#LongLiveTheKing: 'Lion King' teaser trailer is out
There is a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, as Disney released the first teaser trailer for the upcoming Lion King remake.
It was released as part of Thanksgiving football festivities.
Directed by Jon Favreau, known for his successful take on The Jungle Book, the film will hit theaters on July 19, 2019.
Read on as we decode the teaser trailer here.
An ode to childhood nostalgia
I try not to get personal while reporting since readers deserve to formulate their own opinion based on facts presented. Thus, I would like to apologize beforehand if this copy seems a little too personal as Lion King was my first movie as a child.
Welcome to the jungle, they've got fun and games
Lion King's stellar cast includes Donald Glover voicing protagonist Simba and Beyonce voicing Nala, Simba's childhood friend, and love interest.
Notably, James Earl Jones reprises his role as Mufasa, Simba's father, from the 1994 animated movie while Chiwetel Ejiofor voices Scar, Simba's villainous uncle.
Alfre Woodard voices Simba's mother, Sarabi, and JD McCrary and Shahadi Wright Joseph will voice young Simba and Nala, respectively.
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The supporting cast to the rich story
Apart from the main characters, John Kani will voice the prophetic baboon Rafiki while John Oliver voices Zazu, the hornbill, Mufasa's confidante. The happy-go-lucky Timon and Pumbaa, who live life for the bare necessities, will be voiced by Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen.
What is Lion King about?
Lion King follows the story of Simba, born to Mufasa and Nala. When he is proclaimed the next king of the jungle, it arouses jealousy in Scar.
Scar tries to kill Mufasa and Simba in a wildebeest stampede. He fails to kill Simba but succeeds with Mufasa.
Simba escapes and grows under the care of Timon and Pumbaa. He returns to defeat Scar.
There is nothing new under the sun
Lion King became an immensely popular story at the time of its release. However, the archetype of the evil uncle, the good father, and the avenging young prince is believed to have been inspired by William Shakespeare's acclaimed play, Hamlet.
In the mighty jungle, the lion wakes tonight
The trailer shows snippets from the film, including Mufasa teaching his son the ropes of being a king with the iconic dialogue 'Everything the light touches is our kingdom'.
We are shown the kingdom, Simba's claim to the throne, and shots of the African wilderness.
Notably, Scar is not shown but we see a wildebeest stampede, which could be the scene of Mufasa's murder.
Our takeaway and Disney's bright future
Apart from The Lion King, Disney has other remakes lined up including Dumbo, Aladdin, and Mulan. For people like me who grew up on these movies, the remakes are a beautiful walk down the memory lane.
The upcoming Lion King looks promising though we have to see if it will be as commercially successful as the original, which made more than $968 million, worldwide.
James Earl Jones
Shahadi Wright Joseph