It is less than a month left before the remake of Disney’s “The Lion King” arrives in theaters. Like the live-action “Aladdin” that premiered last month, promotional materials such as the trailers and TV spots do not do much to hide the story details from the 1994 animated original. What has been somewhat kept secret is how much of the new voice cast sounds. Thus far James Earl Jones’ familiar Mufasa voice has ruled over the teasers. Disney looks to build the hype of hearing Donald Glover as Simba and Beyoncé as his love interest Nala. This is reinforced by a new TV spot where we briefly hear them sing.
Variety tells us that Disney has deigned to finally give fans their long-awaited first hearing of the lead couple of “The Lion King” as performed by their respective voice talents. The TV spot is titled “Can You Feel the Love Tonight,” after the other major song from the original movie which was sung both in-story and during the credits, the latter by Elton John. And indeed, part of the song is used during the teaser, which is framed by the familiar scene with Mufasa (Jones) teaching his young son Simba (J.D. McCrary) about the stars.
There is something distinctive about the rendition of the song as used in the TV spot. Whereas the original “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” in-movie was a more fast-paced number, the duet by Beyoncé and Glover, aka Childish Gambino, is more chill and haunting in execution. It becomes appropriate because all the while, Mufasa talks about the past Lion Kings being the stars in the sky, watching over their descendants.
Back in 1994, the in-movie version of this song was performed by Joseph Williams and Sally Dworsky, singing voices for Matthew Broderick (Simba) and Moira Kelly (Nala) respectively. The voice actors for Timon and Pumbaa (Nathan Lane and Ernie Sabella) also chime in on the last stanza. The same format also goes for “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” in the upcoming remake, only this time the lead voices actually sing their parts, accompanied by Billy Eichner/Timon and Seth Rogen/Pumbaa. Beyoncé being Beyoncé, her vocals are already garnering praise from her Bey-hive on social media.
The movie is directed by Jon Favreau, who also did the 2016 “Jungle Book” live-action remake and has plenty of experience with photorealistic computer-generated sequences thanks to his MCU works. “The Lion King” will arrive in cinemas this July 19.
Images: Comic Book.com, Trailer Addict