This summer, Disney released the much-anticipated remake of the 1994 childhood favorite, “The Lion King.” The reality of the new movie didn’t hit fans until the first trailer was released in late November.
The teaser was nostalgic, featuring the iconic “Circle of Life” opening and Mufasa’s deep, bellowing voice. Everything seemed perfect, and the visuals were stunning. Every animal appeared so realistic, almost as if you were watching a nature documentary. As charming as this quality was, it wasn’t until the release of the second trailer, that fans did pick up on the most prominent issue that came with the film.
There seems to be an awkward disconnect between the physical appearance of the characters and their voices. These characters were clearly designed with the intention of being as close to realistic as CGI can get, and this led to a lack of dramatic facial expressions.
Other than the occasional laugh from the hyenas, there would be essentially no display of emotions on any of the characters’ faces throughout the movie. The disconnect stems from the powerful choice of voice actors.
Imagine a youthful, playful voice coming from a lion cub that is showing no emotion. That sums up the entire movie. This awkward difference between what I was hearing versus what I was seeing, bothered me the most during the infamous scene where Simba finds his father dead.
JD McCrary, the voice actor for young Simba, did a fantastic job delivering his lines. You could clearly hear the pain and sorrow as he spoke. His voice would crack as he would cry out for help and beg for his dad to get up.
The cub didn’t show any emotion. Not a single tear came from his eyes, even when you could clearly hear the cub sobbing. This visual and audio disconnect took away one of the greatest qualities of the original 1994 film.
I cannot forgive what was done to my favorite song from the classic movie, “Be Prepared.” The entire song was changed from the original. Instead of having Scar sing his evil plan to the hyenas, it was turned into him angrily shouting. Aside from that song, the soundtrack was not a disappointment. Not only did the new cast recreate the original songs, but the soundtrack also includes “Spirit” by Beyoncé.
Certain scenes and edits were replicated exactly from the original, and seeing these scenes played out in such realism was phenomenal.
It is because of this realism that some scenes were much more intense than the original. The stampede was terrifying, the hyenas appeared much more menacing, and a simple dribble of blood on Scar’s chin would send shivers down your spine. All of these visuals couldn’t have been achieved with the classic 2D animation.