Disney’s dedication to remaking their own animated classics continues this year with three new “live action” remakes, two of which have been unleashed on audiences already. Dumbo didn’t soar as high as the company would have liked, and Aladdin defied expectations to bring in an impressive box office haul on opening weekend. Their final remake this summer is The Lion King, which features an impressive cast of voices bringing to life the scarily realistic animals at the center of the story.
On Thursday, Disney released a selection of character posters that feature those very same uncanny valley-evoking CGI beasts and the names of those A-listers who are bringing them to life.
The two core characters, Simba and Nala, are showcased in both their adult and young iterations, played by Donald Glover and Beyoncé and JD McCrary and Shahadi Wright Joseph, respectively.
We also get our first proper images of classic Lion King characters like Simba’s surrogate parents Timon and Pumbaa, who are brought to life by Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen. Hearing them sing “Hakuna Matata” should be pretty fun.
Of course, there’s the return of James Earl Jones as the voice of Mufasa, and the addition of Chiwetel Ejiofor as his evil brother Scar.
Finally, we’ve got the Lion King elders. First, the royal advisor Zazu, who was originally voiced by Rowan Atkinson but here is being played by the brilliant John Oliver. He’s joined by John Kani as the Pride’s wise baboon Rafiki.
It’s a surreal set of posters, as they apparently just showcase photographs of real animals. However, we all know that these are painfully rendered by hardworking animators at Disney. It’ll be very interesting to see how the very realistic renderings will land with audiences when the film hits on July 19, wart(hogs) and all.