The Wildebeest Stampede
The wildebeest stampede is one of the most heartbreaking scenes in The Lion King, with Scar launching his plan to have Mufasa killed. This is hammered home by the trailer playing this shot over Mufasa stressing that there will be a day when the sun sets upon his rule.
This sweeping shot also highlights another stylistic switch in the 2019 remake; it's a longer take of the stampede running into the valley, and comes earlier in the sequence than any similar shot in the 1994 animation. It looks as though Favreau's version of The Lion King will pan out from Simba quicker.
Back to "The Circle of Life," with probably the most famous scenes from The Lion King reproduced in a tremendously faithful way. This is Pride Rock, and the attention to detail is remarkable. Notice that the overall shape of the rock has changed subtly, made more realistic given the way erosion would operate on such an outcrop.
Rafiki is one of the most beloved characters in The Lion King, a wise Mandrill who serves as priest to the Pride. It is his honor and privilege to anoint Simba as prince, and present the young lion cub to his people. One of the most interesting changes here is that the live-action version of Rafiki doesn't have his signature staff. Presumably, Disney felt that wouldn't work in live-action, but it will mean some scenes will have to play out a little differently.
A First Glimpse of Simba
This is the first glimpse of the young cub Simba, curled up in his mother's arms. Notice that, in both shots, the fur on Simba's head appears to be wet; in the original version, Simba's mother Sarabi licked Simba's head to make him turn to face his father. Presumably the same will be true of the The Lion King remake.
The Ceremony Begins
Rafiki prepares to anoint the new King. This scene seems to have been switched up a little judging by The Lion King trailer; in the animated version, he's using a fruit, where here he appears to be breaking a plant of some kind. It's unclear why a change has been made, but both snap apart to the same kind of effect, though.
The Anointing of Simba
Rafiki swipes this mysterious red substance across Simba's brow. Notice that both versions of The Lion King attempt to create a sense of character for the young cub, but it's slightly different; the Simba of the animation seemed amused at the sticky liquid, whereas the live-action cub doesn't appear to be too impressed. Rafiki also uses a different hand, presumably a move towards realism. It will be interesting to see if the remake follows the full sequence, with Rafiki then dropping some African dust on Simba's head and causing him to sneeze.
- The Lion King (2019) release date: Jul 19, 2019