The Lion King Remake Ignites Big Debate: Is It Animation or Live-Action?



Disney’s The Lion King remake has opened a new debate as to whether or not it’s truly a live-action movie. The studio surprised fans on Thanksgiving by dropping The Lion King remake trailer as well as the first poster. The trailer quickly set Disney’s record for most trailer views in a 24-hour period, accumulating 224.6 million globally. It is now the second-most watched trailer in a 24-hour period, behind Infinity War, which earned 238 million views. With that being said, a lot of people have seen The Lion King remake trailer, which has led to an online argument about live-action vs. animation.

Original 1994 animated The Lion King fans were quick to realize that the teaser trailer for the remake is nearly identical to the original trailer from 24 year ago. Some fans enjoyed the similarities, while others have gotten angry with Disney for potentially making a movie that is a carbon copy of the original. However, it’s too soon to tell if that’s Disney’s aim here, which has brought the new argument as to if it’s really a live-action movie, since it’s obviously done with a ton of visual effects.

Aquaman director James Wan stated that The Lion King is his favorite animated movie and that he just saw the “live-action” trailer, and declared that, “(Jon) Favreau is a legend.” Wan’s live-action comment was enough to spark the animation debate on a large scale. Obviously, Favreau and crew couldn’t work with a bunch of real-life lions and elephants on a movie set, but the fact that it’s being billed as live-action seems to have angered some people. One confused Twitter user had this to say.

“Wow I just watched that new Lion King trailer and I completely misunderstood what live-action meant because I kept waiting for Beyoncé to appear in a lion costume.”

The Lion King remake is mostly-animated and shot against a blue screen to give Jon Favreau the feeling of working on a traditional set, adding in the visual effects later. Crew members and actors are able to walk around the set with a VR headset and magically get transported to the fleshed out, animated set. Visual effects supervisor Rob Legato doesn’t think that The Jungle Book remake, which also came from Jon Favreau and Disney, nor The Lion King remake are animated projects. He had this to say about working on The Jungle Book.

Related: Mufasa Revealed in Disney’s Lion King Live-Action Remake?

“I consider this just a movie, and this happened to be the best way to make it. We (made) it comfortable for Jon Favreau to come in and be able to direct as if it was a live-action film.”

Obviously, The Lion King remake does blur the line between animated and live-action, but it appears that the movie was made more like a traditional film, as opposed to an animated project. With that being said, the argument is going to keep raging on until the movie is released next summer. While some fans are arguing the live-action/animated aspects, others are just calling it a cash grab for Disney. You can check out one of the main tweets that sparked the controversy below, thanks to James Wan’s Twitter account.



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