With John Favreau’s hybrid of plate photography and CGI characters bringing The Lion King back to screen, it’s a perfect opportunity to look at the key personnel who helped bring the indelible songs from the film to life. Some are famous, some less so, and some were left out of the narrative until recently. Since the original landed in 1994, this music has become part of a new pop song canon, playing for decades on Broadway and continuing to enthrall new generations.
When the film was released, this was a breakthrough for Disney. The film was the first animated feature in the studio’s history not based on an existing property, a rarity even by today’s standards as evidenced by the fact that their entire slate seems to be remakes, sequels or prequels of familiar titles. Drawing from many references, especially Hamlet, the film was shepherded by many of the same that brought Beauty and the Beast to the screen, and along with Aladdin and Little Mermaid convinced the world that the studio was once again the home to classic, timeless animated extravaganzas. The film had strong story, fantastic visuals, but above all an infectious soundtrack made by some exceptional talent.
Here are some of those that helped give rise to the music of The Lion King.
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Quick: how many Oscars has composer Hans Zimmer won during his 30-plus year career? Despite crafting some of the most memorable movie music of the past three decades, the answer is only one – Best Original Score for the original animated version of Disney’s The Lion King.
More than a quarter century later, Zimmer is revisiting and expanding upon his work in Jon Favreau’s remake of The Lion King, and I sat down with him last week at the film’s press junket to talk about how he was lured back into The Lion King once again, some of the changes he made to the music, his relationship to Elton John, and more. Check out our full Hans Zimmer interview below. Read More »
Whatever your feelings about the upcoming The Lion King remake, it’s hard to resist the star-studded cast behind the film’s soundtrack. Even harder to resist is the pull of Beyoncé, who is performing a highly-anticipated original song in the film and releasing an entire The Lion King-inspired album featuring collaborations from hitmakers like Pharrell, Kendrick Lamar, and Jay-Z.
Watch The Lion King Beyoncé music video for “Spirit” below, which is included in the artist’s upcoming album, The Lion King: The Gift.
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Disney’s remake of The Lion King is arriving in theaters next week, and the studio has released a featurette that gives you a behind the scenes look at its all-star cast – Donald Glover, Beyonce Carter-Knowles, Billy Eichner, Seth Rogen, and more – recording some familiar dialogue.
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Criticism is not consumer reporting, despite what some may tell you. If it was, this review of The Lion King would be exceptionally short. I’d simply point you to Amazon, where you can purchase a digital copy of the 1994 animated film of the same name for roughly the same amount of money as a movie-theater ticket, a drink and some candy would get you for watching a new version of the same story. But criticism isn’t consumer reporting; it’s an attempt to analyze what does and doesn’t work in any given work of art. To discuss Jon Favreau’s remake of this blend of naturalism and Shakespearean drama, and to briefly highlight how grossly misunderstood and misguided the film is, is no simple task.
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The early buzz from the world premiere of The Lion King may be strong, but after a recent clip was released from the remake of Disney’s animated classic, some people aren’t so jazzed.
During Donald Glover‘s appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live earlier this week, a quick clip of him singing as adult Simba along with his pals Timon (Billy Eichner) and Pumbaa (Seth Rogen) was shown. That’s right, we’re talking about the wonderful “Hakuna Matata” sequence, but when you compare it to the original scene, it makes you question exactly what makes this remake worth watching. See The Lion King remake comparison below. Read More »
Normally, when Donald Glover is cast in a movie, he’s the only actor who also happens to be a Grammy-winning recording artist. But when it comes to Disney’s remake of The Lion King, that isn’t the case. Global music superstar and 23-time Grammy winner Beyoncé Knowles-Carter has a role in The Lion King remake as the adult voice of Simba’s best friend, Nala. But you don’t get Beyoncé in your movie and just utilize her voice for acting, especially when you’re Disney and you’ve got money to throw around. Disney had Beyoncé create an original song for The Lion King soundtrack called “Spirit,” and you can listen to it right now.
But that’s not all. This song is not only in the movie, it’s the first track from an entire album inspired by The Lion King with songs featuring Beyoncé and other global recording artists creating more original music steeped in the sounds of Africa.
Listen to The Lion King Beyonce song below, and find out about this new album too. Read More »
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. Read More »
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The Lion King remake is less than two weeks away from hitting theaters. It’s bound to be another huge hit around the world for Walt Disney Pictures, but for those who may be on the fence about checking it out, a new clip has arrived with some hilarity supplied by the dynamic duo Timon and Pumbaa, who are voiced by Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen this time. Watch The Lion King clip below. Read More »
There’s nothing that can get you more hyped for a Disney remake than seeing actors stare death in the eyes. That’s the route that The Lion King seems to be taking with its latest marketing campaign, which is doing a lot to remind us that there are real actors voicing these photorealistic animals. New The Lion King character portraits show the actors, which include Donald Glover, Beyonce, Seth Rogen, Billy Eichner, and John Oliver, face-to-face with their animals in what looks to be the snazziest Sears portrait studio ever. See the character portraits below.
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