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The Lion King Remake Is Neither Live-Action Nor Animation

The lines are getting blurred in the world of filmmaking when it comes to live-action and animation. A couple year ago, Jon Favreau blew us all away with The Jungle Book, a “live-action” take on the Rudyard Kipling novel, and when that hit, it was easy to call it live-action since it featured a human running around in this purely animated world. Though while those same techniques are being used in The Lion King, we’re getting a weird debate out of the whole thing.

The reason? We no longer have an actual human to keep us grounded in it. The live-action illusion is only present in how photorealistic the animals look. So what do we call this damn thing? Sean Bailey, chief architect of Disney’s live-action studio, spoke with THR, and in his conversations, The Lion King inevitably came up. In his comments, he addressed concerned that it’d be a shot-for-shot remake before discussing the live-action debate:

The Lion King is a revered and beloved movie, so you’d better revere and love those parts that the audience wants. But there are things in the movie that are going to be new. [And] it is a new form of filmmaking. Historical definitions don’t work. It uses some techniques that would traditionally be called animation, and other techniques that would traditionally be called live action. It is an evolution of the technology Jon used in Jungle Book.

RELATED – How 2019’s The Lion King Will Likely Top The Original

So what is it? Ah, hell, we don’t know. Regardless of the “techniques,” I think I’ll continue to think of it internally as an animated film while calling it a live-action movie, simply because of how it looks. Regardless, it is cool to see a merging of the two styles, and hopefully, that’ll bring about new storytelling opportunities that have never been possible before.

Considering we’re this far along in a creative medium and still finding ways to shake things up is always exciting, and while this new remake may age worse than the original, it could ultimately be a stepping stone to much bigger things.

What do you think The Lion King is? Animated or live-action? Let us know your thoughts down below!

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