After a blockbuster remake of Aladdin, Disney recently gave us another live-action version of the much-loved The Lion King, on Friday. The hand-drawn animated characters were etched in the million memories, when Director Jon Favreau decided to give them a touch of reality. After 25 years, the “Circle of Life” has rotated to bring back young Simba, Mufasa and the musical setting of the royal jungle setting.
The latest version came in contest with the original animated classic of 1994, and the sales of 32 million VHS tapes since 1995 and 11.9 million DVDs since 2003.
Becoming the 10th biggest opening of all times, The Lion King 3-D lapped up $78.5 million at the North American box office. It also received a positive A CinemaScore from the audience. Moreover, the movie bagged $192 million globally through Friday, including $111 million from international theatres.
While the story remains same, the visuals and a series of top celebrity names become the fresh elements that the audience can look forward to.
Still same, the storyline moves around the young cub Simba, the heir to the throne of Pride Rock. He is taught the values of a leader by his father and King Mufasa, who later is brutally killed by his power-hungry brother Scar. After the tragedy, Simba is cast out of his homeland and spends his teen years away from his home. However, he is later convinced to take his position of the king by Nala, his old friend and ultimate love interest.
Except James Earl Jones, who had reprised Mufasa’s role in the animated classic also, the entire cast is new. Donald Glover would be heard as Simba, Beyoncé as Nala and Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar. Besides, the voices of Seth Rogen and Billy Eichner are also featured as Pumbaa and Timon.
Moreover, where Beyonce’s song “Spirit” has already received love from nearly 17 million people across, Glover, Rogen, and Eichner could also be heard singing “Hakuna Matata”. The once-worldwide famous songs like “Circle of Life”, “Can You Feel The Love Tonight?” and “Never Too Late” are there in the live-action version too, featuring Elton John along with others. Besides, the lyricist Tim Rice is also back with the remake.
Jon Favreau has again used the photo-realistic process that was also visible in the 2016 hit The Jungle Book, and the critics believe that the technique has emerged out beautifully in The Lion King as well.
Amidst the lukewarm reviews, the audience is extensively loving the remake. The movie has brought in Walt Disney’s biggest single-day gross ever. It is also expected to make further earnings, when it releases in Japan, Hong Kong and Italy later this year.