The live action version of The Lion King was always going to be contentious, with the original animated version etched firmly in our hearts.
We were so used to baby Simba’s big, sad Disney eyes and Scar’s malevolent grin, and so seeing them as actual ‘real’ lions was kind of different.
Some people even felt the realism of the Pride Rock residents took away some of the expressiveness and emotion of the animated characters.
Artists Nikolay Mochkin and Jonty Pressinger have therefore collaborated on a Lion King deepfake project, blending the 1994 original and the remake in a version which genuinely looks rather lovely.
The finished vid itself is only 18 seconds in length, and shows new versions of classic characters such as Simba, Scar, Nala, Timone and Pumba.
Those who have seen the short clip have been impressed by the skills shown by Mochkin and Pressinger, describing the Lion King deepfake as ‘awesome’ and perfect’.
View this post on Instagram
They Started to Move!!! . @jonty_pressinger X @ellejart . Thank you for the amazing animation 🙏 Hey guys, do you also want to watch this Fan-Made in the movie?🦁🎥 . . . #thelionking #simba #nala #timon #pumbaa #scar #lionking #animation #fanmade #fanart #collaboration #disneystudios
One awestruck person gasped:
Wow! I would have watched the deep fake version of The Lion King hands-down.
Wow wow wow YES! You absolutely NAILED IT! I hope you catch a huge break from this. Amazing work!
The live action remake enjoyed the biggest opening weekend ever for any Disney remake, clawing in $185 million (£149 million) from almost 5,000 North American cinemas. Worldwide, The Lion King collected $269 million (£215 million) for a global total of $433 million (£346 million).
This was also the second-best US domestic debut of 2019 so far – trailing Avengers: Endgame, which took $357m (£285.5m) in three days. Hakuna Matata indeed.
The star-studded cast has had cinema goers returning to the Pride Lands in herds, with many left wowed by how completely gorgeous the film looked.
According to Rotten Tomatoes The Lion King has been rated 53 per cent based on 372 critics’ reviews:
While it can take pride in its visual achievements,The Lion King is a by-the-numbers retelling that lacks the energy and heart that made the original so beloved–though for some fans that may just be enough.
You can catch The Lion King in cinemas nationwide now.
If you have a story you want to tell send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.