Just when we’d thought it was safe to let the last traces of CGI goop from Jon Favreau’s Lion King remake drip out of our brains, Elton John had to walk back in and shake things up a bit. John, of course, is a foundational part of the Lion King franchise, having picked up half an EGOT purely on the strength of his contributions to its original film and stage versions alone. So it’s coming from someone who knows music for animated lions to fuck to when John declared, in a recent GQ profile, that he considers the film’s soundtrack “a huge disappointment.”
Defying the wrath of the Beyhive (to say nothing of the Hans Zimmer Celebratory Huddle), John was vaguely brusque in his condemnation of the songs and score, declaring them to lack “impact,” “magic,” and “joy.” His biggest annoyance, meanwhile, appears to have been not being consulted as much as he would have liked in the production of the film’s music, noting that, “I wish I’d been invited to the party more, but the creative vision for the film and its music was different this time around and I wasn’t really welcomed or treated with the same level of respect. That makes me extremely sad.”
The interview, in support of John’s new memoir, Me, rangers much further afield than simple animated movie shade. It’s a lively read, even if John does apparently take delight in poking rabid Beyoncé fans with a stick by noting that Lady Gaga is currently the only “star” operating in the musical world.