Yesterday, as I was prepping for my Thanksgiving meal with my family, I saw something on the TV that made me stop what I was doing and train my eyes onto the screen. I gasped in shock because I didn't know it was coming that day. It was the trailer for the live-action Lion King! It was finally here! I immediately ran into the living room to turn up the volume on the TV because I was so excited to see one of my favorite movies of all time come to life. I turned up the volume right as the "Circle of Life" started playing, and...
I felt very underwhelmed.
I just couldn't get behind it. "Circle of Life" is one of the most important and beautiful scenes in the original film, and with the CGI, it just looked cheap and not as powerful as the original animated scene. "Circle of Life" is one of the best moments of the film and Broadway show, and I simply don't believe that the CGI remake gives it justice. "Circle of Life" is a scene with a lot of heart and effort put behind it in order to create an opening which is not only one of the greatest scenes in animation history, but is also an emotionally powerful moment (Seriously, when I saw "Circle of Life" come to life in the Broadway show, my mom and I both broke down in tears. It was that incredible.). I'm not as moved by the CGI animals because, quite frankly, those things are everywhere in film nowadays, so I'm a little tired of them.
But "Circle of Life" isn't the main reason I don't want to see this remake. I've seen every remake Disney has ever released in theaters, and while those movies somewhat lacked the magic of the original films, I was able to find at least a few things I enjoyed about them. "The Jungle Book" had a much better storyline, "Pete's Dragon" was a surprisingly heartfelt journey, and I even enjoyed "Beauty and the Beast" (even though the original is infinitely better) and thought it was a gorgeous movie. But this time, I'm not excited about a remake. This time, I don't want to see a shot-by-shot reboot of a film which is pretty much all CGI.
"The Lion King" is a movie (and a Broadway show) that is very special to me. I think it's a wonder of animation and that it can never truly be fully recreated. When Disney released "The Lion King", they captured lightning in a bottle. The story is wonderful, the animation is top-notch, and the music is pretty much perfection. That kind of movie magic isn't redone easily, and sometimes it shouldn't be. "The Lion King" is one of those movies that's just best left as it is. It is an excellent movie, but Disney shouldn't be trying to remake it as a cash grab.
I would much rather prefer "The Lion King" to simply stay as it is, a wonderful film that makes lots of people very happy. The CGI tends to get a little cheap, and I don't think it's a story that needs to be redone. It was wonderful the first time, and it should stay wonderful that way.