I’m seeing Disney’s new version of The Lion King in just a few short hours, and I’m trying terribly hard to not let my expectations get out of hand. So if you’re in the same boat, or just planning on seeing it soon, here are some guidelines I’ve given myself to help keep myself in line.
- CGI is so realistic that I’m remembering how the live action Beauty and the Beast disappointed me with its overly-realistic objects that ultimately lost a lot of their empathy and facial expressions. These lions are not going to be as expressive, and that’s okay. Fingers crossed they find another way to convey emotion.
- A scene for scene reshoot has been described by some early reviewers, and that was also one of my dislikes with Beauty and the Beast‘s remake.
- Animated animals are less frightening (theoretically). I’m prepared to be much more frightened this go around, and I’m seeing it without the kids for the first viewing (this isn’t entirely altruistic. I want to make sure I get to give all of my attention to the film, because it’s The Lion King and I’ve been obsessed with it for 25 years.)
- Most of the voices will be different, and seeing my beloved characters so altered could be tragic instead of joyful.
- Hoping that the musical number He Lives in You from the Broadway musical makes it into the new movie, but planning on listening to it in the car on the way home either way.
- While I can’t go to the special fan screening because of timing (boo), I still plan on begging Regal theaters for one of their mini posters.
Despite these warnings, I am truly so excited to see this movie. I think it’s going to be great fun, and as long as I keep my expectations in check I should leave with tear stained cheeks (RIP, Mufasa, 1994 and always), feeling emotionally destroyed but ultimately hopeful. Fingers crossed?
I’m also taking actual steps to be ready for this emotional rollercoaster, because Lord only knows how many times I’m going to cry in this thing. Here are my top tips to have the best experience:
- Rewatching the animated version to soak it all in
- …Preferably while eating the Lion King Cheerios, because why not?
- Taking an actual pack of tissues to the theater
- Going to the bathroom before the movie, because I refuse to miss a single moment and the 2019 release is nearly two hours long
- Skip the mascara or go with waterproof, because Mufasa
Moments I expect to cry:
We all know this is going to happen, so if you aren’t a crier, be prepared (!) to be surrounded by tears at these moments.
- Circle of Life opening sequence
- Simba and Mufasa under the stars, discussing the great kings of the past
- Mufasa’s death
- Simba’s reaction to Mufasa’s death
- Sarabi’s reaction to Simba and Mufasa’s deaths (implied)
- Simba triumphantly roaring atop Pride Rock
- All through the credits because that was rough, y’all.
What are you looking forward to and worried about with this new iteration of The Lion King?