Remake vs. Original: “The Lion King”


“The Lion King” (2019) is literally just a worse version of the same movie. The creators copied many of the shots exactly, and the only things that they added were pointless backstory or unnecessary bits of humor. The only actual difference in the films is the graphics. With modern-day technology and advancements in the film industry, computer-generated imaging (CGI) has improved massively. So, with the remake, Disney practically copied and pasted the 1994 story into a 2019 look, with animated fur, realistic animals and more aesthetic sunsets. But here’s the thing: the original’s graphics were not even bad, especially for the time of release. If anything, the new, hyper-realistic CGI will only distract you from the ultimate purpose of the film.

The only major change besides the visuals was the all-star cast. Interesting, yes, but the cast’s performance was a disappointment at best. When I first saw the movie’s trailer, I was intrigued by the cast, including insanely popular names like Beyonce? and Donald Glover (known musically as Childish Gambino), as well as comedy legends such as Seth Rogen and Keegan-Michael Key. However, the familiarity of the voices from the original was taken away, and it just seemed weird watching these well-known animals having different voices. They copied four of the songs exactly, and to be honest the original soundtrack had much better performances (sorry, Beyonce?). The new version doesn’t give the same energy or impact to the audience that I recall from earlier.

Look at the reviews. The 1994 film was very well received, with a Rotten To- matoes score of 93% and a Metacritic score of 88. In comparison, you can clearly see what a disaster the 2019 film was. It got 53% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 55% on Metacritic. Clearly, audiences greatly favored the original.

Even with its poor ratings, however, the new movie raked in a lot of money. This establishes the fact that the remake was a simple cash-grab: Disney attracted people’s attention by making it look cool and trying to reboot an amazing, nos- talgic animation, and didn’t care about the story or the filmmaking. “The Lion King” (2019) generated a box office total of $1.629 billion while the original made just under 1 billion. However, a dollar in 1994 was obviously worth more than a dollar today. According to Box Office Mojo, when adjusted for inflation, the original made upwards of $800 million, while the remake made around $540 million. It’s frustrating that such a bad movie was able to generate such high revenue, but considering the changes in the value of the dollar reveals much about the qualities of both films. This also shows that Disney was solely focused on making money and that the public fell for it, making the remake the seventh highest grossing film of all time.

There was no point in remaking “The Lion King.” There was virtually no fan demand for this, and Disney did more harm than good.