When the first trailer for The Lion King was released November 2019, it spawned a debate we weren’t expecting: can you call something live-action when it’s primarily made with CGI? Isn’t this latest Disney remake of a beloved cartoon really just a different type of animation? Philosophers will likely argue that existential question for decades (or at least until we all get to see the movie and move on to arguing over how it compares to the original).
But, whether you think The Lion King qualifies as live-action or animated, we can all agree on one thing – it won’t be very good if it the animals don’t look believable, especially when they speak. Now we have some idea how successful the film will be in that regard because a new commercial for the movie offers our first glimpse at characters talking.
This new promo, titled “Come Home,” features Beyoncé’s Nala telling a full-grown Simba he has to take his seat as King because they “need” him. From there we see some of the most epic shots of the movie yet, including an amazing showdown between Simba and his uncle Scar that looks like it takes place on Mustafar. And while we only see Nala’s lips moving very briefly at the start of her speech, at the very end a gregarious Pumbaa (Seth Rogen) and self-assured Timon (Billy Eichner) amble onscreen to offer backup. That moment gives us our clearest look yet at the animal’s dialogue in motion.
This cast, which also includes Donald Glover as Simba, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar, John Oliver as Zazu, Keegan-Michael Key as Kamari, and James Earl Jones returning as Mufasa, is amazing — so it’s almost a relief to see that their characters look good when they speak. Because whether this movie, directed by Jon Favreau (Iron Man, Jungle Book), is live-action or animated isn’t what we’re concerned with.
We just want it to be good.
The Lion King comes home to theaters this summer, on July 19, 2019.
Featured Image: Disney