How Do Real Animals Differ From Anthropomorphic Ones In The Lion King?

While the "Lion King" roars into movie theaters, it's a sure bet the lions and other animals will be misrepresented from those that exist in the real animal kingdom. It appears, most U.S. audiences prefer our wildlife sugar-coated, which makes us gravitate more to technically enhanced story-telling. According to the daily receipt tallies, they're much more commercially popular. They sell more tickets than documentaries, particularly those that display the harsher reality of nature in the raw.

More Brutal

Documentaries of wildlife is fascinating, but also tends to be ruthless and brutal. That realism doesn't fit  well into a story narrative. Particularly since real lion kings are known to hunt the youngest and weakest members of the herds. They occasionally will even kill their own cubs to insure their role as ruler of the roost. In essence, their nowhere near as magnanimous as Simba in the Disney version of the old and new 'Lion King's."

UK differs from the US

In the United Kingdom, filmmakers favor documentaries over technically enhanced story-telling. As a result their docs yield higher ratings in the UK than the U.S.. "Planet Earth II," for example, broke records in the UK in 2016, with the premiere drawing more than 9 million viewers.

More palatable

According to a CNN Report, "the 'Lion King' represents a different, inherently more commercial way of tapping into the wild kingdom, making nature more palatable for mass consumption." If it's too bad that real animals can't quite compete, given the Darwinian challenge of standing out in the crowded media world. After all, it is a jungle out there, in the world of making moving pictures.

The Remake

Like its predecessor, the 1994 American animated musical film --- the remake presents a message about the natural order of things in the jungle, or as King Mufasa explains: the "circle of life. The producers have taken on the challenge of lions eating their neighbors -- but garnishing that meal, as it were, with several spoonfuls of sugar. Director Jon Favreau looks to the documentaries of naturalist Sir David Attenborough as a source of inspiration, and then makes his animals even more human-like, yet still.

In a Los Angeles Times post. film critic Justin Chang characterizes this flick as "Disney's most dispiriting remake yet. He see the new "Lion King" as a "technically audacious, dramatically timid remake."

"This new “Lion King” turns out to be a dead-eyed Stepford safari of a movie from which all personality and cinematic vitality appear to have been drained away, until only its cold technological ambition remains," notes Chang.

"The industry, being the industry, stands to learn precisely the wrong creative lessons from the 'Lion King’s success, namely that technology can be a suitable replacement for emotion and that beloved stories should be revisited but not retooled," says Chang.

Well, perhaps while technology is today's audience preferred milieu, they will get what they're asking for, even if the final product might be a bit mundane, particularly in the case of this remake.

Your thoughts, dear reader. Please comment below if you've seen the remake and how you judge the it's appeal?

Primary Source: CNN Report




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