It’s been said that Disney films have a ‘circle of life’. After years of being heralded as a classic, they get transformed into a live-action remake, and now it’s time for The Lion King to ROAR!
Releasing in cinemas across the Middle East on 18th July 2019, this summer blockbuster will not only revive a classic hit with pioneering photo-real animation technology – delivering a film experience that will be undoubtedly WILD, but is predicted to outshine the success of The Jungle Book (2016).
Watch the trailer of The Lion King 2019:
Here’s what we know about the movie so far:
Based on Disney’s other live-action remakes and its target audience, it can be presumed that the movie’s rating in the Middle East will end up being a PG feature. Disney would want this movie to be accessible to almost everyone. Therefore, while the remake may take some creative liberties – being a tad darker than its predecessor, the studio wouldn’t risk making it PG-13.
Is the Live-action Remake a Musical too?
Disney’s live action remakes have varied in terms of how closely they match the animated movies they’re based off of. Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast were straightforward adaptations that took a few creative liberties, while Maleficent and Alice in Wonderland saw significant differences.
Our guess is that we’ll have to wait and see as to how much of the live-action Lion King’s plot will deviate from the original movie. It has been confirmed that the July 2019 release will remain a musical, featuring songs that Simba and the gang made melody back in 19994 – which of course we all remember the lyrics to. However, don’t be surprised if, like in Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King remake includes a few original tunes to give it a different feel.
*Did you know – Hans Zimmer – the music supervisor/original score arranger from the 19994 classic, has been brought back to score the remake.
Jon Favreau kicked off his directing career with Made (2001), and followed with Elf (2003) and Zathura: A Space Adventure (2005). Iron Man (2008) marked his biggest blockbuster venture yet, and, along with Iron Man 2 (2010), he helped lay the groundwork for what the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) would become in later years. After scaling back his MCU duties, Favreau kept the blockbuster train in motion with Cowboys and Aliens (2011), and the acclaimed comedy-drama Chef (2014), which he also wrote and starred in. His successful adaptation of The Jungle Book (2016) – Disney’s biggest hits of that year, wowed audiences, and no doubt is one of the reasons why he was tasked with executing the remake of the 1994 classic.
Favreau has proven his skills in delivering a compelling story revolved around realistic-looking, talking animals. Therefore, giving audiences a good remake of The Lion King should not be too hard a task for him, or is it? One thing to remember is that the disparity between the Indian jungle and African savannah is vast, and of course, no beast ROARS louder than lion!
*Did you know – Jon Favreau has also been tasked with Jungle Book 2, for which the release year is still to be confirmed.
Who are voicing the main characters?
Simba – After J.D. McCrary is done voicing young Simba in The Lion King remake, Donald Glover (Magic Mike, Spider-Man: Homecoming and Solo: A Star Wars Story) will take over as the adult prince.
Mufasa – The Lion King remake has only brought back one actor from the original movie, but of all the original performers who could have returned, this would be the person most of us would have wanted back for a reprisal. James Earl Jones will voice Mufasa again, as his voice is unique and one of the best in Hollywood.
*Did you know – This is the second character that Jones has recently revisited, as he reprised Darth Vader in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
Nala – Beyonće has snagged the role of Nala, and will take over once Shahadi Wright Joseph is through voicing the lioness. It was reported at the end of March 2017 that Beyonće was Favreau’s top choice to voice Nala, but at the time, she hadn’t made a decision about accepting the role because of her pregnancy. With Beyonće on board, it’s quite likely that she might go on to produce the movie’s soundtrack. Finger’s crossed!
Scar – Chiwetel Ejiofor will succeed Jeremy Irons as the voice of Scar in The Lion King remake. Ejiofor has only voiced one character (Dr. Watson) in 2018’s Sherlock Gnomes, but his face has become all too familiar on the Hollywood circuit (Triple 9, Doctor Strange and The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind).
Timon – In this remake, the famous meerkat Timon – originally voiced by Nathan Lane, will be voiced by Billy Eichner, whose voice is just as memorable as Lane’s.
Pumbaa – There’s no Timon without Pumbaa… is there? Nah, we didn’t think so either! Seth Rogen voice the remake, and while Rogen is a one of Hollywood’s top comedy actors, most of his movies definitely aren’t family friendly. Just saying!
Rafiki – Now who can forget Rafiki: the ape who serves as the shaman of Pride Rock, best remembered for holding up aby Simba for all the animals to see. The late Robert Guillame voiced Rafiki in the 1994 classic and will be succeeded by John Kani (Captain America: Civil War).
Sarabi – Alfre Woodard will voice Sarabi – Mufasa’s wife/Simba’s mother, in The Lions King 2019. Her recent credits include State of Affairs, Luke Cage, Burning Sands and A Series of Unfortunate Events.
Zazu – Rowan Atkinson voiced the uptight majordomo in the original Lion King, and for the remake of 2019, John Oliver will take over as Mufasa’s bird-brained confidant. Oliver is primarily known for his work on The Daily Show and Last Week Tonight.
The Hyenas – The final characters on the list of main characters are Scar’s goons the hyenas – Azizi, Shenzi and Kamari, voiced by Eric André, Florence Kasumba and Keegan-Michael Key, respectively.
Watch the star cast of The Lion King 2019:
Here are some admissions for previous Disney releases in the UAE:
Ranks 5th in UAE’s Top 10 Movies of 2013
Screened in cinema for 20 weeks
Approximately 284K admissions
Ranks 10th in UAE’s Top 10 Movies of 2015
Screened in cinema for 12 weeks
Approximately 303K admissions
The Jungle Book (2016)
Ranks 1st in UAE’s Top 10 Movies of 2016
Screened in cinema for 20 weeks
Approximately 747K admissions
Finding Dory (2016)
Ranks 4th in UAE’s Top 10 Movies of 2016
Screened in cinema for 21 weeks
Approximately 384K admissions
Ranks 8th in UAE’s Top 10 Movies of 2016
Screened in cinema for 21 weeks
Approximately 314K admissions
Beauty and the Beast (2017)
Ranks 3rd in UAE’s Top 10 Movies of 2017
Screened in cinema for 14 weeks
Approximately 498K admissions
Incredibles 2 (2018)
Ranks 9th in UAE’s Top 10 Movies of 2018
Screened in cinema for 17 weeks
Approximately 378K admissions
Motivate Val Morgan forecasts over 750K UAE admissions for The Lions King 2019.
Don’t miss out on making your brand ROAR alongside The Lion King!
Contact a member of our sales team for advertising opportunities with this MEGA Summer Blockbuster!
Sources: Entertainment Weekly, The Edge, CinemaBlend
Animation has come a long way since the early days of hand-drawn cartoons, and over the years, Hollywood has delivered a number of animation movies that have performed consistently well at worldwide box office.
Disney films have enjoyed lucrative re-releases prior to the home video era, and also enjoyed later success following the acquisition of Pixar in 2006, of which the Toy Story films, Finding Nemo films, and Inside Out have been the best performers. Beyond Pixar animation, the Shrek, Ice Age, Madagascar and Despicable Me series have met with the most success.
Animation Movies Success – Worldwide:
Animation Movies Success – Middle East:
So, what’s the draw to animated movies? It can’t just be the kids’ attraction – is it the parents’ attraction too? Or is it because with a fair amount of violence and nefarious activity in our modern world, it’s nice to occasionally escape with a family-friendly movie that warms our adult hearts and gives us hope?
Animation movies are clever at weaving parts of the adult and children’s’ worlds together. They are cute and funny – which is why they appeal to kids, but also depict deeper meaning and complex visual stories – appreciated and enjoyed by older audiences as well.
It’s a genre similar to that of fine wine – it gets better with age!
Here are 4 reasons why adults enjoy animated films as much as kids:
1. They remind us of our childhood
Remember the good old days when ‘nap time’ was a requirement, rent and bills were non-existent, and a trip to the cinema meant watching a movie on a giant screen, with lots of giggles and plenty of popcorn. Who doesn’t like reminiscing on the glory days of being a child?
Animation movies give us adults a taste of our youth while simultaneously warming our cold and bitter grown-up hearts. As the saying goes, age is nothing but a number, and childlike wonder is attractive at any age.
2.They universally speak to all generations
Animated movie characters speak to the importance of close relationships found in family and friends and encourage bravery, open-mindedness, kindness and loyalty. Then there is the appeal of happy endings – whilst most of characters experience some challenges and make mistakes along the way, they always end up where they belong and alongside the people they belong with. They are movies about overcoming obstacles, forming friendships and growing up, and they offer valuable life lessons to all audiences regardless of age or experience.
3.We finally get all of the jokes
While the jokes never fail to enrapture children in laughter, there is also a layer of more discreet, mature humor that you only understand once you watch the film as an older viewer. In fact, mature audiences take away a whole different message from many of the films than do young viewers.
For instance, Disney/Pixar’s most popular and profitable properties Toy Story featured more than just a few adult jokes – which possibly flew above our heads as kids:
When Buster needs to get out of the room, Jessie hops on a toy car and rides it like a skateboard, launching herself on the door handle to help Buster escape. A wide-eyed Buzz is clearly awestruck and his wings shoot up – fully ‘perpendicular’.
When the Barbies at Al’s Toy Barn draw a lot of attention from the other toys, who are obviously attracted to them. When Mr. Potato Head later finds himself next to Tour Guide Barbie, he repeats to himself, “I’m a married spud, I’m a married spud…”
And If you’ve seen the original Madagascar, remember Marty the zebra who occasionally exclaimed ‘Sugar Honey Iced Tea!’. As kids, this meant nothing to us, but as adults we can distinguish that the first letter of each word spells out a somewhat frequently used ‘not-so-kid-friendly’ term – and that knowledge alone is simply remarkable!
4.The morals hit far closer to home now than they did when we were kids
Remember that time that Andy from Toy Story had to move away to college and decided to give away his beloved toys?
Or being able to identify with Nemo’s need for independence as he grows and understanding Marlin’s difficultly with accepting his son’s growth, as our own parents have had to learn to accept?
There’s no denying that animated movies are awesome!
As per research conducted by IPSOS in the UAE, 68.5% of cinemagoers enjoy watching animation movies – of which 71.6% are aged between 25-34 and 67.2% are aged 35+.
With appeal across multiple age groups and having continued to deliver extraordinary results (in terms of box office earning and admissions) over the last couple of years, animation movies provide advertisers with a platform to target larger audiences.
Upcoming blockbuster animation movies in 2019 include:
*Movie release dates are subject to change.
Contact a member of our sales team for cinema advertising opportunities alongside upcoming animation movies.
Sources: Cult Critic, The Bottom Line, The Artifice, The Odyssey Online, Ranker, BBC Magazine, Mic Network Inc, The Numbers, Wikipedia, MVM-IPSOS Report and MVM Analysis.