Disney's The Lion King remake has gotten its official Honest Trailer. Adapted from the 1994 animated classic, The Lion King (2019) was directed by Jon Favreau and features a star-studded voice cast that includes Donald Glover, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, among several others. Story-wise, it's extremely faithful to the original movie, and follows young lion cub crown prince Simba as he struggles to embrace his place as the rightful king of the Pride Lands, after his father, Mufasa, is killed by his scheming uncle Scar.
Like a growing number of Disney live-action remakes, The Lion King was a huge box office success, but was greeted with middling reviews. Critics took particular issue with its unexpressive CGI animals and listless re-stagings of the animated movie's elaborate musical numbers, like "I Just Can't Wait To Be King" and "Be Prepared". Even Elton John, who co-wrote the songs from the original Lion King, has publicly expressed his disappointment with the remake, saying "they messed the music up".
Screen Junkies posted their Honest Trailer for The Lion King remake today, just a couple weeks after the film became available to own on DVD and Blu-ray. Check it out, below.
The Honest Trailer raises many of the same critiques as The Lion King's actual reviews, including how the remake's emphasis on realism results in CGI animals unable to communicate human emotions and musical sequences that are fairly boring in execution. Interestingly, Disney has already begun to learn from these mistakes with next week's Lady and the Tramp remake, which improves on The Lion King by using real animals combined with CGI to make them "talk" (to weird, but definitely better results). And while the trailer jokes about not joking about Beyoncé (lest it incur the wrath of her hardcore fans), it doesn't actually make fun of her. If anything, it takes The Lion King to task for giving her little to do but sing a couple songs and spout lines of vague wisdom.
What's odd is that there are ways The Lion King (2019) could've improved on the animated film. Part of the idea behind Disney's live-action remakes is they allow the studio to "fix" the more problematic and regressive elements of their animated movies, like giving Princess Jasmine or Cinderella more agency in their respective stories. The Lion King's story similarly has a lot of unflattering social overtones and political subtext (as the Honest Trailer points out), and yet the new version makes little to no effort to change that. It's hard to imagine Disney worrying about this (the remake grossed over $1.6 billion worldwide), but it's a missed opportunity all the same.
Source: Screen Junkies