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Headscratchers / The Lion King (2019)

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  • With the announcement that Jon Favreau will be directing a live-action remake of the The Lion King, this seems to be blurring the lines about the nature of digital imagery in film with regards to it being "live-action" vs an "animated feature". Up to this point, the Disney remakes have included live actors interacting with digital creations to create the fantasy elements of the story and Favreau demonstrated in The Jungle Book that even the "set" does not require a real location anymore. However, with The Lion King, there will be no human actors meaning everything can essentially be a digital creation. So the question is what does it mean for The Lion King to be considered "live-action"? How does a "live-action" film that's an all digital creation differ significantly from redoing the story as a 3D CGI Animated Feature like Moana or Zootopia?
    • Considering how much some of the other live-action films have deviated from their animated counterparts, I would be none too surprised if Disney did throw humans into the story for some reason, which would "justify" it being called live-action. (Or they'll use real animals in a portion of the movie where they don't need to talk.)
    • On the page for that version, it's pointed out that Disney never said the film was going to be "live-action"; they said they were going to be using the same photorealistic technology and such that they used for The Jungle Book. (Though this has also sparked further debate, it seems - now people are upset that they're taking a 2D animated piece that still holds up fine today, and essentially updating it into a 3D animated piece.)
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    • It's also claimed on the YMMV page that they included a single live-action shot somewhere in the movie, just to see if audiences could tell it apart from all the computer-generated stuff.
  • Which hyena is which and how do you tell them apart, like Shenzi, Azizi and Kamari not just the voices but appearance?
    • According to the character page, Kamari has a bald spot on his head and Azizi has a chunk of his ear missing.
    • Azizi also has a broader snout than Kamari.
    • Shenzi has some unique and easily distinguishable features.
  • Why is Zazu watching the Memorial Service(?)/Scar's coronation from Rafiki's tree? If he watched closer up, he would have heard Scar's "I failed to get to the gorge in time" story and claimed he was lying. Since he knew Scar's the one who alerted Mufasa of the stampede in the first place. Maybe Zazu is too ashamed because of his failure to get the rest of the pride in time. But either way, Scar was lucky the "only" other key witness wasn't speaking against his story.
    • You see later in the film that Zazu has pretty much been terminated from his position as he only had pull due to Mufasa. Anytime he tried to come back Scar and the hyenas attempted to kill him.
    • Actually, Zazu can't honestly say that Scar was lying; he left Scar at the gorge, but for all he knows, when Scar talks about not getting to the gorge in time, Scar could just mean that he couldn't find a safe path into the gorge to help Mufasa and Simba escape.
      • That doesn't sound right. Sarabi started to get suspicious as soon as Scar (in his last-minute gloating) said he "looked Mufasa straight in the eyes over the edge of a cliff". Implying that Scar's "I didn't get to the gorge in time" lie was that he was ABSENT from the scene. Though to be fair, Scar wouldn't be too specific in his intended deception.
      • The fact that Scar "saw the look in Mufasa eyes" implies that Scar must have been close enough to Mufasa that he could have saved him. That's certainly a reason for Sarabi to be suspicious of his statement.
  • The filmmakers really should've stopped at the first verse of The Lion Sleeps Tonight - as it is, exactly how in the hell does Timon know what a "village" is?
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    • There are villages in Africa.
      • Yes... and why would animals in the jungle understand that?
      • The Pridelands are considered a "Kingdom". Timon is a Meerkat, and Meerkats usually live in "Colonies". The title of human settlements might apply to the animal world in this movie somehow.
      • And perhaps the popularity of the song just spread to uncharted regions of Africa where Timon first heard the song.
    • An even better question is: how the heck does Timon know what a toothbrush is? Let alone how does he know what chicken tastes like?
  • Timon and Pumbaa in this version have friends in the wilderness. Of the small group that's most often seen, one of the animals is a fox (appears to be a bat-eared fox, who commonly live in eastern and southern Africa; he's to the far right in the grub-eating scene). He's with the group during the Lion Sleeps Tonight number, but disappears after Nala attacks. I noticed that there's a brief 2~ second shot before the movie ends where the animal friends have joined everyone at Pride Rock at the presentation of Kiara, but after seeing the movie twice, I didn't see the fox in that scene. Was he possibly killed by Nala?
    • The fox didn't die. He was shown running away right before Nala chose Pumbaa as her intended prey.
  • Sarabi rejecting Scar was part of what made him bitter and hateful, right? There are plenty of lionesses in the kingdom. Why not flirt with them (or try to)? It's not like they have boyfriends. Him and Mufasa were the only males in the land.
    • Some people (and animals, I guess) want the target of their affections and nothing else.
    • Scar doesn't want any lioness. He wants the one that Mufasa has so he can claim himself to be better than his deceased brother.
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    • It might also relate to the arranged married tradition Zazu told Simba and Nala about. Simba was Mufasa's only son, so he was the only one bound to marry Nala. Sarabi may have had a choice between marrying Mufasa or Scar, and choisng Mufasa got under Scars skin.
    • Besides, do you think any lioness would have liked to be Scar's mate? I do not think so...
    • I bet Zira probably would.
    • Assuming this film likely won't have any sequels, I suppose we can cautiously take for granted that Zira doesn't exist in this continuity.
  • Why did Scar send Zazu back to get help during the stampede? In the original animated version, he did the exact opposite. He knocked Zazu out specifically to prevent him from getting help, which seems more in character for him to do because if Zazu had succeeded in getting help, it would potentially foil Scar’s plot to murder Mufasa and Simba. It could also more likely expose his crime to the rest of the pride which would then further endanger his chance of being king. I’ve read that apparently this was done because it seemed weird that Zazu wasn’t suspicious of Scar, but in the original film, Zazu didn’t even realize that it was Scar who knocked him out, since Scar hit him from behind. Also, as pointed out elsewhere, this just created another problem since Zazu should have at some point exposed Scar’s lie that he couldn’t get to the gorge in time to save them.
    • This was already brought up and explained earlier — Zazu was effectively exiled from Pride Rock once Scar took over and couldn’t go back due to the threat of being killed. It’s definitely not any more illogical than him being knocked out in the animated film and then not suspecting the only person who was around at the time.
    • Maybe Scar had the rest of the Hyenas act as decoys and distract the rest of the pride in more distant area during the stampede (You could argue that happened in the original too, since a massive stampede could draw attention from the others easily, making it harder to keep his murder of Mufasa under wraps. But Rule of Funny is why he knocks out Zazu instead) By the time Zazu fetched the rest of the pride in this version, Mufasa and Simba would be dead.
    • The crew was also looking for a way around Scar hitting Zazu. Since that kind of slapstick joke wouldn't have been as plausible in this more "lifelike" adaptation of the Lion King.
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