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.
“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.
Gaaaaahhh, just saw the live action trailer to my fav Disney animated movie! Favreau is legend.
— James Wan (@creepypuppet) November 22, 2018
It’s not live action though is it?
— Willy Rozwood (@WilliamMehrez) November 22, 2018
It is. All those animals you see are real. And very cooperative with each other on and off set. No cgi used whatsoever.
— Jeremy. (@Speculatiion) November 25, 2018
— Willie Phistergash (@Phistergash) November 24, 2018
wow I just watched that new lion king trailer and I completely misunderstood what live action meant because I kept waiting for beyonce to appear in a lion costume
— anaïs e-m (@anaees) November 24, 2018
So next year, The Lion King is totally going to cause a world of controversy over whether or not it competes as an animated film right? At least The Jungle Book had a live action character. This looks like the first time a film could ever win both VFX and Animated Feature
— Will Mavity (@mavericksmovies) November 24, 2018
“We copied the hard work and talent from creative original minds and slapped hyper realistic fur on Seth Rogan and called it a work of art to resell you your own childhood and you’re buying it hahaha” https://t.co/6CyBLlWZHg
— Cripp Daddy ♿™ (@RealYungCripp) November 23, 2018
“We can remake The Lion King with CGI.”
“But we’ll have to repay all the writers, artists, animators and sound designers whose hard work made the original so good, won’t we?”
“No. We can take their work and use it for free.”
“Boot up that workstation. I want a new yacht.” https://t.co/GLyXH4kuvu
— ᴅᴀᴠᴇ ᴘɪᴛᴛ (@DavethePitt) November 24, 2018
Stoooooop it with the whole “ACTUALLY the new Lion King is ANIMATED not Live Action”. Like, we get it. It’s just short hand. ¯_(ツ)_/¯
— Ellie Main (@Elliemainey) November 24, 2018
I always think remakes are just big-wigs rubbing their hands together with dollar-bill eyes.
But the atmosphere for this film, as I’ve experienced it, is different. For many people it’s about the technical achievement, the acclaim and the chance for a Visual Effects Oscar.
— Conor Middleton (@ConorMiddleton) November 23, 2018
People really out here tripping that the Lion King isn’t actually “live action” but just animated, as if training thousands of wild animals and filming them having conversations is just some normal, doable shit.
— Anthony (@BigJigglyPanda) November 23, 2018
— Jon (@__Random_Guy__) November 25, 2018
I knew it! Proof that Toy Story is live action!
— Vernard S. Fields (@VernardFields) November 25, 2018