'The Lion King' Early Buzz: Does Jon Favreau's Remake Roar?

Are critics feeling the love tonight? Will you "be prepared" for what they have to say about Disney's not-quite-live-action, not-quite-animated remake of The Lion King? I sure hope so, because the first reactions have arrived and we've gathered several from around the web to give you an idea of whether director Jon Favreau managed to capture the essence of the 1994 animated classic with his newfangled technology.

The Lion King Early Buzz

After his 2016 take on The Jungle Book raked in $966 million worldwide, filmmaker Jon Favreau is back to tackle another remake of a classic Disney property, and he's used cutting edge technology to bring the story to life. Also aiding him in his journey is a terrific cast, including Donald Glover as Simba, Beyonce Knowles-Carter as Nala, James Earl Jones returning as Mufasa, Alfre Woodard as Sarabi, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar, Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen as Timon and Pumbaa (respectively), John Oliver as Zazu, Shahadi Wright Joseph (Young Nala), JD McCrary (Young Simba), Florence Kasumba as Shenzi, Keegan-Michael Key as Kamari, and Eric Andre as Azizi.

So how did the new movie turn out? Here are some initial thoughts from /Film's Peter Sciretta:

And here's my own gut reaction after I got out of the screening tonight:

Meanwhile, the rest of the critical community seems largely on the same page:


Here's the official synopsis:

Disney's "The Lion King," directed by Jon Favreau, 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. Staying true to the classic story, Favreau utilizes pioneering filmmaking techniques to bring the iconic characters to the big screen in a whole new way.

The Lion King hits theaters on July 19, 2019.