeed an animated masterpiece that lives on across generations.
To breathe new life to the timeless story, Disney enlists the filmmaking genius of renowned director and screenwriter Jon Favreau (The Jungle Book, Marvel Studios’ Iron Man). Known for his wonderful work on 2016’s The Jungle Book, he showcases his knowledge in storytelling and technology once again as he takes the reins in the live-action telling of The Lion King.
“It’s such a beloved property. Disney has had tremendous success with the original animated version and I knew that I had to be very careful with it,” Favreau shares. “I wanted to demonstrate that we could be respectful of the source material while bringing it to life using mind-blowing techniques and technologies.”
He pushes the boundaries in filmmaking to take The Lion King to the big screen in a new way, making use of live-action techniques and photoreal computer generated imagery. The world of Pride Lands was created within a game engine and virtual reality tools which allowed Favreau to walk around in the set, scouting and setting up shots as if he were journeying the savanna with Simba.
When it comes to the story, there is nothing more important to Favreau than keeping the soul of the original film. He says, “There is such a rich tradition surrounding this material. Betrayal, coming-of-age, death and rebirth – the cycles of life – are the foundations of all the myths around the world. Then bring in such emotional cues like the music from Africa and the songs that Elton John and Hans Zimmer collaborated on.”
To make his vision for the live-action a reality, Favreau assembled an all-star lineup of performers from the worlds of TV, film, theatre, and music to give voice to the treasured characters.
The Lion King stars Donald Glover as Simba who is the destined protector and king of Pride Lands; Beyoncé Knowles-Carter as the fierce and intelligent lioness Nala; James Earl Jones who reprises his role as Mufasa, the wise king and loving father to Simba; Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar, the overlooked and undervalued brother of Mufasa; Seth Rogen as the lively and friendly warthog Pumbaa; and Billy Eichner as the wisecracking and humorous meerkat Timon.
They are joined by Alfre Woodard as Sarabi, John Oliver as Zazu, John Kani as Rafiki, and Florence Kazumba, Eric André, and Keegan Michael-Key as The Hyenas. Talented child stars JD McCrary and Shahadi Wright Joseph play young Simba and Nala respectively.
Directed by Jon Favreau, Disney’s The Lion King roars in Philippine cinemas on July 17, Wednesday. The Lion King will be available in 2D, IMAX 3D, IMAX with Laser, 4DX, and MX4D formats. Tickets to the film are now available for sale. Join the conversations online at #TheLionKingPH.
Utilizing pioneering filmmaking techniques to bring treasured characters to life in a whole new way, Disney’s “The Lion King” roars into theaters on July 17, 2019. Join the conversations online at #TheLionKingPH.