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Disney's The Lion King opens in theaters July 19, 2019

Thank you, Disney, for inviting me to the LION KING press junket, this was a moment in my life that I will NEVER forget. Our junket opened with soloist, Miss, Clydene Jackson, and Lebo M, African Music Consultant / Performer singing Circle of Life. My entire body was vibrating, tears were streaming down my face, in that moment, the power, the raw beauty, it was majestic, surreal and I knew this was a bucket list moment in my life. Miss. Clydene Jackson is one of four soloists that was part of the original 1994 production and was also part of 2019 production. And everyone who walked off the stage was a part of the voice cast for this year for 2019 version of LION KING. You see what I mean, this is a once in a lifetime moment.

Now if that wasn’t mind blowing we had the cast of the LION KING on hand Donald Glover (voice of “Simba”), Seth Rogen (voice of “Pumbaa”), Billy Eichner (voice of “Timon”), Chiwetel Ejiofor (voice of “Scar”), Alfre Woodard (voice of “Sarabi”), Keegan-Michael Key (voice of “Kamari”), Florence Kasumba (voice of “Shenzi”), Eric Andre (voice of “Azizi”), John Kani (voice of “Rafiki”), JD McCrary (voice of “Young Simba”), Shahadi Wright Joseph (voice of “Young Nala”), Director Jon Favreau, Composer Hans Zimmer and Lebo M (African Music Consultant / Performer.) LION KING originally released 1994, an animation that captured our hearts and had us singing Circle of Life, now Jon Favreau has brought to life our favorite lion.

JON FAVREAU: I’ve been working for about three years on this one. And a lot of them have been working for the same amount of time. Because they came back when it was pencils. So it was a huge leap of faith for this fantastic cast we have. And of course musically, Lebo M and Han Zimmer, who was so involved with the first one to trust that it would turn out well. It was a big leap of faith for everybody. And in many cases, they kept coming back and recording again and trying new things, especially with the comedy bits. So although, this isn’t like one of those things where I’ve been toiling away alone. It’s been a huge raft of artists, people who were involved with developing the musical landscape of it, doing early recordings, and coming in and contributing through improvisation, redoing scenes, rewriting scenes. So this team here isn’t just a bunch of people that recorded one time at a music stand and come here for the press conference. These were all people who were collaborators and filmmakers along with me. Not only are we excited about LION KING, but Danny Glover children are also just as excited. Here’s a fun fact that had us all in stitches. MODERATOR: I heard your son was very excited to just be able to see it. What did you tell him going into it? You’re like, just so you know, daddy is Simba.

DONALD GLOVER: I didn’t tell him anything. I really didn’t. It’s his favorite movie. I was like oh, I’ll just wait until he gets there. But somehow he found out about it, but still didn’t know I was in it. He was just like oh, the one with Beyonce. And then during the movie, he’s like oh, dad’s in it, too. This is great. Bonus. You know.

Disney's The Lion King opens in theaters July 19, 2019

Not only is the LION KING a movie about family, love, and loyalty, the cast embodied everything that LION KING stands for. From Seth Rogen (voice of “Pumbaa”), Billy Eichner (voice of “Timon”), and Composer Hans Zimmer and Lebo M (African Music Consultant / Performer) the bromance is alive and going strong. It’s absolutely beautiful and that’s one of the reasons LION KING Live Action is going to be hit and one NOT to miss.

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