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Ciné Sunday: The Lion King

Jon Favreau

Disney’s animated epic The Lion King was released 25 years ago and immediately became a worldwide hit, continuing to delight generations of children to this day. As the stage musical has proved though, this is a story that is ripe for reinterpretation, and with Jon Favreau (director of Disney’s 2016 Jungle Book reimagining) at the helm, this new version is set to be just as jaw-dropping as the 1994 original.

“...embodies everything we love about the very best Disney films”

Everyone knows the story of Pride Rock, Simba, and his evil uncle Scar, but the voice cast this time round is genuinely spectacular. James Earl Jones is the only returning cast member from the original, lending his majestic tones to Simba’s father Mufasa; modern renaissance man Donald Glover (television’s Atlanta, Lando Calrissian in last year’s Solo: A Star Wars Story, and music sensation Childish Gambino) plays adult Simba, while none other than Beyoncé has joined the cast as the grown-up version of Nala. Clearly, there’s no need to be worried that this cast won’t be up to the task of singing Elton John and Tim Rice’s wonderful songs. Chiwetel Ejiofor takes over as Scar, while Keegan-Michael Key, Alfre Woodard and Eric André also play various roles.

While the original film pushed the boundaries of traditional animation by mixing beautiful hand-drawn animation with computer generated effects and environments, this new film is no different, utilising state-of-the-art digital technology to bring its furry, feathered and fantastic cast of characters to photographic, ultra-realistic life.

The Lion King embodies everything we love about the very best Disney films; incredible songs and music (everyone involved has raved about the new take on Circle of Life), lovable characters, (and hissable villains), and breath-taking visuals and animation that transport us to another world. Don’t miss this chance to see a modern classic reimagined on the big screen and learn about that wonderful, problem-free philosophy Hakuna Matata all over again.