Is it an animated or live action? A commercial product designed to please the greatest number, or an art work worthy of an Oscar exam?
Make no mistake: "The Lion King" is an animated film. Almost 100 percent. Teasing director Jon Favreau before the world premiere in Hollywood on Tuesday night was shot live. Director of Photography Caleb Deschanel confirmed that it was the first thing shot in Africa. And it's a great shot – but the whole movie is really beautiful and done in a digital world.
What Favreau and his VFX master "Jungle Book," Rob Legato ("Titanic", "Hugo") have achieved with MPC Film's global squadrons of animators ("Jungle Book," "Blade Runner 2049") , winner of an Oscar. . As IndieWire said during production, "The Lion King" marks the first keyframe animation film shot on a virtual reality and endowed with an aesthetic of real-world action .
The results are amazing. Aesthetically, Favreau has managed to gather naturalistic animations of wild animals moving their mouths, voice actors speaking English and starting to sing. It could have gone bad in many ways, and even though it may not have been a major Oscar player – remakes are not usual – Favreau is on the technology front. the music follows his example.
But this talented director was also working as part of Disney's corporate mandates for a box office juggernaut – from where the cast of actors-singers Donald Glover and Beyoncé Knowles Carter in the lead role, Simba and Nala, very flat adults. All the other actors in the voice are so much richer and more distinctive than they are, from the return of James Earl Jones to Mufasa and from Chiwetel Ejiofor to his brother Scar, to JD McCrary by Young Simba and Seth Rogen and Billy Eichner to Pumbaa and Timon, who Favreau (a comedian who dates back to the time of his "elves") admitted to being the most entertaining character to create.
But he does not really create them. At the premiere, the director paid tribute to all the creators of the original 1994 classic – the producer Don Hahn and the writer Linda Woolverton were present – although the film credits a solo credit of "Screenplay By "to Jeff Nathanson (" Catch me if you can "). Even though this "lion king" is not a word-for-word remake, Nala fought with Simba in a fight and the lionesses are powerful warriors. (The Writers Guild has no jurisdiction over animation films, so in this case, Disney takes advantage of this categorization.)
The studio's marketing seeks to differentiate moviegoers around the world from this "live remake" of the 1994 Disney classic, and the public will be there en masse, despite some inevitable criticism of the film's commercial conservatism. However, Disney has not yet decided how to campaign for rewards. At the premiere, Favreau focused on virtual reality environments to distinguish the film.
But it is animated and should be adopted by members of the short film and animation branch of the Academy, some of which may be threatened. "Toy Story 4" should be in competition with Disney, a Pixar starter. Disney could sell the revolutionary VR environments for the VFX prize won by "Jungle Book", which had a lead actor. All of this just highlights how the Academy (dominated by actors keen on real action) does not reflect the realities of digital digital production today. (The invitations of Academy members this year were incredibly greater for special effects, short films and animation.)
While "The Lion King" 2019 is well supported by the rising classical orchestral score of Hans Zimmer, it also builds on the original music of 1994. The film not only recalls the great songs of John and Tim Rice of 1994, including including the three Oscar nominees ("Circle of Life", "Hakuna Matata" and the winner "Can You Feel the Love Tonight?"), but offers two new original songs. , "Spirit", written by Beyonce, Ilya Salmanzadeh and Labrinth, and John's "Never Too Late", which will rival his other original "Rocketman", "(I'm going to make myself loved) once again".
Beyoncé is already on the spot, passing her single in front of the soundtrack (July 11) and her new album inspired by the movie "The lion king: the gift" (July 19). "It's sonic cinema," she said in a statement. "It's a new storytelling experience. I wanted to do more than find a collection of songs inspired by the movie. It's a mix of genres and collaboration that is not a sound. He is influenced by everything from R & B, pop, hip hop and Afro Beat.
No matter how Disney conducts its rewards campaign – and regardless of the evolution of the "Lion King" conversation, the music industry should at least make itself known.