To everyone’s relief, the trailer of the live action The Lion King seems to suggest it will almost be a pretty close remake of the original animated movie. For those of us who adored the Disney classic, this is amazing news, because it means the script won’t deviate so much that the story ends up changed. The story is perfect as is!
But there are a lot of things that the live action now has a chance to do better, in a world where special effects are better and things can be looked at and improved. Sure, nothing is ever going to beat the nostalgia factor of the original, but these things could actually be improved on.
Or at least, we hope so.
10 The Stampede
The stampede is one of the most chilling scenes in the movie. Even though we know what’s going to happen and that Simba isn’t going to be trampled to death, it still manages to be heart-stopping—the background music, the look on Simba’s face, and the sheer panic of Mufasa as he jumps down and Scar paces and prowls above him.
The fact we all know how this ends means that the live action movie will have the chance to recreate that tension but also, with much better special effects. Reliving this scene is not going to be easy knowing what comes at the end of it...
9 The Death Of Mufasa
Every fan of this movie can universally agree that those who can watch Mufasa’s death without crying don’t have a soul. Fact.
This is a great thing for Disney, who will be able to ramp up the emotion in this scene and do their best to make everyone cry at the betrayal by his brother. And while people don’t usually want to be sitting in the movie theater as a teary mess, trying to pull themselves together, they should definitely be able to make one hell of an emotional impact on the audience.
Even if they can make this scene just as good as the original, there won’t be a dry eye in the room.
8 The Musical Voice Of Nala
Nala’s previous voice was great. The songs were beautiful, and her voice was stunning.
Whether you’re a Beyonce fan or not, it’s hard to deny that her voice is absolutely incredible and so expressive that she’s going to do an amazing job as Nala. Although the songs haven’t been confirmed yet, we know that Disney would be stupid not to use Beyonce’s voice as often as possible throughout the movie, which means that Nala’s musical voice is probably going to be downright breath-taking this go around.
They could not have chosen a better voice for Nala.
7 And Simba And Nala’s Relationship
Although Simba and Nala are an iconic Disney power couple, we actually didn’t see very much of them throughout the original movie. So maybe we’ll see a little more, since it's not exactly a shot-for-shot remake, if only because… well, Beyonce.
And no one would be disappointed to see more of Simba and Nala. They’re almost the typical love story, going from claiming that they’re just friends to blossoming into something more. She came looking for him, had faith in him when no one else did, and she drove him to retake his place as king.
If they do add scenes, please be Simba and Nala-based scenes.
6 Timon And Pumbaa’s Jokes
Despite being an animated movie, it’s a mostly serious and dark plot, with kinslaying, politics, and betrayal at the heart of it all. But there are two characters who provide some light relief when Simba runs into them—Timon and Pumbaa.
Hopefully, the writers have come up with some great jokes for these two because amongst the stampede, the death of Mufasa, and all of the other tragic moments this movie will bring, we’re going to need some comic relief and they’re the perfect way to do it. The writers surely won’t miss the opportunity to make their audience laugh, and they should be able to do it well.
5 The Heart-Breaking Moments With Sarabi
Another few moments that deserve more attention are the moments between Simba and his mother. The moments at the start of the movie are fleeting and fun, with Simba rebelling healthily against his mother. But when he returns to Pride Rock, we realize that his mother has thought him dead all this time; that he died around the same time as Mufasa, and she was left all alone. She then briefly thinks he murdered Mufasa when Scar guilts him into saying so.
The looks they share could definitely use some attention, even if they’re just played up rather than having scenes added. Disney will surely look back on this and realize so. Any opportunity to hug on the audience’s heartstrings more, right?
4 Simba’s Transformation
The Lion King has one scene that will just plain look cooler in CGI rather than 2D animation: Simba’s transformation.
There’s a scene where he’s walking with Timon and Pumba and we see him go from a lion cub to an adolescent lion to a fully grown male all in a few seconds. It’s a simple transition, yet so powerful the first time around because of the little baby we now know becomes this strong male, future head of his pride.
Hopefully, this scene will be included but with the effects cinema has now… Wow. This scene will be breathtaking.
3 The Creepiness Of The Hyenas
Another thing that will be more impactful in CGI: the hyenas.
They’re creepy enough in 2D animation. Although they have their funny moments, they’re predators who work for Scar and when they circle around Simba, when they chase him with Nala, it’s downright frightening.
There’s a real chance to give this even more tension in CGI, when the animation of them doesn’t just look silly. They could almost look like horror characters if Disney manages to do this right.
This movie will be geared towards kids, but it might have some slightly more adult visuals too because Disney will surely want to cater to those who grew up with the movie. It won’t get too dark, but hyenas could definitely be scarier.
2 The Ruined Pridelands
And the last thing that will simply look better because of the visuals: Pride Rock near the end of the movie.
When Simba walks back to Pride Rock after presumably years of being away, the place has been ruined because Scar isn’t taking care of it. There are skeletons everywhere, and it’s drying out. The lions have had no food, and it looks a bit like a post-apocalyptic wasteland.
This will be much more haunting in the live action because the visuals will be so much better. The animated movie has the ability to send chills down our spines during this scene, so surely the live action will too.
1 Simba’s Walk Up Pride Rock?
Speaking of chills—remember Simba’s walk up Pride Rock? It’s hard to forget.
With the music playing, his paw purposefully hitting the ground with each step, Simba walks to the top of the rock with the lions watching him. When he reaches the peak, he roars, and is accepted as king while Mufasa looks down on him.
It’s a beautiful, breath-taking scene. Maybe the nostalgia means it will only be better in the animated movie, but we can hope and pray that the new remake does just as good a job on this part, even if it’s not entirely possible to do better.