While there is certainly a cynical way to look at Disney's recent litany of remakes, it has to be said that one of the wonderful things about the films is that it allows fans to see movies they already love in entirely new ways. This includes hearing brand new versions of favorite Disney songs.
We've only been given a few teases of the new music that will be part of the remake of The Lion King, including a bit of Donald Glover and Beyonce performing "Can You Feel The Love Tonight?" Now, a new behind the scenes video gives us our first listen to "Hakuna Matata." Check it out.
In the new Lion King, Timon is voice by Billy Eichner while Pumbaa is given life by Seth Rogen. Simba is voiced by both Donald Glover as the adult version of the character and JD McCrary as the younger version. Based on what we see in the The King Returns clip, and as it follows from the animated original, both versions of Simba will part of the song.
It sounds pretty good, though Seth Roegen has said that recording it wasn't easy.
I've always found "Hakuna Matata" to be an interesting choice for a song. It's an upbeat number that is clearly designed to be the ear worm tune that it became, and yet, it's a song whose message flies in the face of that which the movie as a whole is trying to convey. The Lion King is about facing your past and accepting it, no matter what you may have done, in part because forgiveness is always possible.
However, "Hakuna Matata" is about leaving your past alone, moving on from it and essentially forgetting about it. The philosophy of "Hakuna Matata" is specifically against the idea of facing your past.
Still, you can't deny the tune is catchy.
Most of the rest of The Lion King soundtrack is being kept from us. We know from the recent release of the complete soundtrack listing that all the popular songs from the animated film will be part of the remake. Scar will sing "Be Preparred" and young Simba will belt out "I Just Can't Wait to be King." We'll also get a brand new Elton John song over the end credits.
It's very likely that we'll also get one other brand new song in the movie. The official track listing included one "TBA" track, so something is being hidden. It could be a piece of the score, whose title could give away a new scene, or it could be a brand new song, possibly one sung by Beyonce, which the movie is not yet ready to reveal.
We'll get to hear all the brand new music when The Lion King hits theaters July 19.