Some of the animators of the original film apparently aren’t happy with Disney’s recycling of their vision. A few of them told HuffPost they were not planning on going out to see the photorealistic remake. David Stephan, who worked on the opening “Circle of Life” sequence and the design of the hyenas back in 1994 said this:
As you can imagine, seeing something you put your hard work in revisited in the same way for the big screen without any involvement or credit could bring about this reaction. Months ago, an original co-writer of The Lion King also came forward about not receiving a story credit for his key scenes that were recreated for this summer’s blockbuster.
However, not every Lion King animator is burning Lion King at the stake. Stephan’s words don’t reflect the opinions of all who worked on the animated classic. Alexander Williams, who worked on the initial designs for Scar had this to say:
From Alexander Williams’ perspective, while he worked on the film extensively, since it was under Disney’s umbrella and became a world owned by them, he’s alright with it being reproduced in photo-realistic animation. He treasures the time we worked for Disney and doesn’t feel angered by their decision to recapitalize on it.
David Stephan continued with this point on Disney’s recent direction in projects:
Another good point. When Disney remakes their classics and keeps them pretty much the same it does show their hand: making money is important to the studio. While that’s the ultimate goal of every business, remaking a popular story as it is because Disney can instead of investing in new, original stories does bring down the front.
While critics slammed the film for exactly this, audiences are showing they approve of The Lion King remake and others like it with their wallets. Disney is next moving forward with a new Mulan and The Little Mermaid, though the new Lion King seems like it veers the closest to the original than any other Disney “live-action” remake.
What did you think of the new Lion King? Sound off in the comments below!