Since it passed $1 billion at the global box office less than three weeks after its theatrical release, it’s an understatement to say that the 2019 live-action Lion King was a massive commercial success. The remake of the 1994 animated classic became the second highest-grossing film of the year, and despite a lukewarm reception from critics, it was beloved by audiences, who gave the Jon Favreau movie an 88 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. And If you haven’t yet seen the new version — or want to watch it again — you can feel the love tonight (or at any time you want) on your own screen.
The film is now available to stream on Disney+, as is the animated one. You can watch it by subscribing to the streaming service, which costs $6.99 per month, or $12.99 per month when bundled with Hulu and ESPN+.
The 2019 film boasts a stellar cast with Donald Glover (a.k.a. Childish Gambino) taking the lead as Simba, heir to the throne of the Pride Lands. After a tragedy (you know the one), young Simba is taken under the wings of Pumbaa and Timon (Seth Rogen and Billy Eichner, respectively), a duo of happy-go-lucky wanderers who enjoy a carefree life without responsibilities. But after a push from his childhood best friend, Nala (voiced by the one and only Beyoncé Knowles-Carter), Simba is pulled back to the Pride Lands, where he must fight to claim his rightful place as king.
While the film acts as a technically spectacular update to the 1994 classic, certain things remain faithful the original: James Earl Jones returns to voice Mufasa, and iconic songs such as “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” and “Hakuna Matata” are only slightly modernized via performances from Eichner, Gambino, and Knowles-Carter. There are, however, small plot changes, including one that relates to the hyenas’ nefarious alliance with Scar (Chiwetel Ejiofor).
Of course, die-hard fans of the original Lion King will find many comparisons between the two versions — certain scenes in the 2019 adaptation are practically shot-by-shot remakes. Luckily, you can rewatch both films as much as you want to see the similarities for yourself. Stream them on Disney+ now.
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