Without much fanfare or warning, Disney dropped a teaser trailer for the “live action” remake of The Lion King…
… and I won’t lie, I got chills from watching it.
In no small part this is unsurprisingly due to the gorgeous visuals on display in this new teaser – the “realistic” rendering on display is quite stunning. Mainly, though, the chills arise because this trailer shows only beat-for-beat remakes of scenes from the original*, and the original, especially coupled with the great score by Hans Zimmer, will almost always give me the chills.
As for the enterprise as a whole I still have massive concerns about what will result from this remake. The remake of Beauty and the Beast left me cold in more ways than one** and I do wonder what the intent of this is (besides making a tonne of money, of course). There are only a pawful of narrative (or other) weaknesses that I’d say would need ameliorating; will they address those or miss them, will they try to shoehorn in unnecessary stuff, will they go for some radical reworking, or will they just leave it as a pure visual overhaul?*** Some of those paths could lead to something amazing. The others… not so much.
The 1994 release of TLK really landed for me in ways I may never be able to fully understand why. It had a monumental impact on my life, both in terms of how it spoke to me, what I took from it, the many friendships I developed around it, and the life-directing choices that emerged from it. I’m not concerned that the remake will ruin my time or memories of that time – I would never give anyone or anything that power – but this movie is something special to me. I already think it is a great movie, with good storytelling.
Again I won’t lie: they are clearing doing this, and I so want, and hope, that whatever gets released next year remains equally great, moving, wonderous, and powerful.
* Which makes me wonder why they didn’t actually pull a page from the original and release the entire Circle of Life sequence as the trailer…
** And Lindsay Ellis unraveled it even further here, enumerating a number of things that point to why my view of the remake had been souring further since I’d written my review…
*** Perhaps strangely I could get behind this direction. It does leave open a big question of “why bother?” but at the same time, so long as they’re being honest about what they’re doing, there’s an appeal to making something purely for aesthetic delight.