1994 Lion King Animators Reveal Their Resentment of Disney's Remake

Posted by: Mak Barrera
3 August 2019 09:08:01 am

It seems that some of the animators from the Original Lion King film aren't too pleased with the 2019 remake.

According to Indie Wire, most of the original Lion King animators declined to make a comment on the new film when reached out to by Huffington Post, but some who did talk didn't seem too pleased with the movie remake.

One animator said anonymously, “I will only get myself in trouble if I comment on the ‘other’ version.” Another said, “There is a huge resentment against these 3D remakes from the original 2D crews. Maybe if we got any kind of royalties it would be different.”

Animator David Stephan was one of the few of the 13 crew contacted to go on the record about his thoughts, stating “If you polled the crew of the original ‘Lion King,’ most of them would say, ‘Why? Did you really have to do that?’ It kind of hurts.”

“It’s sort of sad that the stockholder is now in the room deciding what movies get made,” Stephan said. “Disney’s now taken the cover off, and it’s now in your face: ‘Yeah, we just want to make money.’ That’s disappointing as an artist, from a studio that was founded on originality and art.”

Stephan and other animators believe that the more realistic style is restrictive, which reduces the expressions allowed by the original animation.

Stephan stated, "It would jar me out of the film, literally, Especially with little Simba walking around. It was too real. And then when he would talk, it reminded me of those old nature films where they would dub the voices over and the lips would move. I thought, ‘Oh, this is really cheap.’ I think it was just too soon for this one.”

“(The filmmakers) put themselves into a corner when you do that realistically,” Stephan added. “You’re really stuck to what the real physics are in real life, or people aren’t going to buy it. But there were a few scenes where there were a couple of expressions and suddenly it was a little more alive.”

Regardless of what the animators think, the new Lion King remake has beaten the original at the box office, raking in over one billion dollars.

Need help whether to watch the Remake or not? Read Shawarmachine's review on the Remake here.