‘The Lion King’ Featurette: Behind the Scenes with Voice Cast and Taste of New “Hakuna Matata”

© 2019 Disney Enterprises, Inc.

Disney has released a behind-the-scenes featurette for the upcoming live-action take of The Lion King, which will hit screens only around two months after their remake of Aladdin.

The marketing piece offers up a look at some of the cast members putting down voice work, a quick look at composer Hans Zimmer and Pharrell Williams, plus a taste of the new version of “Hakuna Matata,” sang here by Donald Glover (Simba), Seth Rogen (Pumbaa) and Billy Eichner (Timon). There are also a few new bits of footage we haven’t gotten in the official trailers.

“On entering Lion King, inheriting all that I had learned on The Jungle Book, there was a tremendous opportunity to retell the story using a new set of tools and new technology,” says Iron Man director Favreau, who gave Disney a hit with his CG/live-action version of The Jungle Book. Indeed, the tech available now is jaw-dropping, but as Favreau says, they are but tools to amplify the story. Let’s hope they’ve managed to recapture at least some of the power that makes the original film so memorable.

The Lion King, also featuring voice work from Chiwetel Ejiofor, Alfre Woodard, Billy Eichner, John Kani, John Oliver, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, and James Earl Jones (back as Mufasa), will open in Australian cinemas on July 17 and U.S. cinemas on July 19.

Disney Australia’s official synopsis for The Lion King:

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.


Staying true to the classic story, director Jon Favreau utilizes pioneering filmmaking techniques to bring the iconic characters to the big screen in a whole new way. Featuring the voices of Donald Glover as Simba, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter as Nala, James Earl Jones as Mufasa, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar, Seth Rogen as Pumbaa and Billy Eichner as Timon, Disney’s “The Lion King” opens in cinemas on July 17, 2019.

Walt Disney Pictures