Disney just debuted a full-length trailer for Jon Favreau’s new “live-action” version of The Lion King, and its photorealistic CG animation is truly something to behold.
The trailer hits a slew of familiar beats, as Simba (Donald Glover) becomes acclimated to the natural order of things, which can be unfair to some – of course, it’s even more unfair when your greedy uncle decides he wants to destroy the “natural order” so he can become king instead of you.
“While others search for what they can take, a true king searches for what he can give,” advises a wise Mufasa (James Earl Jones) as we see brief flashes of what’s to come for Simba and his doting father. The malevolent Scar (Chiwetel Ejiofor) is just as menacing as ever when he tells Simba to run away and never return, made even more chilling by the realistic animation. For some reason, he’s a lot scarier as a realistic lion.
Fans of the iconic animated film will be thrilled to see scenes lifted straight from the original, such as Simba, Timon, and Pumbaa’s strut to “Hakuna Matata” as Simba grows from a young lion cub into a confident young adult, sprouting a gorgeous mane. There’s also a chilling first look at the stampede from the original movie that changes Simba’s life forever.
This look at the incredibly realistic portrayal of the ’90s classic is a much more fleshed-out version than we initially saw with the movie’s Oscars TV spot. The previous clip found “The Circle of Life” playing over our first look at the animal kingdom witnessing the anointing of Simba as the future king as baboon Rafiki held him proudly above his future constituents from Pride Rock.
The film comes with some big names attached to it, like Beyoncé as Nala, Billy Eichner as Timon, Seth Rogen as Pumbaa. Florence Kasumba, Keegan-Michael Key, and Eric Andre will be bringing Scar’s hyena brigade to life as Shenzi, Kamari, and Azizi – two of the hyenas’ names have been changed for this version, as fans will quickly take note of, but the reason why has yet to be divulged.
We’re thrilled to see this Disney classic come to life, much like Aladdin and a slew of other live-action movies on their way, but The Lion King isn’t that far off. It’s roaring into theaters on July 19, 2019.