BRIAN VINER says exhilarating Simba-meets-Attenborough film will be a huge hit 

Mail Online | 7/11/2019 | Brian Viner For The Daily Mail
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The roaring success and enduring pleasures of Disney’s 1994 animation The Lion King, not to mention the stage musical which is still raking in millions, might make you wonder why they should bother with a live-action remake.

Millions - Answer

To make more millions, is the short answer.

Yet by the time the breathtaking Circle Of Life sequence has opened Jon Favreau’s exhilarating new film, as hordes of African animals converge on Pride Rock to pay homage to their newly-born future sovereign, any cynicism should have melted like a snowman on the savannah.

Favreau - Version - Jungle - Book - Kenneth

Favreau’s earlier hit version of The Jungle Book (2016), along with Kenneth Branagh’s Cinderella (2015) and 2017’s Beauty And The Beast, have already shown that Disney can recycle its own classics not just lucratively, but also with great pizzazz.

The Lion King, however, might just be the best remake yet, like a Disney film orchestrated by David Attenborough.

Children - Front - Times - Live-action - Scar

My own children, now all grown up, sat devotedly in front of the original so many times that they’ll need to be persuaded that a live-action Scar (uncle of Simba, the lion cub born to be king) can be as villainous as the animated version voiced by Jeremy Irons. Or that the smelly meerkat-warthog double-act Timon and Pumbaa can be as funny.

But I can’t wait for them to see this. It’s beautifully done, and a wonderful platform for some of the best of all Disney songs – written and composed by the more fragrant double-act of Tim Rice and Elton John.

Story - Shakespeare - Hamlet

For those unfamiliar with the story, it’s one Shakespeare could have written, and in Hamlet, more or less did.

Simba (voiced in young adulthood by Donald Glover) is the leonine prince of the Pride Lands, son of mighty Mufasa (James Earl Jones, reprising his role from last time). But Mufasa is murdered by his treacherous brother Scar (Chiwetel...
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