Disney gave it a shot, but there can only be one true king.
It won't be long before Disney rebrand themselves Déjà Vu Studios.
We all love the classics. The Jungle Book animation holds a special place in the hearts of many, and when a live-action remake was announced, the sceptics rushed in to offer their hot takes. However, when it arrived it went down an absolute treat - even with fans of the original.
The same goes for Guy Ritchie's Aladdin and Tim Burton's Dumbo. Arguably, they all warranted a reimagining, with Disney hiring directors which could bring something new, visually, to the story. The Lion King on the other hand... take it easy.
Audiences have such fond memories of the 1994 classic, and thousands would be quick to call it a perfect film. It looks great, the story's impactful, it beautifully explores deeper themes. As a family movie, it's probably as good as it gets. So, a photorealistic CGI retelling was always going to divide, and indeed, it did.
The Lion King: Did Disney succeed?
Some would argue that this remake is the definition of mixed signals.
While the voice actors try their best to invest us in the emotion of the characters, the realism and facial expressions of the animals don't really match up with the dialogue.
For the most part, whether Simba - or the others - is brave, scared, sad or happy, he always sort of looks the same. By striving to be one part epic blockbuster and the other part nature display, it's hard to fully immerse yourself in what's going on. There are two styles at work here which feel at odds with each other. As a result, it personally came across as a bit messy, failing to be as emotionally engaging as the original.
After a while, it felt best to just sit back and admire the visuals. But The Lion King is all about heart, and sadly, the ambition of Jon Favreau's latest distracted from the story. Nevertheless, Timon, Pumbaa and Scar stood out as highlights thanks to the sensational voice work, and as touched on, the imagery is pretty beautiful.
When is The Lion King out on DVD? 2019 remake!
Perhaps it needs another viewing. Sometimes a film can buckle under enormous expectations on first viewing; when approached with its flaws in mind, it can be much more enjoyable on repeat watches.
The story of The Lion King is timeless and universal, so no matter which way you consume it, whether animated or not, there's always something to gain from it.
It's currently available to pre-order on Amazon, with the price ranging from £9.99 (DVD) TO £24.99 (4K). Unfortunately, there's no release date as of yet, but we'll be sure to update once there is. However, that doesn't mean it can't be predicted.
Let's highlight two recent Disney remake examples. Dumbo was released in UK cinemas on Friday, March 29th 2019 and was released on DVD on Monday, July 29th. Aladdin was released in cinemas on Wednesday, May 22nd 2019 and is scheduled for home release on Monday, September 23rd. Basically, it looks like we can allow four months until it comes out; a month for theatrical release and then a three-month wait.
By this rule of thumb, we can expect The Lion King to release on or soon after Monday, November 25th 2019. It's sure to be this year's big Christmas gift!
Jon Favreau's box office smash
With the financial success of The Jungle Book, Aladdin and other remakes, The Lion King was always destined to sit atop the summer box office's very own Pride Rock.
So, how much has it made so far?
According to Box Office Mojo, the film has already broken the billion milestone across its worldwide gross. At the time of writing, it has already earned a staggering $1,023,582,142. Earlier in 2019, we saw Avengers: Endgame overtake Avatar as the highest-grossing movie ever made, but let's check out where Jon Favreau's blockbuster slots in on the list.
It's sure to climb higher, yet at the moment, it's already in at number thirty-nine. Considering we're talking about all-time gross, we're pretty impressed.
In other news, what happened to Zoella?
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