The Marketing Department: The Lion King Trailer Analysis

First Aladdin, now The Lion King – Disney are really keeping these live-action remake trailers a-coming’, aren’t they? And this one has to be one of their most anticipated releases. For many a nineties kid, this version of Hamlet with better songs that the original is one of the defining movies of their cinematic career. But how does it translate to live-action? Does it translate at all? Let’s take a look at the trailer!

0:07: Alright, I know it isn’t actually, but just this opening shot looks like the dark, gritty remake of The Lion King directed by Zack Snyder that nobody asked for. Anyway!

0:25: Scar is one of THE greatest cinematic villains of all time, and honestly this version of him looks fantastic – menacing, but not in an obvious way. Chiwetel Ejiofor is a tremendous actor, too, and if anyone can sell me an uncanny valley CGI lion as a true villain, it’s him.

0:35: It honestly would have been sick and wrong if anyone other than James Earl Jones had played Mufasa, and bringing him back for the remake is a brilliant nod do the original.

0:45: This is really just a quick montage of character introductions, but, given that we’re looking at huge stars doing voiceover work, I have to pause each one  and have a quick Google and go “ah, yes, of course that Hornbill is actually esteemed political show host John Oliver!”.

0:59: Alright, let’s talk about this CGI. How does it work for you? I did watch the Jungle Book remake and was impressed by how good the wildlife animations were there, but there’s still something a little…off about the way they look here? Maybe it’s simply the brighter setting leaving less room for jungle-canopy darkness to hide the slight oddness at play?

1:16: So, you know how “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” was for sure a thinly-veiled metaphor about Nala and Simba boning? Are they just going to scrap that here and go straight-up to us watching two lions humping for three whole minutes? This glance certainly implies that. Watch this space, folks.

1:30: The actual pridelands look good to me. The animals? Jury is still out.

1:40:  Look, I’m pretty exhausted at the thought of Seth Rogen (who plays Pumba) in anything anymore, but Billy Eichner as Timon is reason enough to go see this movie. I just want three hours of Billy on the Pridelands ad-libbing while the plot takes place in the background.

How does this trailer compare to the original movie for you? Have you seen any other Disney live-action movies, and are you looking forward to this one? Are you emotionally ready to watch Mufasa die again? Let us know in the comments below!

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(header image via The Irish Times)


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