• Suhail Ghazi Algosaibi

I Hated Disney’s New Lion King Live-action Movie [And Why Disney is Right And I'm Wrong]

During my recent summer holiday in Germany I took my two boys to see Disney’s new and much hyped Lion King Movie. The movie is part of a string of Disney animated classics that are being turned into live-action films (technically speaking the new Lion King is not “live-action” as the film is all in CGI).

Personally, I really did not like the film. There are two reasons for this: First, the story is almost identical to the original. There were virtually no surprises, which I guess was the whole point.

Second, I really did not like the hyper-realistic CGI (Computer Generated Imagery). The lions looked so realistic that they even had the glassy-eyed look lions seem to have. The facial expressions hardly showed any emotions. Part of the beauty of the original Lion King animated film was the full range of emotions you could see on the characters’ faces. Moreover, in the new film, the lions seem to get distracted easily by their surroundings, just like regular lions do. The “live-action” was far too realistic for me. I feel they should not have messed with an amazing classic such as the Lion King.

“Would you rather be right or rich?”

Of course, Disney know what they are doing. At the end of the day – rightly or wrongly – they care more about making a profit than maintaining some sort of creative integrity that matters to long-time Disney fans like me.

So far, global ticket sales of the new Lion King movie have reached over a billion dollars. This of course proves that there is tremendous demand for such a film and that Disney were right in creating it. Who cares if the reviews were not that great? Would you rather have a billion dollars or have good reviews? Personally, I’d rather have the billion dollars, thank you very much (assuming it is legally and ethically made).

If the strategy works, don’t change it – and the critics be damned

I might not be a fan of the current strategy of remaking animated classics into live-action films, but the strategy is working and making Disney billions of dollars in the process.

The recent strategy of remaking classics started back in 2010 with Alice in Wonderland and has included Maleficent, Cinderella, The Jungle Book, Alice Through the Looking Glass, Beauty and the Beast, Christopher Robin, Dumbo and Aladdin. Together these films have grossed over six billion dollars for Disney.

Upcoming releases include a Maleficent sequel, Lady and the Tramp, Mulan, another 101 Dalmatians remake, and The Little Mermaid. These are likely to gross Disney several more billions of dollars. Disney has discovered a goldmine in remaking their classics and they will ride this wave for as long as it lasts – and so they should.

So, the next time someone in your team argues against a perfectly legitimate strategy of increasing sales and profits for legacy reasons, ask them “would you rather be right or rich?”

Need help with your own company strategy? Get in touch with us for a chat.



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