As a Disney blogger I feel somewhat compelled to say something about today’s announcement of a Lion King remake. I wish I could say I was surprised but come on guys we all knew this was coming.
So, what do I think about live action Lion King? Well, my feelings on fairytale retellings are mixed at best. Even in books they just aren’t my thing. When it comes to the movies I have loved 2 of them- Pete’s Dragon (which is a remake in name only) and Cinderella (which there are so many versions it’s not really an animated remake). I liked Jungle Book and 101 Dalmatians but didn’t love them like some.
Three of them are awful- Maleficent, Alice in Wonderland and Alice Through the Looking Glass. They are bad for different reasons but mostly they just aren’t very well made movies, with badly written scripts and boring characters. When this is done to a remake of a classic film it feels insulting because you know that Disney could have done better. They have the better version staring them in the face and they settled for junk (yes, I realize that is strong words but I think those 3 movies are that bad).
As far as my recent outcry over Beauty and the Beast. I have hated everything I’ve seen out of that movie. People ask my opinion and that’s how I feel. Could the movie be great? Sure but things like the new Lumiere and Cogsworth? Peeuw! And then when I heard the director claim the reason to do the remake was they finally had the technology to fully realize the original vision that angered me. That vision was fully realized. If Disney is going to insist upon making these remakes could they please stop downgrading the original in an effort to puff up the new film? Please!
So, the Lion King…the first obvious difference between it and these other films is no humans. It is basically an animated film but because it is photo-realistic it is perceived as live action. And they could use motion capture to get eye movements and other facial expressions on the lions.
I have no interest in this project at all. Does that mean it couldn’t be good? Of course not but I’m not excited or anticipating it in any way. I’m open to them being good or bad but don’t expect me to be eagerly anticipating any of these remakes.
I’m not in general opposed to remakes. I just don’t like bad movies and for a long time these remakes were terrifically bad movies.
There are a few spots where the Lion King could be improved on such as the intro to Can You Feel the Love Tonight, which I’m sure will happen as this will be a dark and grittier version like in Jungle Book. I’m not sure I need a dark and gritty version but whatever…
I don’t know what else to say. There’s a difference between totally writing something off and being expected to be excited about it. For some reason I was expected to be excited about a teaser trailer for Beauty and the Beast that was shots of the set and some music but everyone expects me to be full of wrath at this announcement.
I don’t hate the remakes as some form of protest. I genuinely look at the films/promotional images and either like them or don’t like them. It’s as simple as that. I actually liked the Jungle Book trailers so it’s not just some knee jerk, hate everything reaction from me. So far everything out of Beauty and the Beast I haven’t liked and have frankly been surprised that other people were so accepting of them. I mean Lumiere and Cogsworth you can’t see their faces! And the new Belle dress…Ee gads. It’s like they are actively trying to make her ugly. Don’t even get me started on Mrs Potts…
If I had it my way these remakes would take the Pete’s Dragon approach. Take indie directors with bold artistic approaches, small budgets and lots of heart. However, these big loud bloated films seem to be the typical Disney choice. Shrug. Too bad.
I guess my only real question will be if they use the music or not? Most of the films have not used the music (Jungle Book I didn’t really care for the music in it. We will see on Beauty and the Beast…). Also, will they bring the original voice cast back? Who knows?
When it comes down to it I wish they weren’t making any of them but am open to them being good movies. I guess that’s all I have to say.
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17 thoughts on “Lion King Remake”
I LOVED Cinderella because I feel they did not change the story, unlike the way they did in Maleficent! I liked Jungle Book, too(again, I feel they did not change the story), and Pete’s Dragon wasn’t my favorite, but it was pretty good, overall! I have never watched the Alice in Wonderland live action version because well, it just seems a little too strange! The Lion King live action does not sound like the greatest idea because the characters are all animals, and I can’t imagine the characters as more- realistic looking! I am not excited about Lion King, although, I am excited for Beauty and the Beast since it is my favorite, and it should be interesting to see how Disney pulls it off!
Great insight! I agree. I cant imagine all realistic animals but like you open to it being good. I wish I could be excited about Beauty and the Beast but I hope it will be good
Yeah as I recall you aren’t that high on Alice in Wonderland animated version so I don’t think you will be into Burton’s version. I LOVED Cinderella too, so much! Of the announced projects maybe I’m most excited for Winnie the Pooh because I loved Paddington. Why do you think there is a difference between your excitement for Beauty and the Beast and Lion King?
It just seems a little strange to do a live-action version of an all animals movie I think, so that’s the main reason why I don’t have excitement for Lion King. But I honestly think Disney could pull off Beauty and the Beast since the last couple of live actions were good! 🙂
I liked ‘101 Dalmatians’ 1996.
I hated ‘102 Dalmatians’ 2000.
I personally, love ‘Alice In Wonderland’ 2010. It’s a sequel by the way. & it’s just my cup-of-tea.
I hated ‘Maleficent’ 2014. THEY CHANGED EVERYTHING!
I love ‘Cinderella’ 2015. Stayed true to the original; with a few good changes.
I loved ‘The Jungle Book’ 2016. Stayed true to the original; with a few good changes.
‘Alice Through The Looking Glass’ was disappointing.
I hated ‘Pete’s Dragon’ 2016. THEY CHANGED EVERYTHING. & yes, ‘Pete’s Dragon’, is a remake in name only.
I am highly anticipating ‘Beauty and the Beast’, because it’s my favourite Disney animated film.
I’m excited for ‘Peter Pan’ & ‘Mary Poppins Returns’.
I am dreading ‘The Little Mermaid’, ‘Dumbo’ & ‘Cruella’.
I’m excited for ‘The Lion King’ as I love the original; but like I was for all of them, I am skeptical.
Cool. Thank you for sharing your thoughts! It’s interesting with Beauty and the Beast being a favorite of yours and that making you more excited. For me that makes me more nervous and anxious the more I like it.
I am a little skeptical, don’t get me wrong. But I have hope. & since I loved both Cinderella & The Jungle Book (& Alice In Wonderland) I am excited. Also Emma Watson <3. But yeah I really hope its good.
So far I hated all of them…granted, I haven’t seen Jungle Book yet…but Lion King…that looks truly pointless….especially since Lion King is a movie which is largely carried through its music. Remove it and I guess a lot of people will realize that the emperor has no clothes.
Good to hear from you again! I hope things have been going well for you. Yeah I see your point. I think Lion King gets a long way out of big emotional moments but I don’t think it is perfect like others. I can totally see that happening like you say.
They’re actually keeping the songs in the remake.
Where did you hear that? They are keeping all the songs?
They’re definitely featuring some. “And not unlike Beauty and the Beast”, Disney plans to feature the original Lion King soundtrack in the reboot.”
Oh cool. I hadnt read that. Thanks
You know my stance: In principle, I’m against these remakes, but if I do end up liking any of them (like Cinderella), I’ll gladly say so.
That’s a good way to look at it
Like with Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King is to me not just a perfect Disney movie but a GREAT movie period, and really there isn’t really any way I could see it being drastically improved by having the same story told in a different way. While I have not liked the attitides expressed by the director on Beauty and the Beast, I don’t get that same sense of superiority from Jon Favreau. His Jungle Book was a good companion piece too the animated classic and was an entertaining adventure film, if he approaches The Lion King in a similar way with that same degree of reverence and heart. I certainly don’t see any conventionally great directors like Martin Scorsese, Christopher Nolan or Steven Spielberg doing the story justice.
My preference for this live action Lion King would be to actually go to Africa to film the vast savannahs, deserts and jungles and place CG animal characters on top of that. I’ve been to Africa before, and even went around some areas of burnt Savannah bush after a seasonal fire, and the resemblance to the Pride Lands while Scar was king was uncanny, it took me and my parents off guard, the fact that Disney actually did to their research and the Pride Lands dying wasn’t just symbolic storytelling. The original took so much inspiration from the actual wild landscapes of Africa, almost to the point of total realism, that it would be pointless to just make the whole thing CGI, just the parts that would require it like Pride Rock or the wildebeest stampede. That worked on The Jungle Book because the setting in the original classic is not all that similar to actual jungles in India, it’s a cartoon jungle. Plus there were practical reasons for filming the remake on sound stages, for the safety and welfare of Neel Sethi, you don’t want to burn a jungle and put him in the middle of it.