We have a brand new TV spot for The Lion King, which brings with it the very first taste of Beyonce as Nala. This is positioned as Disney's big, proper summer release, and with good reason. They've done very well (in most cases) with similar remakes of their animated classics, and this is about as classic as it gets. In all of the marketing we've seen for the movie, we've yet to actually hear Beyonce's performance so, while there isn't a lot of new footage here, that makes this new spot particularly important.
Beyoncé Knowles-Carter isn't just one of the biggest starts associated with this movie, she's one of the biggest stars in the world. So the fact that she agreed to be in it is a big deal. Here, we see her as the grown-up version of Nala, Simba's childhood friend and true love, encouraging him to take his place as the rightful king. This should all seem very familiar to fans of the 1994 animated version. It's all spliced in with stunning and equally familiar sequences from the upcoming remake. While it's not a whole lot to go on, Beyonce seems to be a great fit for the character and, it can't be stressed enough, this all looks truly stunning.
The majority of the recent Disney remakes have been of the live-action variety, such as Beauty and the Beast, the recently released Aladdin or director Jon Favreau's The Jungle Book. Favreau is also at the helm for this one, which looks live-action. However, there are no actual animals, or even real-life scenery here. It's all computer animated. That's inspired some debate in regards to what to call the movie, be it animated, live-action, or something in between. Though, technically speaking, even if it looks real enough to touch, this is a computer-animated feature. Just wait till the Oscars roll around and Disney has to figure out what category to submit this in.
Outside of Beyonce, the voice cast is good and truly stacked. It includes Donald Glover (Simba), Chiwetel Ejiofor (Scar), John Kani (Rafiki), John Oliver (Zazu), Seth Rogen (Pumbaa), Billy Eichner (Timon), Alfre Woodard (Sarabi), Keegan-Michael Key (Kamari), Eric Andre (Azizi) and Florence Kasumba (Shenzi). James Earl Jones is the only actor returning from the original animated movie as the voice of Mufasa. Amy Sedaris is also on board as the voice of a brand new character.
This is just one of three similar remakes that Disney has on their 2019 slate. They previously released Tim Burton's Dumbo in March and Guy Ritchie's previously mentioned Aladdin over Memorial Day weekend. The former stumbled a bit at the box office, whereas the latter has been exceeding expectations. But The Lion King is projected for a record-breaking debut next month and assuming critics respond positively, this thing could prove to be an absolute monster when it hits theaters on July 19. Be sure to check out the new TV spot from the Walt Disney Studios YouTube channel.