It has been a wise move by Disney to bring Beyoncé and Donald Glover, two of the currently biggest music superstars, as spokespersons as well as singers for Nala and Simba aboard “The Lion King”. Elton John and Hans Zimmer, as well as successful music producer, hip-hopper and “Happy” hit singer Pharrell Williams, who were already part of the original film, also gave the well-known songs the necessary update to make them look modern, without losing their core and heart change.
This actually leads to an outstanding result. When I hear the songs just like that, I like the new versions even better than the originals of 1994 – by the way (with a few drawbacks) also in the German version, for which you could win among other things good children singers. But in the movie, the numbers are in my opinion very lame, the songs look even worse than their 94er versions.
ANIMALS DO NOT DANCE!
In the original from 1994, the music scenes are also so impressive, because the creators rely on a completely overbearing staging . For example, while “I want to be king right now”, Simba and Nala ride in the cartoon classic on the backs of two ostriches, and the complete animation style changes right at the beginning of the song. The moment Simba starts and lands on the ground, the whole picture turns red. It’s a wicked, exalted scene that awaits you in a musical that’s totally out of the real world.
In the remake missing such wacky scenes. The lions, who come from the computer but are deceptively real-looking, behave like real animals. And animals do not dance, they do not ride on the back of an ostrich. It’s hardly surprising, then, that the song of villain Scar, was significantly shortened in the remake. Because this song breaks even stronger than the other songs in the original with a single world. It is one big nightmare scenario in which hyena armies march, eerie shadows take place and everything seems to burn in a conflagration. It’s a typical musical insert, as one might expect in the genre. Even in real films the characters in the singing and dancing deposits often say goodbye to our world.
In “The Lion King” of 2019 they do not do this. All the characters are always stuck in their world. The fact that the musical scenes are so reduced, dance performances only play a very small role, ensures that Favreau’s version is a bit more fluid, smoother, more of a piece. But it also devalues the songs, because they have such a power, because the songs also pull us out of the action, you can look at each individual moment from the original as a small short film separately.
In the end, the songs in Favreau’s “The Lion King” just swept past me. There are no highlights, no exceptional moments in the movie, just parts of it. And so the songs are also much worse in the end, although I find them much better. You can watch the new Lion King on fmovies.com