The Lion King Featurette

The Lion King remake from Walt Disney Pictures is currently sitting with a rotten score of 56% on Rotten Tomatoes at the time of this writing, but that’s exactly the score Aladdin earned, and that movie has made $965 million worldwide so far, so I think The Lion King will be just fine. Even so, some people might need a nudge towards theaters to see how this movie updates the animated classic from 1994, and a new featurette shines some light on that.

Donald Glover, Seth Rogen, and Billy Eichner have the honor of recording a new version of the beloved song “Hakuna Matata” from the original animated movie. Since this is a remake, the song couldn’t just be a carbon copy of the original, but it also couldn’t stray too far from the version that people love. This new The Lion King featurette showcases all three cast members talking about singing the updated tune, and you even get to see them recording together in the sound booth. Watch!

The Lion King New Hakuna Matata Featurette

Honestly, watching this featurette makes me want to talk to these three in the same room for hours. They genuinely seem like they have a blast together, likely because they all share a similarly seasoned comedy background. That’s probably why a lot of the reviews out there say The Lion King remake is best when Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen show up as Timon and Pumbaa. Hell, I bet the movie would have been just as good if these guys just dressed up in animal suits instead of the expensive photo-real animation.

What I love the most about this featurette is seeing all three of these guys recording “Hakuna Matata” in the same room. It allows for more of a genuine connection between characters, and there’s even times throughout the song that allow for improvisation between these comic actors. Obviously, since this is Disney, they can’t really be unleashed to their full potential, but there are clearly some laughs to be had. I hope there’s a reel of alternate takes and lines from this crew on The Lion King‘s eventual home video release.

Here’s the movie’s official synopsis:

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.

The Lion King is now playing in theaters everywhere.

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