While Disney’s live-action reboot of The Lion King has been roaring at the box office, critics and audiences have had mixed reviews.
The film also failed to impress one of the original animator’s of the 1994 classic, David Stephan who called it “cheap”.
In an interview with HuffPost, he said, “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.”
He added, “It’s sort of sad that the stockholder is now in the room deciding what movies get made. 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 also called the voice performances by the cast full of stars like Donald Grover and Beyonce “weak and wooden”.
Dave Bossert, who did visuals for the classic also thought otherwise: “I love the fact that they kept James Earl Jones from the original as Mufasa. That was terrific. It’s a sort of homage to the original film. I thought the voice characterizations were terrific across the board. There wasn’t anything that struck me as being odd at all. I particularly liked John Oliver as Zazu and Seth Rogen as Pumbaa.”
Another animator, who worked on the original, Dave Bossert was a little more positive: “Visually, it’s stunning. In some instances, it’s a shot-by-shot version of the original animated film, and that didn’t bother me at all because I think the filmmakers were staying faithful to the original property. The faithfulness to the original animated film certainly endears it to the audience, without question.”
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