Did you like the first official trailer for The Lion King? Disney’s photo-real computer animated adaption the 1994 movie promise to shake up Hollywood with its technological advancements tied to one of the studios’ richest stories. As Disney likes to do with its upcoming movies, it has shared more moments from the film with Entertainment Weekly, which you can see now on their website.
— Disney (@Disney) April 25, 2019
In the EW article you can read how one of the first animation models was Rafiki. However, Jon Favreau’s team quickly learned how difficult it would be. All future animals would have to pass what became known as “The Rafiki Test” before they could be in the movie.
There’s a lot of responsibility to be respectful of the original 1994 animated feature.
“It feels like we’re restoring a classic historic architectural landmark — how do you update it without changing the personality of it?” Favreau, told EW.
The new technological breakthroughs have allowed Favreau to bring a new kind of movie to the big screen. “The idea of taking these characters and this music, just as the stage play took it, sticking closely to the story but reinventing it for a different medium,” said Favreau. “I thought that this technology would be separate enough from the animated film that it felt fresh and new, yet completely related to the original.”
The rest of the article goes in depth into the process of moving this movie from the script to the final version. Actors talk about how the process of reading their lines was different from the typical animated film where each actor delivers their lines separately. In this movie Favreau had actors together acting out their roles with a camera on trained on their faces to help animators capture the movements and emotions.
With no human actors in the movie, the production was moved into a virtual reality like space. To see the work in progress you put on virtual reality goggles and watched as scenes were animated.
It sounds like no film ever before, but somehow, I think we’ll see more films using technology very similar to this in the future.
You can pick up the special new “The Lion King” issue of Entertainment Weekly on newsstands today (or subscribe on Amazon) to read even more about the movie and its A-list line up of talent.