Watch The Lion King trailer

Written by on November 20, 2018

Is the new Lion King movie live action or animation?

Seen the trailer for the new Lion King movie due in 2019 yet? The characters look remarkably life-like. You’d be forgiven for thinking there were actual animals being used in the movie. However, as far as we have been told, everything in the new Lion King has been generated by a computer, yep, done artificially. Yet some keep calling it a live-action movie.

It’s understandable that we’re all defaulting to referring to it in that way. Disney has found incredible success turning many animated classics into actual live-action films. From Maleficent to Beauty and the Beast we’ve seen many of our favorite Disney characters come to life thanks to actual actors and live performances.



There’s certainly no shortage of digital effects in these films, but ultimately what separates these new versions from their animated predecessors are the real performances from the likes of Angelina Jolie or Emma Watson.

Even in the case of The Jungle Book, the film that is most similar to the forthcoming Lion King, the live-action label was technically accurate. The movie may have only had three credited human performances (Mowgli, infant Mowgli and infant Mowgli’s father), but there were still actual actors on a set that interacted with digital animals.

The same is also the case with Dumbo. The title character is created digitally, but the cast surrounding him is mostly human.

But the new The Lion King movie has no human roles in it. Every role is being portrayed by a computer-generated animal which is only voiced by an actual person. If there aren’t any people on the screen, then we can’t really call the movie live-action.

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There are a lot of questions about The Lion King remake, not the least of which is just how closely the film will stick to the original story. However, one thing that is clear is that what the film is not is live-action. We need to just start calling it The Lion King remake because that’s all it is.

It’s based off a movie that was made once before, just like so many of the film remakes that we’ve seen, especially in recent years. The method of bringing the story to life might not be technically identical to the first time, but unless the movie filmed actual lions the entire time, it’s not a live-action movie.

You can see the new Lion King for yourself when it comes out on July 19, 2019.


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