Over two weeks of release and The Lion King is taking the world like a storm with over $700 million at the box office. The critics seem to be divided on the remake of the beloved 90s classic, but it seems the fans fully embraced as parents got to share a piece of their childhood with their children. Whatever the verdict by critics the film is doing well and is spreading its magic as the original did.
When the trailer for the movie arrived, fans were quick to point out the movie was like a shot-for-shot remake of the original. The claims were valid to a certain extent, but the remake was not a shot-for-shot re-enactment of the classic animated movie. The 1994 animated film is such an iconic flick; there are no substitutes to some of the most memorable scenes in the movie. So, it is understandable Jon Favreau didn’t want to change the scenes and keep it the way it was and those were the same scenes used in the trailer.
Watch: The trailer for live action Lion King
There was a scene which looked similar, but they were extended to provide more detail, and the ladies in the movie were given a prominent role, unlike the animated film. Jon took some liberties while making the movie, so here are the five significant differences between the original animated classic and the live-action remake.
5. Timon and Pumbaa Do The Hula
In the original, there is a scene which is beloved by everyone, as 'Simba', 'Nala', 'Timon', and 'Pumbaa' approach the Pride Rock they see Hyena’s patrolling. To get through, Simba proposes live bait for the hungry Hyenas, and Timon and Pumbaa dress up and do the Hula dance. This gets the Hyena’s to move, and Simba gets the opening he needs. In the remake though, there is no dancing as Timon offers Pumbaa up as food for the Hyenas and draw them away. We know it would’ve looked stupid dressing Timon up as a drag and having him dance in the live-action but it would’ve been amusing seeing Timon and Pumbaa dancing.
4. Simba Is Less Entitled
It seems Jon made a choice to make Simba less entitled in the remake as in the original animated classic Simba enthusiastically asks 'Mufasa' if everything the light touches will be his and Mufasa says, “Everything.” Well, it seems that was thrown away as he was made to be a little less entitled as Mufasa explains to Simba, he doesn’t own the land, he just protects everything and makes sure the circle of life is followed.
3. New Song By Beyonce
The soundtrack of the original didn’t contain any song by Nala, but if your cast includes someone of the stature of Beyonce, then you make sure she sings a song. The best part of the movie was when Beyonce and Simba are making their way back to the Pride Lands, and Beyonce starts singing an original song about empowerment, and it gave us chills. This was a welcome addition to an already fantastic movie.
Yup! You read that right. There are farts in this movie, but it was avoided in the animated film as Timon told Pumbaa there were kids present. In the live-action remake, Pumbaa freely farts and even incorporates his farts into his song. Timon and Pumbaa were the best things about the remake and Seth Rogen joyfully saying fart was the funniest thing. First, it is unbelievable Seth Rogen was hired for a Disney movie and second he is allowed to say farts. It was a really funny and a welcome change from the original.
Lions are matriarchal by nature, but that is not the case in the movie as Lions are shown to be in control. The same was the case with animated Lion King as the Lionesses were only there to be in the background. It was not the case with the remake as Nala’s escape was a suspenseful affair which was an original material made for the movie. Also, we learn that Scar wants to get on with Sarabi and make her his queen, but she refuses and helps Simba during the final battle.
The remake is not an improvement over the original as there are very few films which are as good as the animated Lion King. But Jon Favreau did a commendable job with the remake as he delivered a good movie which was able to make us love the original even more. To be honest, we love both the films, but if we were sitting in our home, we would much rather watch the live-action version than the animated movie.