Disney's Lion King remake may have only just released its first teaser trailer, but that's enough to confirm the remake will fix the original movie's strangest inaccuracy - and its most laughable continuity error.
It may be hard to believe anything has been changed at all, since the new Lion King Trailer looks identical to the original. The truth is that most fans will have missed the correction in the new Lion King trailer, since most viewers probably never even noticed it was inaccurate to begin with. Simba and Mufasa may claim the movie's actual title, but in the long history of movie mistakes, it's Rafiki whose most famous errors are finally getting fixed.
Rafiki is No Longer a 'Mutant' Baboon
It's the creators of Rafiki, the savanna shaman who truly deserve the credit for these errors and inaccuracies, since the self-proclaimed "baboon" had to work with what the animators gave him. For starters: Rafiki isn't a baboon at all. That won't be a shock to anybody who has ever searched for photos of baboons online, and discovered that where Rafiki is brightly colored, most baboons are... well, bland by comparison. So why does Rafiki also refer to himself as a baboon in the actual movie, if he doesn't resemble one? The animators are partly to blame, but so is the system and science of identifying and labeling animals in the first place.
To be perfectly clear, Rafiki is a mandrill, one of two species of Old World monkeys in the genus Mandrillus. From a scientific perspective, the mistake in The Lion King is easy to understand. Until the late 1980s mandrills were thought to belong to the same genus as baboons, before zoologists determined the relation between the two was tenuous enough to be inaccurate. They created the genus Mandrillus to acknowledge the distinction, but the Disney animators may not have gotten the memo when crafting Rafiki the mandrill... but they probably wouldn't have cared.
Where other characters in The Lion King are humanized forms of existing animals, and take the small liberties that entails, Rafiki was openly referred to as "a mutated mandrill," shaped to be more human-proportioned, and given a long, prehensile tail despite mandrills having only a small stub. Finally, it appears that director Jon Favreau and his animators have decided to right this weird, unsettling wrong, and un-mutate Rafiki back to the mandrill he should be. Since his colorful face is the defining feature, the rest of him adheres to real-life mandrills as well. His body and proportions reflect the real species, and shots of him atop Pride Rock show almost no tail visible whatsoever.
In the process, making it even more impossible for him to recreate the OTHER continuity mistake from the first Lion King, as well. But be warned: once you notice the impracticality of Pride Rock as it's depicted in the original Lion King, and the hilarious way Rafiki throws logic to the wind, there may be no way of un-seeing it...
Page 2 of 2: Lion King's Funniest Mistake is Fixed Already
- The Lion King (2019) release date: Jul 19, 2019