Though Disney’s remake of The Lion King reportedly won’t be a shot-for-shot recreation of the 1994 original, the film, from director Jon Favreau (The Jungle Book), looks pretty darn similar. “The Lion King is a revered and beloved movie, so you’d better revere and love those parts that the audience wants,” Disney production chief Sean Bailey said last December.
The upcoming Lion King features new characters, such as Amy Sedaris as an elephant shrew, but the released footage has mostly walked familiar ground. To understand just how close the CG-version skews to the first movie, we’ve matched every shot in the new trailer with its corresponding shot in the original.
The elephant graveyard
The looming skull isn’t present in the remake, but the spooky aura and ribcage are still there. Nala and Simba look dwarfed. It is ominous and foreboding.
Terrified Simba and Nala
It’s a scary place out there for two little lions! Zazu doesn’t make the remake’s journey into the graveyard, but perhaps it’s more frightening for the kids to be on their own.
Hyenas attacking Simba and Nala
The hyenas — renamed from Shezi, Ed, and Banzai to Shenzi, Azizi, and Kamari — swarm in on the kiddos. They don’t pop out from the eyes of the elephant skull, but it’s still the same predatory descent.
Birds in flight over the savanna
The faithful recreations even extend to more minute shots, like this nice panoramic view of birds over a river.
Mufasa and Simba share a bonding moment
They gaze upon the land. Guess remake-Simba favors Mufasa’s left side instead, though.
Sunrise over the Pridelands
Everything the light touches belongs to the Pridelands. That sweeping view!
Simba tries (and fails) to catch a bug
Those bugs are pesky little things.
Zazu seeks an audience with the prince
The red-billed hornbill’s plumage isn’t so blue anymore, but he’s still unmistakable.
Another tiny, yet still replicated shot! The gazelles! How graceful!
Mufasa walks with a guilty Nala and Simba, accompanied by Zazu
The shot of the lions walking home is the neatest showcase for the difference in aesthetics between the cartoon and its photorealistic recreation.
Simba feels the pressure to live up to his father’s legacy
The latest trailer also recreates one of the original movie’s most striking shots: Simba literally trying to follow in his father’s footsteps, placing his little paw in his father’s big pawprint.
The wildebeest stampede
The intense, frenetic chaos of the stampede is quite heartrending in photorealistic form. There’s definitely a lot more dust in the 2019 version than there was in the 1994 version.
Simba runs from the stampede
The fast-paced nature means we don’t quite get a shot of Simba’s face. Could his expression be as terrified as it is in the original?
Scar observes the stampede from a cliff
He is scheming. He will let Mufasa fall to his death. Long live the king.
Scar tells Simba to run away and never return
Scar looks more distinctive in the original, but his ragged appearance and eye scar set him apart from the other lions. He looms over Simba.
Simba is (rightfully) terrified
Poor baby Simba! His facial expression is more detailed in the original, since real-life lions can’t really make facial expressions. But new Simba is fluffy!
Rafiki looks mysteriously at the camera
Like the change in Zazu’s character design, the close-up of Rafiki emphasizes the remake’s stress on realism over style.
The Hakuna Matata montage
Here is baby Simba on a log, following Timon and Pumbaa across a waterfall. Timon notably walks on four legs rather than two.
And here’s awkward teenager Simba!
Remake awkward teenage Simba doesn’t have a weird chest puff anymore, but you can definitely see the lanky in-between stage.
Finally, the three friends walk against a full moon
How majestic! The photorealistic treatment means we get elegant silhouettes versus the full colored versions.
Rafiki swings through the trees
Where did he come from? Where will he be? Where did he come from? That monkey Rafiki.
The beginning of “Can You Feel the Love Tonight”
Again, the recreation’s colors are a little more muted, but there’s still something awe-inspiring about the waterfall that serves as the backdrop to Simba and Nala’s courtship.
Nala takes a dainty sip of water while Simba looks on
Instead of being lush and turquoise, the water is a more realistic ... water palette.
Rafiki draws Simba a mane
The remake-Simba drawing is larger and just focuses on his face. But the same bright red mane is there, despite Simba’s mane not being bright red.
Simba takes his place on Pride Rock and ROARS
We’ve seen Simba as a little prince-cub — now we get a glimpse of him taking his rightful place as king of the Pridelands, roaring from atop Pride Rock.
Timon and Pumbaa sing “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”
Though Timon is riding on Pumbaa’s back rather than walking by his side, the two friends are still as jaunty as ever as they wander through the jungle, singing one of the most famous songs from the film.