August 22, 2019

Is the Lion King Remake "Live Action?"

“Directed by Jon Favreau (who previously helmed the 2016 remake of The Jungle Book), the new film seems poised to offer few surprises. With the trailer scenes being near replicas of scenes from the original, the joy of the new film so far lies mainly in getting reacquainted with our cuddly faves from the Animal Kingdom as voiced by the likes of Donald Glover (Simba) and Beyoncé (Nala).

But there’s also some joy to be found — to many people on the internet, at least — in bickering endlessly about whether the remake qualifies as a live-action film. Debate over this question has raged since the first teaser dropped on Thanksgiving; though the remake had been billed as live action, the teaser offered a preview that looked a lot like the animated original, spurring lots of confusion and contention — as well as rebuttals for any media outlet calling it a live-action film.

Allow us to weigh in. You can argue all you want that the new Lion King is — *checks notes* — a photorealistic CGI-animated work. But the facts are as follows:

The film is being produced not by Walt Disney Animation Studios, but by Walt Disney Pictures, which is the branch of Disney film studios that produces live-action Disney films.

The film is very obviously being promoted as part of Disney’s ongoing series of live-action remakes.

Disney CEO Bob Iger himself referred to it in a 2018 shareholders meeting as “our upcoming live-action Lion King.””

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