Rave early reactions for Disney's 'The Lion King' remake

Ben Arnold
Contributor
The Lion King (Credit: Disney)

Disney's big budget CGI remake of The Lion King premiered in the US last night, and while reviews are still embargoed for a few more days, the early reactions are coming in on social media.

And it sounds that the studio has done its 1994 Oscar-winning animation justice.

Solo star Donald Glover voices Simba, the lion robbed of his birthright by his evil uncle Scar (Chiwetel Ejiofor), and cast out into the wilderness, where he befriends warthog Pumbaa and meerkat Timon, voiced by Seth Rogen and Billy Eichner.

(Credit: Disney)

Beyonce plays Nala, Simba's childhood best friend, with James Earl Jone reprising his role as Mufasa, Simba's father.

Read more: It should be Lion Queen, says zoologist

And thanks to the eye-popping CGI and the much-loved source material, critics have hinted at widespread rave reviews to come for Jon Favreau’s movie. The reactions hint that the film is largely a faithful adaptation of the animated original, with most suggesting that Seth Rogen and Bill Eichner’s Pumbaa and Timon steal the show.

The film’s stars were out in force for the glitzy world premiere which took place overnight. Beyonce and Donald Glover lit up the red carpet with their sartorial choices, with Glover rocking a plaid red and white suit.

(L-R) Billy Eichner, Seth Rogen, Shahadi Wright Joseph, JD McCrary, Director/Producer Jon Favreau, Donald Glover, Beyonce Knowles-Carter, and Chiwetel Ejiofor attend the World Premiere of Disney's "THE LION KING". (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney)

Disney's other recent live-action remake, of the much-loved Aladdin, helmed by Guy Ritchie, has quietly climbed to a near $1 billion box office worldwide with middling reviews.

What the The Lion King might achieve we'll find out in the coming weeks.

Here’s the synopsis: Disney’s The Lion King, directed by Jon Favreau (The Jungle Book), journeys to the African savanna where a future king is born. Simba idolizes his father, King Mufasa, and takes to heart his own royal destiny. But not everyone in the kingdom celebrates the new cub’s arrival. Scar, Mufasa’s brother—and former heir to the throne—has plans of his own. The battle for Pride Rock is ravaged with betrayal, tragedy and drama, ultimately resulting in Simba’s exile. With help from a curious pair of newfound friends, Simba will have to figure out how to grow up and take back what is rightfully his.

It lands in the UK on 19 July.