'The Lion King' TV Spot: James Earl Jones' Mufasa Tells You To Remember Who You Are

Disney's photorealistic computer animated (don't call it live-action!) Lion King is going to be big. How could it not be? It boasts an incredible cast, and the nostalgia factor alone all but guarantees boffo box office. And yet, the footage released so far has taken great pains to avoid showing the photorealistic animals speaking. A new Lion King TV spot continues that trend, relying entirely on the gravitas-filled voiceover work of James Earl Jones. Watch The Lion King TV spot below.

The Lion King TV Spot

There's something off about Disney's Lion King remake, and I think I know what it is. Making full-blown cartoon animals talk is a piece of cake, especially for Disney – they've been doing it for almost 100 years. But when the animals in question look photorealistic and then start talking, maybe it doesn't translate as well. If you don't believe me, just take a look at the marketing for The Lion King so far, which has devoted almost no time to showing the animal characters talking. We get a few seconds here and and there, but the footage released so far has mostly focused entirely on the visual elements, with character voice over taking care of the rest.

To be fair, Lion King director Jon Favreau has some experience with this. His live-action/animation hybrid The Jungle Book employed talking photorealistic animals, and it worked – for the most part. But that film also had a human character to balance things out. The Lion King does not. Which makes me very curious about how this will all unfold.

Of course, I'm pretty sure that Disney could've released zero footage from this thing and still made bank. Why? Nostalgia, baby. While other "live-action" Disney movies have been successful, The Lion King seems to be the freshest in terms of the original film's release. The original Disney Beauty and the Beast opened in 1991, but Lion King was from 1994 – and the original seems to be treated as much more of a classic to people from my generation than Beauty. As a result, those millennials who grew up with The Lion King, and also have kids of their own now, will likely find themselves salivating for what this movie has to offer. Which makes this TV spot pretty appropriate. "Remember" is the most emphasized line of dialogue here, and that's exactly what the target audience will do. "I remember," they'll think as they sit down in a heavily air conditioned theater, comically large popcorn bucket in hand. "I remember it all."

The Lion King opens July 19, 2019.