live-action Lion King shot

While many people tend to refer to the new The Lion King remake from Disney as “live-action”, it’s anything but. Instead, it’s a computer-animated film with photo-realistic characters. But there actually is one live-action shot in the movie – and director Jon Favreau just revealed it online. See the live-action Lion King shot below.

Yep, that’s it. There’s one legit landscape shot nestled within The Lion King. “This is the only real shot in #TheLionKing,” Favreau wrote. “There are 1490 rendered shots created by animators and CG artists. I slipped in one single shot that we actually photographed in Africa to see if anyone would notice. It is the first shot of the movie that begins The Circle of Life.”

During a /Film set visit, Favreau was asked if The Lion King should be considered “live-action” or “animated.” Favreau answered:

“Well, it’s difficult because it’s neither, really. It depends what standard you’re using. Because there’s no real animals and there’s no real cameras and there’s not even any performance that’s being captured that’s underlying data that’s real. Everything is coming through the hands of artists. But to say it’s animated I think is misleading as far as what the expectations might be. And it also changes the way you sit and watch it. Because hopefully, you could just watch it without it being introduced. If we put up that Rafiki footage and didn’t say what it was, some people might know, some people might not know how it was done, but it causes you to be present and mindful and pay attention because you’re trying to figure out what you’re looking at. And that’s a great disposition to be in as an audience member.”

I remain a bit puzzled as to why this had to be made at all, but since the film is already a big box office hit, I guess I have my answer. Meanwhile, Favreau isn’t about to kick-back and relax. He also has the Star Wars series The Mandalorian on the horizon. That, too, is going to employ cutting-edge effects. “Technically, this show has a new technology [that’s] never really [been] refined as much as it is right now,” said Mandalorian cast member Giancarlo Esposito. “We’re in a place called The Volume, where we do most of our acting, where set pieces are brought in, where we can control the physical atmosphere of what is projected on the walls and control how gravity is; you get a feeling that gravity is being played with. This is a show that’s gonna be really fantastic.”

The Lion King is now playing in theaters everywhere.

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