We Saw New 'The Lion King' Footage – But Did It Make Us Roar? [CinemaCon 2019]

Other than a teaser that recreated the iconic opening scene of the original animated classic, audiences have seen very little of Disney's new The Lion King remake. Don't call it "live-action" – it's technically a "photorealistic computer animated movie", with director Jon Favreau employing new technology to create realistic animal characters. /Film's Peter Sciretta and Ben Pearson were able to watch some new footage of the film at CinemaCon and here's what they saw.

The footage begins with a redux of the first sequence in the original movie after the title card. Simba is looking out over the plains in the early morning. He trounces on his father Mufasa to wake him up, "You said I could patrol with you today, and it's today. Let's go!"

Simba asks, "What's first? Chase away evil intruders?" Instead, they walk towards the top of Pride Rock. Simba usually isn't allowed up there. Mufasa takes him to the very end of the cliff and gives him the speech about "Everything the light touches is our kingdom."

Still young with a lot to learn, Simba asks, "All of this will belong to me?" Mufasa corrects him, "It belongs to no one. But it will be yours to protect. A great responsibility." This is where he also warns him not to go into the elephant graveyard where the hyenas live.

Mufasa continues to talk about Simba's future responsibility as king, "While others search for what they can take, a true king searches for what he can give." That's some sage advice from a lion that a lot of people in power today should heed pretty quickly.

Suddenly, the king's majordomo Zazu shows up. And since it's the voice of John Oliver, when the bird says, "Come on, it's the news!" you can't help but chuckle. Of course, Mufasa and Simba play a little prank and scare him, just like the original movie.

Ben and Peter both remarked how incredible the footage looked. Shots of the antelopes galloping through the plains look like they're straight from a nature documentary. It feels like we're watching one of those Disneynature documentaries and somehow the animals have learned how to talk. Simply stunning.

As for the voices, hearing James Earl Jones back as Mufasa was a nice touch, and now that he's older, we imagine it adds even more weight to what he's saying as Simba's father.

The Lion King opens July 19, 2019.

Director Jon Favreau's all-new "The Lion King" 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. The all-star cast includes Donald Glover as Simba, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter as Nala, James Earl Jones as Mufasa, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar, Seth Rogen as Pumbaa and Billy Eichner as Timon.