The first preview for Disney’s reimagined The Lion King, which debuted over Thanksgiving weekend, broke records for most-viewed preview trailer.
With 224 million views, The Lion King’s preview is now the most-watched for Disney in a single day, and against other studios is second only to Avengers: Infinity War, which clocked in at 238 million. While Infinity War is technically classed under the Marvel Studios banner, Disney is its parent studio, making it a double win for the Mouse House.
The preview mostly replicated the iconic opening scene of the animated classic, with Rafiki (John Kani) presenting newborn-cub Simba (D McCrary and Donald Glover) to the kingdom of Pride Rock. Mufasa — with the role reprised by James Earl Jones — narrated over the top of the footage, which was bound to bring chills to even the most stoic of Disney fans. There were, of course, some flashes of other moments throughout the preview, including the stampede, and what appears to be an older Simba’s ascension at the finale of the movie, but the majority of footage came from earlier scenes.
Also featured among the star-studded voice cast are Beyoncé Knowles-Carter as Nala, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar, John Oliver as Zazu, Seth Rogen as Pumbaa, and Billy Eichner as Timon. Jon Favreau (The Jungle Book, Iron Man), meanwhile, is directing and producing the feature for Disney.
With Disney using a more photo realistic style of CGI animation, along the same lines as its recent reimagining of The Jungle Book, it will be interesting to see what changes and adjustments will need to be made from the animated classic. But with such huge record-breaking numbers for just the preview, there’s no doubt that Disney fans will be clamoring to see this one on opening night.
Disney’s reimagined The Lion King is scheduled to premiere in theaters on July 19, 2019.
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