Simba returns with a gazillion views. What pulls us towards The Lion King still
'The Lion King' teaser trailer records 238 million views in 24 hours. The highest for any Disney movie
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I remember watching The Lion King, the animated movie, as part of a school outing. We were a queue of 50 girls, all of seven or so, walking from our school to the nearest theatre, cutting through heavy traffic, neatly dressed in our pristine white school uniforms, maintaining one-arm distance all the way.
That was way back in 1994.
Twenty four years since that day, I still find myself refreshing my Twitter feed in the hope to land on the new Lion King trailer.
It is, therefore, not surprising at all that the new teaser trailer, the ‘live action’ one of this beloved film, has clocked a record view of 238 million views in just 24 hours (39,476,522 views right now, still counting) — the highest for any Disney film in a day (second to the Avengers: Infinity War). After all, this is the generation of social media.
For nostalgia is a very powerful tool.
Me watching the trailer on a loop on YouTube — I promise I have contributed to at least a 100 views on the first day alone — is not just because it is only the greatest film ever made (yup, I said it), but because it brings back memories. Of buying myself an ice lolly during the interval and dropping it on my white uniform courtesy my butterfingers and Scar’s evilness! Of coming home to narrate the story to my parents, more animatedly, if that’s even possible. Of re-watching the film several times on VCR and Disney channel, only to capture the ever-fleeting essence of that white uniform-wearing, ice lolly-dropping childhood.
And all of us have a story somewhat similar to this, which is what makes us want to come back.
Nostalgia also of having James Earl Jones reprise his role as Mufasa.
The 87-year-old actor had lent his voice to the 1994-original, and those iconic lines — Everything the light touches is our kingdom — as the camera pans across the African landscape that constitutes the lil’ cub’s kingdom, has been forever etched in our memories.
Spot the similarities. (Source: YouTube screen grab)
That leads us to the part which is completely impossible to miss if you’ve watched the trailer even once — that it is a frame by frame replica of the original trailer. From the long shots of the African wilderness to little Simba being suspended (helplessly) from Pride Rock, the two films seem identical. And the Internet didn’t take any time to notice it, either.
Add to that the life-like images and thereby, the element of marvel. When Finding Nemo hit us in 2003, our jaws dropped! We marvelled at the sheer perfection of its animation, the nuances, and the humaneness of it all. With every Disney film, our jaws have only dropped a little more.
But this one is beyond imagination.
Nope, it's not Nat Geo. It's The Lion King. (Source: Disney)
On one hand, you know this is fiction, a story you’ve read a gazillion times. On the other, the realness makes you wonder, even for a split second, if it’s actually happening. But, believe it or not, it’s animation.
But then, at the end of it all, the one thing that makes us want to go back to The Lion King is the hope that this time around, it’s going to be different for Mufasa. We know his fate is sealed. We know how the story unfolds. But even if there is a glimmer of hope, we’d like to latch on to that.