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The Lion King Looking To Reign Over The Box Office This Weekend

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Jungle Book director back to recreate the old magic

Jon Favreau’s new reimagining of the Disney classic “The Lion King”, in spite of a spate of less than stellar reviews, looks to be positioned for a huge opening weekend. Although at CinemaCon, the press were floored by newly released footage from the faux-live-action, photo-realistic movie, the final preview of the completed film in theaters struck many as a hollow, albeit, beautiful. shell.

The expectations appear to have been so high, based on the trailer (above), and the overall powerful impression made by the advanced, computer generated, live action treatment, that an expansion of the impact of the story was highly anticipated.

Instead many reviewers panned the lack of any new pot twists or character revisions, or, at least, any surprises, once the effect of the beauty of the presentation wore off in the full length film.

In spite of any negative impact made by critics, it does seem assured that the momentum of the huge feel-good blockbuster campaign, the vast love for the original movie and the characters and the absolutely unmistakable visual quality will, nevertheless, assure a huge inital turnout.

Favreau’s recreation of the “everything the light touches’’ scene is perhaps not significantly different in content, yet is a new form of experience due to the presentation. This is the iconic scene where King Mufasa explains to his son Simba where and how they rule. Even better, James Earl Jones reprises his roll as King Mufasa, and delivers a commandingly enunciated speech once again.

Similarly, Favreau recently reimagined “The Jungle Book” in pseudo real VFX style. Jungle Book won several awards for its visual effects, including the Academy Award for Visual Effects in 2017. The award winning team returned with Favreau for “The Lion King”. 

Classics reimagined

Although Disney has been recreating some of their classic animated movies in hybrid CGI / live action form, technology for a full VFX treatment seems to be catching up with the ideas and nostalgia.

The “re-boot and reimagining” isn’t an uncommon concept in Hollywood. Warner Bros. is reworking a stand-alone Joker origin story prequel, to be released in the fall, for example. But Disney’s new visual interpretations stir excitement and nostalgia all at once. This looks like a fresh and exciting take and I’m looking forward to the full experience.

The Lion King is Opening big in Theaters starting tomorrow


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