Broadsheet Trailer Park: The Lion King


What you may need to know:

1. Two Disney remakes on the trot? Give the people what they want. Next week it’ll be a Tibetan film festival winner projected onto the side of a yak; promise.

2. Jon Favreau is on directorial duties for this “live-action” (CGI, really) remake of the iconic 1994 animation. He’s got form in the pantheon of animated animals; his last outing was the 2015 remake (what is going on??) of The Jungle Book.

3. Much was made of the impressive (and almost entirely black) cast when it was first announced. James Earl Jones reprises his role of Mufasa from the original; multi-talented Renaissance man Donald Glover plays Simba and the brilliant Chiwetel Ejiofor takes over from Jeremy Irons as villainous uncle Scar. Beyoncé, Keegan-Michael Key and Alfré Woodard also feature.

4. Elton John’s songs from the original (including the Circle of Life heard in this trailer) will be reworked for the remake; safe to assume Beyoncé will belt one or two out. Hans Zimmer is also in there, because as well as having scored the original, he has apparently been contracted to score every film that gets made these days.

5. It is quite pleasing to see those opening shots from the original recreated, as well as that famous scene of the wildebeest charging down the hill. With that in mind, I’m curious as to how much this movie will stray from the original screenplay – which, as we all know, was a retelling of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. If that is the case, this movie’s real raison d’etre will be the visuals.

6. As a technical exercise, The Lion King looks like it will be another great leap forward in ultra-realistic CGI. But for me, the advances in cinematic visuals are becoming a bit of a problem.

7. The tagline for Superman back in 1978 was “You will believe a man can fly”. Audiences had simply never seen such a thing. Jurassic Park changed everything 15 years later with its depiction of dinosaurs; one of several times Spielberg managed that feat.

8. 25 years after that, he tried to change the game again, by extrapolating the notion as far as it can logically go. This year’s hyperactive (and terrible) Ready Player One threw absolutely everything at the screen all at once. It was an epileptic nightmare that proved that there is officially nothing that CGI can’t do.

Because of that, it almost feels as if nothing can be impressive anymore. Certainly not in the same way as seeing Christopher Reeve fly 40 years ago, or a T-Rex running amok in 1993. Because when we know there is simply nothing that can’t be depicted, what is the point in depicting anything?

10. I’m after getting off the point completely. Yay, The Lion King!

Doug’s verdict:
You will believe a lion can talk

July 19, 2019

17 thoughts on “Broadsheet Trailer Park: The Lion King

    1. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

      I used to love Going for Gold. Didn’t Henry thingy leave a lovely girl here and go over the Irish Sea to England? BOO HISS!

  1. Ian

    Point no. 9 is fair, I think. Something pre-CGI-saturation like Pee-Wee meeting Large Marge in Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, or Dan Aykroyd in the preamble to The Twilight Zone, or parts of Beetlejuice have more of an impact in a way, now.

  2. Cian

    #7 isn’t entirely fair. The majority of the dinosaurs in Jurassic park were puppets. CGI was only used for the (mostly outdoor) scenes where you could see the entire dinosaur (the stampede, the rain-covered T-Rex) the indoor stuff (velocipitors) were all old-school puppets (AFAIR).

    1. shortforBob

      Jurrasic Park holds up relatively well but CGI has always had problems with matching the lighting to the live action footage and it is no exception.

    2. Cloud

      Maybe; the point is that CG or animatronics or both, Jurassic Park was a milestone in “movie magic”.

  3. pedeyw

    Literally everything in Ready Player One had been depicted before. I don’t think that proves there’s nothing CGI can’t do. The book is worse, btw.

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