Disney’s blockbuster 3D remakes of animated classics have rampaged through box offices in recent years, but the studio is banking on its latest — “The Lion King” — to climb right to the top of the food chain. With a star-studded voice cast including Beyonce and estimated $250 million budget, Hollywood’s reigning hitmaker has spared no expense bringing arguably its most beloved source material roaring to photo-realistic life. Expectations are sky-high for the film about young lion cub Simba avenging his father’s death to emulate the commercial success of “The Jungle Book” (2016), “Beauty and the Beast” (2017) and “Aladdin” (2019). A trailer for the new “Lion King” was watched by 225 million people in its first 24 hours in November, shattering Disney’s record. But while the film — set for release Friday — is being billed as the Mouse House’s latest “live-action” movie, it is in fact a different beast altogether. With no human characters in sight, almost every shot — from the pixel-perfect hairs of Mufasa’s glistening mane to the eerily realistic hyena eyes piercing through the Elephant Graveyard gloom — was conjured from scratch using computer-generated imagery. And yet “The Lion King” is not strictly a 3D… Read full this story
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