Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Jon Favreau's CGI Lion King movie is drab as hell when compared to the original

Illustration for article titled Jon Favreaus CGI iLion King/i movie is drab as hell when compared to the originalem/em
Screenshot: Composition: YouTube/Sowick Original art: Disney

If there’s one thing that truly damns Disney’s insatiable demand for “live-action” remakes of its classic films, it’s their color palettes. (Also, they’re obvious and creatively bankrupt attempts to profit off of millennial nostalgia, but that’s neither here nor there.) Regardless of how much actual real-world footage sneaks its way through the hordes of CGI animals and dancing candlesticks on display in movies like The Jungle Book and Beauty And The Beast, the films themselves have a certain undeniable drabness when compared to the lushly animated originals. (Even Tim Burton, once the master of the live-action cartoon, seems to have been hit with the subdued sepia virus in his trailer for Dumbo.)

Case in point: This comparison video put together by YouTube’s Sowick1329, which places the footage from Jon Favreau’s just-released trailer for The Lion King in comparison with the 1994 original, and, if we’re being necessarily harsh here, finds it wanting. Favreau and the film’s marketing team have been very careful to recreate iconic shots from the animated version for their teaser, but in their effort to make everything “realistic”—or at least as realistic as “Hamlet but with big cats” can get—they’ve drained the Pride Lands of all the bold colors that made them such a lush visual spectacle for the original audience. To pick on one image in particular: Look at the closing shot of an adult Simba roaring at the rain-soaked sky. What’s more distinctive: The “real” lion on the right of the video, or the red-maned beast with the expressive cartoon face on the left?


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