‘The Lion King’: First Reactions Praise Another Game-Changing VFX Win from Disney & Jon Favreau

     July 9, 2019


Earlier tonight, Jon Favreau’s The Lion King had its world premiere. The “live-action” adaptation of the 1994 Oscar-winning classic uses photoreal technology to provide a new take on the story of Simba (Donald Glover), who must fulfill his destiny and return from exile to take the throne from his evil uncle Scar (Chiwetel Ejiofor). The Lion King is one of the most beloved animated films in the massive Disney library, so there’s a lot of pressure coasting on this one, especially after divided reviews to this year’s other remakes Dumbo and Aladdin.

Now that the film has been seen by some critics and junketeers, they’ve tweeted out some brief reactions to the movie and, Hakuna Matata y’all, the news is good. Now, these first reactions are usually pretty positive so make of that what you will, but you can usually catch the vibe if the reaction is more mixed. So far, the reactions seem genuinely positive across the board, especially for the film’s visuals, which are being touted as another game-changing VFX win for Disney and Favreau (who previously pushed the envelope with Iron Man and The Jungle Book.) Other recurring themes include lots of praise of Seth Rogen and Billy Eichner as Timon and Pumba, lots of love for the musical vocals, and generally just people who seem pretty hyped about the movie they just got out of — though there are a few folks noting that a beat-for-beat remake can’t quite live up to the original.

Check out the first reactions in the tweets below.





The embargo for full reviews lifts Thursday at noon EST, so be on the lookout for our review then.

The Lion King opens July 19th and features the voices of Donald Glover (Simba), Beyoncé (Nala), Alfre Woodard (Sarabi), Chiwetel Ejiofor (Scar), James Earl Jones (Mufasa) Billy Eichner (Timon), Seth Rogen (Pumbaa), John Oliver (Zazu) Keegan Michael-Key (Kamari), Florence Kasumba (Shenzi), and Eric André (Azizi).

Here is the official synopsis for The Lion King:

Disney’s “The Lion King,” directed by Jon Favreau, journeys to the African savanna where a future king is born. Simba idolizes his father, King Mufasa, and takes to heart his own royal destiny. But not everyone in the kingdom celebrates the new cub’s arrival. Scar, Mufasa’s brother—and former heir to the throne—has plans of his own. The battle for Pride Rock is ravaged with betrayal, tragedy and drama, ultimately resulting in Simba’s exile. With help from a curious pair of newfound friends, Simba will have to figure out how to grow up and take back what is rightfully his. Staying true to the classic story, Favreau utilizes pioneering filmmaking techniques to bring the iconic characters to the big screen in a whole new way. Also featuring James Earl Jones as Mufasa, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar, Seth Rogen as Pumbaa and Billy Eichner as Timon, Disney’s “The Lion King” opens in U.S. theaters on July 19, 2019.


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