Can We Really Call Disney's Lion King Remake 'Live-Action'?
The teaser trailer broke records, but it also broke a few brains. Here's how they did it.
It has now become Disney's most-viewed trailer debut, smashing more than 220 million views in just 24 hours.
The quick teaser featured recreations of some of the iconic opening shots from the animated feature, but many people had some very curious reactions -- mostly because they had heard it was a "live-action" remake.
There were a few sides -- those that thought "live-action" meant the actors would be wearing lion outfits like the film was your office's zoo themed Christmas party, and those that thought it meant the film would feature actual animals.
The film has been referred to as "live-action" because of the fact that -- unlike the original -- it's not a drawn cartoon. What it actually does is employ a technique that the film's director calls a "virtual production".
It's a technique Favreau also used in the live-action remake of The Jungle Book, the only difference is that Jungle Book actually featured human actors where Lion King won't.
Working with visual-effects supervisor Robert Legato, Favreau's team of visual artists were able to perfect talking animals, giving them the hyper-realism of actual animals -- then bringing in facial features and qualities of the humans that provide their voices.
"We had to approach it from the perspective of ‘If the animals did talk, they would talk this way," Legato told Digital Trends, "They would move their throats in a particular way, and they would breathe in a particular way, [and] they would have to take breaths between lines, and all of those various things. That was our leap of faith."
While the voice cast's characteristics influenced how the animals were created, it isn't enough of a presence to really call the film a "live-action" remake, so it's no wonder fans were confused.
This distinction is mostly semantics -- except when it comes to classifying the film for award nominations. While it is ruffling a lot of digitally created feathers online with folks lashing out any time people accidentally refer to the film as live-action (probably a knock-on effect from all of Disney's prior reboots featuring some live action presence at least).
But as some pointed out, the film will almost certainly be classified by the likes of the Academy Awards as an animated feature -- despite it using live-action production techniques.
We're still gonna cry our face off during the super realistic stampede scene that's for sure.
Disney's Lion King remake is scheduled to open in cinemas in July 2019.
Featured image: Walt Disney Pictures.