If you’ve been following this site for the past 6 months or so, you may already know my feelings on reboots & “re-imaginings” in movies. That being said, it came as a bit of a shock to me to see that Disney has planned to team up with Jon Favreau on a new project… A reboot of The Lion King. Yes, you read that correctly, Disney is teaming up with the man who produced the ‘Avengers’ movies to bring us a “re-imagining” of the 1994 re-telling of ‘Hamlet’ (yes, folks, it was actually loosely based on Shakespeare). The project was confirmed by Disney on their website earlier today, and Favreau announced it on his Instagram page.
The Lion King ranks as one of the top-grossing animated films of all time, with box office gross of almost $1 Billion to date. It was also awarded 2 Academy Awards and 2 Grammy Awards (for original song & original score), and spawned a Tony Award-winning Broadway show.
In their announcement today, Disney stated that this is another way for the company to build on their success of re-imagining their classic movies for a more modern audience. The movie is also reported to be a “live-action remake”, following the success of Favreau’s recent reboot of another Disney classic, ‘The Jungle Book‘, earlier this year. That’s all well & good for Disney, but color me skeptical.
My main bit of skepticism revolves around how this will be pulled off as a “live-action” movie. Presumably, the studio will be going with CGI animals, as getting a lion, a warthog, and a meerkat to dance & sing would be quite the feat. Additionally, without human characters, I feel like a CGI version of this film will end up feeling too much like 2001’s Cats & Dogs, which only received lukewarm reviews.
Here’s the thing. The Lion King is SUCH a good movie as it is. It’s an amazing take on Shakespeare’s timeless tale of a young prince who ran away from responsibility after the murder of his father, only to return in adulthood to depose his evil uncle & take his rightful place on the throne. It was a great way to introduce kids of the 90s to classical storytelling, and has held strong as one of the top Disney movies ever made. It’s things like this, though, that makes me feel like the days of the classically-animated movies of my childhood may be going the way of the dodo.
What do you think, dear readers? Do you agree with Disney’s intent to remake The Lion King? What are your feelings about it possibly being turned into a CGI film? Let us know in the comments!