Is the New ‘Lion King’ Animated? No, According to Jon Favreau
Disney’s new remake of The Lion King has a visual style all its own. Instead of the stylized, 2D animation of the original film, director Jon Favreau went for a much more realistic look; the animals almost appear real in the images and trailers that have been released to date. They’re so lifelike, in fact, that I know some people that have incorrectly assumed that they filmed actual animals and are just animating their mouths to make it look like they’re speaking.
That’s not the case — but it’s also not the case, according to Favreau, that the movie is animated. At a press junket for the film (via /Film), Favreau was asked whether the new Lion King is considered an animated movie. His response:
it’s difficult because it’s neither, really. It depends what standard you’re using. Because there’s no real animals and there’s no real cameras and there’s not even any performance that’s being captured that’s underlying data that’s real. Everything is coming through the hands of artists. But to say it’s animated I think is misleading as far as what the expectations might be ... I think calling it live-action is also not appropriate either, because it sounds like we’re trying to present something that isn’t accurate. And I don’t know what we’re gonna call it. I don’t know.
I know what to call it: A computer animated movie! If there’s no animals, no cameras, and no performance capture, then something is being animated somewhere. You might not want to cal your movie “animated” because you think that sets up the wrong “expectations” but if it’s made in a computer by artists (and animators!) then that’s what it is. The Lion King opens in theaters on July 19, 2019.
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