I don’t need to belabor anything. Just watch the trailer.

Have your edges been gathered and snatched?! You know it must be something if I, a person who never uses phrases such as “Have your edges been gathered and snatched?”, is using an extreme phrase to showcase how much this trailer has struck me.

I think it means something awesome that the film has gotten me so emotional since I’m such a huge The Lion King fan. I’ve watched the original animated film, of course, but I’ve also listened to both the original score, the tie-in album Rhythm of the Pridelands (If you haven’t listened to “Lea Halalelah,” then you must stop reading this and listen to it right now!), and the Broadway soundtrack. On top of that, I’ve seen the touring production twice. If anyone knows their Lion King, it’s me. And if anyone would hate this remake, it’d be me, especially since I don’t usually go for these “live-action”-esque CGI animal movies à la The Jungle Book.

But I just love everything about this. Baby Simba looks adorable and big Simba looks ferocious and powerful. James Earl Jones is back as Mufasa (which means we’ll have to watch him die again and I am not prepared!) and all of the animals look realistic enough to be believable, yet “cartoonish” enough that we’re not in an uncanny valley with these animals. Still, it’s going to be interesting to see these animals talk because even though they are realistic, it still seems like seeing them talk is going to be…an experience. Hopefully it’s not going to be like Disney’s other realistic talking animal movie, Dinosaur.

But in any case, The Lion King has piqued my interest enough to where I have to see the film in the theater. When the animated The Lion King was re-released in theaters a few years ago, I was there in the theater to get my life, and I was once again awed by the craftsmanship, artistry and storytelling that went into this film. I feel like this new version could give me that feeling once again.

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I think that’s why I’m okay with this version; unlike the Mulan live-action version we’ll see soon and Disney’s other reboots like Cinderella starring Lily James, this remake of The Lion King feels like it’s not trying to compete with the original. It knows the original is and will always be the best version of the film, and to bring in the seats, it knows that just telling the story will get the job done.

What do you think about the trailer? Give your opinions below. The Lion King will be in theaters July 19, 2019, a fantastic early birthday present for me.

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By Monique