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The Broomfielder

Broomfield at the Box Office: The Lion King

Aug 01, 2019 08:08AM

By Missy Ruzicka

Now out in Disney’s live action remakes is one of this summer’s biggest hits: the Lion King.  I know what you’re thinking, how in the world are they going to pull that off? How do you improve on an epic cast and a tale we all know and love by heart?  If you are anything like me your kids had you watch the Lion King on repeat hundreds of times.  We know it scene-by-scene and can even say most the lines.  I am a loyal Disney fan and usually love everything they do, but every now and then I doubt their sanity.  Then I think about how I doubted Mary Poppins Returns and it’s now my go-to feel-good movie, so I’ll give Disney the benefit of the doubt, grab my popcorn and go.  

In Aladdin’s live action they counted on the talents of Will Smith to lead the cast of relative unknowns, but with the Lion King they pulled out all the stops when it came to casting.  Smartest move was keeping Mufasa with the resonating voice of the one and only James Earl Jones, who is now 88-years-old and just as cool as ever. Some other voices you might recognize in this powerhouse, talent-filled cast include: Alfre Woodard, Chiwetel Ejiofor, John Oliver, Danny Glover, and of course Beyoncé Knowles-Carter.  I believe the two actors who had the hardest jobs would be those who voiced our beloved Pumbaa and Timon.  Here’s a little original Lion King trivia for you, did you know that when Ernie Sabella and Nathan Lane went to audition it was originally for the hyenas?  The directors enjoyed them so much they quickly cast them as our Hakuna Matata tag team.  Seth Rogen and Billy Eichner took on the huge responsibility of the kids’ favorite Pumbaa and Timon for the remake and filled those hooves and little paws perfectly! In fact, Mr. Eichner’s Timon is so perfect that he quickly became my favorite character and defiantly made me laugh out loud on more than one occasion. 

Disney has an amazing ability to give us what we love with just a little different twist.  When the trailer for these live action remakes come out, they are identical to their animated counterparts so not only are we feeling nostalgic but also excited to see our favorite characters come to life.  Now, just because I know this story like the back of my hand and sing along with every note doesn’t mean I wasn’t secretly hoping that the dreaded wildebeest stampede doesn’t happen.  But alas it does and I cried and hated Scar with every fiber of my being just like before.  I thought that these live action remakes would get old and I wouldn’t want to see them, but so far they have been wonderful and make a great family adventure, and The Lion King is no exception.  

Disney has been doing live action remakes of our favorites for almost 30 years and they are not stopping anytime soon.  Next up are Lady and the Tramp, Mulan, Sword and the Stone, and The Little Mermaid and it’s a safe bet I will be there opening weekend with my popcorn ready to sing along for each one.