So far, Disney has given us breathtaking sneak peeks at the realistic visuals of Pride Rock in the live-action Lion King and teased the star-studded cast behind the voices of the characters. Now, we’re finally getting a first listen to Donald Glover’s Simba and John Kani’s Rafiki in a newly released clip. Check it out below:
Here come the chills! These two sound amazing in these iconic roles as the upcoming epic reimagines a pivotal scene from the third act of The Lion King. The 30-second clip reveals Donald Glover's voice taking, giving us a bit of the conversation between Rafiki and Simba as the baboon starts to inspire him to find the courage to take back his kingdom away from Scar.
In the original animated movie, Simba lives much of his life feeling ashamed of himself for being responsible for the death of his father, Mufasa. He finds sanctuary with his adopted “dads” Timon and Pumbaa, who teach him the phrase “Hakuna Matata” (it means no worries)! Once he comes across his childhood bestie Nala, he is challenged to go back to his home and face Scar.
Rafiki’s teachings are pivotal to the film’s messages of embracing who you are and following your destiny. This clip introduces the live-action film’s exploration of this and it looks and sounds beautiful! The lines seem to be changed a little bit, but it does mirror the classic scene where Simba sees his father in his reflection on the water.
Donald Glover is an immensely talented choice for Simba. He can sing beautifully and does so through his stage name Childish Gambino and has starred in a variety of films and television shows including Atlanta, Community and Solo: A Star Wars Story. He brings a combination of power and friendliness to his Simba to get excited for!
John Kani’s Rafiki may best be recognized from his recent Black Panther role as King T’Chaka. The question is: will he bring the same whimsy and wisdom from the original that memorably had his animated character wacking Simba on the head before expressing an important life lesson about change?
The pair join a talented new cast, with the exception of James Earl Jones’ Mufasa, who will be reprising his role, and even seems to have intimidated director Jon Favreau a bit with his prowess. Disney recently also offered up an early look of Glover singing “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” with Beyoncé’s Nala. Each new look is providing fans with more aspects of the film to look forward to and the many voice performances are certainly high on the list.
The Lion King tickets went on sale earlier this week and are already breaking records for pre-sales. The movie sold more tickets ahead of its release than any other Disney adaptation, along with surpassing Toy Story 4 and Black Panther. The movie is expected to be a big hit once it hits theaters on July 19. a