'The Lion King' Featurette: See Donald Glover, Beyonce, Billy Eichner, and More Recording Their Lines

Disney’s remake of The Lion King is arriving in theaters next week, and the studio has released a featurette that gives you a behind the scenes look at its all-star cast – Donald Glover, Beyonce Carter-Knowles, Billy Eichner, Seth Rogen, and more – recording some familiar dialogue.

The Lion King Featurette

The Lion King is already proving divisive among critics. After its first wave of positive buzz following its premiere, the critical reception has taken a harsh downward turn: with more than 115 reviews counted thus far, director Jon Favreau‘s technologically dazzling remake has garnered a rotten 59% on Rotten Tomatoes. But if you think it’s fun to watch Billy Eichner and John Oliver joke around in this featurette, you’ll probably have a fine time if you decide to watch this movie, because along with the visuals, the humor is one of the big highlights of this new film.

One of the big complaints I’ve seen about the film online recently points at the way the animal character’s mouths move in the clips that Disney has released so far, notably in the “Hakuna Matata” sequence that dropped earlier this week. The same problems seem to arise in this behind the scenes featurette, where there’s just something “off” about seeing these human voices applied to these characters. For what it’s worth, I didn’t notice any of that weirdness during the actual movie, so maybe it’s just a case of seeing these moments out of context in these clips versus settling in and getting on the movie’s wavelength in a theater. But it looks like your mileage may vary here, and I’m curious to see if this movie ends up living up to Disney’s expectations; if it doesn’t, does that mean the company will consider shifting its business strategy away from these remakes?

Here’s the movie’s official synopsis:

Director Jon Favreau’s all-new “The Lion King” journeys to the African savanna where a future king is born. Simba idolizes his father, King Mufasa, and takes to heart his own royal destiny. But not everyone in the kingdom celebrates the new cub’s arrival. Scar, Mufasa’s brother—and former heir to the throne—has plans of his own. The battle for Pride Rock is ravaged with betrayal, tragedy and drama, ultimately resulting in Simba’s exile. With help from a curious pair of newfound friends, Simba will have to figure out how to grow up and take back what is rightfully his. The all-star cast includes Donald Glover as Simba, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter as Nala, James Earl Jones as Mufasa, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar, Seth Rogen as Pumbaa and Billy Eichner as Timon.

The Lion King hits theaters on July 19, 2019.

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