As we get closer to the release date of Disney’s remake of The Lion King, the studio continues to treat fans with behind-the-scenes clips that give an intimate look at the movie-making process. The latest video is a look at the film’s “wild cast” of actors — which includes JD McCrary, Shahadi Wright Joseph, Donald Glover, Billy Eichner, and Seth Rogen — getting into character for their (mostly) four-legged roles.
In the featurette released on July 12, director Jon Favreau explains that the film’s new cast — with James Earl Jones being the sole actor to reprise his role from the original — is the studio’s way of honoring the past while still giving the remake a fresh spin. He goes on to reveal that production decided against focusing on motion capture, which is common for computer-generated animation films like The Lion King. Instead, animators watched the actors performing their lines together and incorporated their movements and interactions into their characters’ animations. “We wanted to film the actors performing together as much as possible,” Favreau says in the featurette, “so we got a very human performance at the heart of this very technical film.”
From what we’ve seen of the film already, the technique pays off and the chemistry between characters leaps off the screen. We’ll see just how it all comes together when the film premieres on July 19.
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