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The Lion King: 10 things we learned after seeing The Lion King 2019

For all this, we have already discovered some secrets of the film and reached some conclusions.
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The Lion King

The Lion King premieres on July 19, but this week it has been kicked off its promotion with the world premiere at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood (same place where the Oscars Awards are given), the press conference with the director and the main actors (except for the sound absence of Beyoncé ), and the first projections of the film for the press ... that have already generated the first criticism of the "experts". Have you seen the trailer? Look below.

For all this, we have already discovered some secrets of the film and reached some conclusions:
  1. Although it is framed within the recent “live-action” remakes of Disney (Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Dumbo, Aladdin …), “The Lion King” is completely made by computer, with images created by animating artists. Outside the voices, there is no participation of the actors. Not even with the motion capture technique. This, folks, is a hyper-realistic animated film, but as animated after all as Toy Story 4.
  2. There is only one “real” shot, filmed with a camera in nature, according to director Jon Favreau. But we still don't know which one.
  3. What seems like a blessing may end up being the biggest problem in the movie: the animals are so true to reality that they lose the expressiveness they had in the original movie 25 years ago. That has been the most repeated criticism so far. Favreau, perhaps ahead of what he knew would come, commented at the press conference that they focused more on documentaries "like those of the BBC of David Attenborough" to give life to animals, and avoided "humanizing" their expressions. But a "real" lion or boar singing is not as fun as it may seem.
  4. The story of Mufassa, Scar, Nala, and Simba remains as magical as 25 years ago. So why touch it? This Lion King does not distance a millimeter from the original. After three years of work in this film, the plot does not bring any novel twist, as it did in other recent versions of Disney classics. (Have you seen the new princess Jasmine de Aladdin?).
  5. Timón and Pumbaa, played by Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen, are undoubtedly the funniest couple in a story where couples abound (Nala and Simba, hyenas Kamari and Azizi ...). Both actors recorded their voices together, something unusual in this type of production, and many phrases that ended in the final cut were improvised in the studio, Eichner confessed.
  6. The production created a virtual reality game in which to simulate how to record a movie, said Favreau, who said that allowed technicians with experience in traditional films but no experience in animation to work. "Technology allowed a balance between tradition and innovation," according to the director. The one who had the best time with the game was JD McCrary (11 years old), who gave voice to the young Simba: “It's like watching your favorite movie, but you are inside it. Is incredible. So cool … ”
  7. The music was respected practically as is with respect to the original. They even worked with the same composer, the German Hans Zimmer, and with the African artist Lebo M, who recorded the opening song in 1994 (see video below). For them it was very important that the integrity of the first film was respected, something guaranteed by Favreau. “All the musicians in the orchestra knew the play. Each note was played with intention, with commitment, ”Zimmer said.
  8. The villain, of course, is Scar, to whom Chiwetel Ejiofor voiced. "It's an incredible role to play, so complex ... I sought to empathize with the character," said the actor.
  9. Some actors who put the voices were brought from the musical The Lion King of Broadway and even the German version, such as Florence Kasumba, which gives voice to the evil hyena Shenzi. "In the film, the hyenas are more cunning," said the actress. The voice of the young Nala is from Shahadi Wright Joseph (14 years old), who played the role in the theater: “On Broadway, everything is more structured. You have to follow the instructions. Here Jon gave us a lot of freedom. ”
  10. Veteran South African actor John Kani gave voice to Rafiki, the mandrel-sorcerer of the jungle. It was very important for Kani that the film shows that the story of the Lion King takes place in Africa.
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