Disney might have stumbled a bit at the box office with the release of Tim Burton’s “Dumbo,” but the studio has nothing to worry about when it comes to their remake of “The Lion King” opening in theaters this summer. Not only is “The Lion King” property one of the most beloved films in the Disney canon, but the new footage Disney showed at CinemaCon dazzled press so much that it’s clear the film is a visual effects game-changer that demands to be seen on the biggest screen possible.
The footage for “The Lion King” showed the famous “everything the light touches” scene between Mufasa and Simba. Like the teaser trailer that debuted last year, the scene is essentially a shot-for-shot remake of Disney’s animated “The Lion King.” However, the effects blew nearly everyone in attendance away.
“The Lion King” is the latest directorial effort from Jon Favreau, who helmed Disney’s “The Jungle Book” in 2016. While “Jungle Book” featured child actor Neel Sethi opposite VFX animals, “The Lion King” is completely animated using photorealistic computer visual effects. The VFX work on “The Jungle Book” won the Oscar, and clearly “The Lion King” is going to be a contender in the category come next year. Favreau has assembled an all-star voice cast for the movie, including Donald Glover as Simba, Seth Rogen as Pumbaa, Billy Eichner as Timon, Beyonce as Nala, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar, Alfre Woodard as Sarabi, John Oliver as Zazu, and James Earl Jones as Mufasa. The latter voiced the same character in Disney’s 1994 animated movie.
Disney is opening “The Lion King” in theaters nationwide July 19. Check out reaction to the footage below.
Disney shows “everything the light touches” scene from #LionKing at #CinemaCon. Extraordinary effects. The way the grass waves in the wind, the fur on the lion’s mane, a shimmering spider’s web. So realistic. This is going to make so much $.
— Brent Lang (@BrentALang) April 3, 2019
The clip we just saw of THE LION KING gives a look at the flawless CGI. I mean, if all looks real. #CinemaCon
— Jason Guerrasio (@JasonGuerrasio) April 3, 2019
Extended clip of Jon Favreau’s THE LION KING is as beautiful as ALADDIN is garish. I still firmly believe there is no reason for this film to exist, but it will surely make twenty billion dollars. #CinemaCon
— Barry Hertz (@HertzBarry) April 3, 2019
THE LION KING. Looks. SO. GOOD.
— Jeff Sneider (@TheInSneider) April 3, 2019
THE LION KING footage: yes, the animals talk AND look pretty damn real. I feel like folks have been rolling their eyes at this one, but… I dunno, man. Looks pretty great to my eyes (and likely to make a bazillion dollars).
— Scott Wampler™ @ CinemaCon (@ScottWamplerBMD) April 3, 2019
“Look Simba, everything the light touches is our kingdom.” Great little scene from #ALionKing is shown and the effects are damn incredible. Emotional, funny, adorable – it’s going to do just fine.#cinemacon pic.twitter.com/kkHu2VLl24
— Erik Davis (@ErikDavis) April 3, 2019
Additional reporting by Kate Erbland