The new remake of The Loin King is set to be the most highly anticipated and probably the most controversial of Disney’s current live action catalog. But calling the this remake “live action” is rather misleading as it’s more hyper-realistic CGI at best then true live action and this is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to controversy surrounding this film.
My focus, however, is on the expansion of the Lion King universe. So far Disney’s remakes are a double-edged sword. You’re watching the same story told again but in a live action format. To make up for this they’ve expanded onto the story by introducing new elements, remaking old ones that were left out, or going with a whole new perspectives altogether, in the case of Maleficent film. So far this has worked for the company.
And then there is The Loin King. This movie was and remains Disney’s hallmark movie since it’s debut in the 90s. So much so that it spawned sequel, pre/midquel (1½), and a TV show during the course of the late 90s and early 2000s. The sequel, especially, respected the source martial and explored the aftermath of the first movie by focusing on Simba’s PTSD he got from watching his father get murdered in the first movie and how it affected him as king because of how unprepared and initially unwilling to take the job because of those events. The story of the sequel is quite brilliant and very mature for a movie targeted towards children. One of their rare good sequels of that era.
This brings me to the remake. I don’t know where they can expand on this movie that wasn’t already addressed in 2 and 1½. I’m sure they’ll find a way to surprise but even if they do I can’t help but feel like they’re treading into uncanny valley with this remake. The original Loin King was able to be the best it could be because it was cartoon. This hyper-realistic CGI remake feels unnecessary when the original benefited from breaking the rules of reality on occasion