The remake of the 1994 favorite, The Lion King, is being released nationally on Friday.

Many fans were excited to see one of the classic Disney films be made into a live-action film and the cast of the movie sparked people’s interests even more.

The cast of the live-action version stars Donald Glover (Simba), Seth Rogen (Pumbaa), Chiwetel Ejiofor (Scar), Keegan-Michael Key (Kamari), John Oliver (Zasu), Beyonce (Nala) and James Earl Jones, who reprised his role as Mufasa.


John Kani (Rafiki), Billy Eichner (Timon), JD McCrary (Young Simba), Shahadi Wright-Joseph (Young Nala), Alfre Woodard (Sarabi), and Eric Andre (Azizi) are also in the film.

Directed by Jon Favreau, the new Disney film has received mixed reviews from critics and has 61% on Rotten Tomatoes.

“A bunch of big cats just aren’t cut out to carry “Hamlet,” as insane as it is to have to state that.”

Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service 

“There is plenty of wonder on offer in this Lion King, but little imagination.”

Barry HertzGlobe and Mail

A few critics had positive things to say about the film, however.

“Yes, this movie is a safari to the shadowland… And it’s just deep enough to give a cat who’s come of age something to sink his teeth into.”

Michel O’ SullivanThe Washington Post

While the storyline of the re-make is similar to the original film, there was a major change that upset some.

This includes the name change of the iconic hyena trio: Shenzi, Banzai and Ed. While Shenzi is still in the film, Banzai and Ed had their names changed. In the new version, the hyena trio consists of Azizi, Shenzi and Kamari.

The decision to change the name was due to Favreau believing that the original characters “didn’t feel like they matched up well with the photo-realism.”

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