Disney's classic 3D classic cartoon production has become a hit at the box office in recent years, but the studio counts on its latest add-on, "The Lion King" to move to the top.
With a budget of $ 250 million and stars like Beyoncé for voice voices, expectations are great for this film, following a cult story about Simba's boyfriend, who was revenge for his father's death.
Promising Sign: Trailer of the new "Lion King" was viewed 225 million times in 24 hours when it was released in November, breaking the record at Disney.
Almost every scene in the film, released on Friday in the United States (July 17 in France), from Mufa's sparkling mushroom with oddly realistic eyes of the Hyenas, originated from images created by the computer.
And yet, "The Lion King" is not a normal 3D animated movie.
According to his director, John Favreau, he is completely new: a film taken by the traditional filming team, but in the realm of virtual reality in 3D.
Authors and actors could "enter" as video games in an African savannah to record or simply watch computer-generated versions of Simba and his friends.
"The team put out their helmets, walked out, explored the surroundings and put their cameras into virtual reality," Jon Favreau told reporters at Beverly Hills this week.
Methods that inspired young JD McCrew, the voice of Simba at the beginning of the film.
"We gave helmets and we manually had these types of remote controls," he says. "We saw everything, the countries of pride, the scale of pride … We saw everything, it was great!"
Teams that do not know high-tech special effects can bring their experience and traditional techniques, as well as their equipment, to the virtual reality studio.
Operators and scriptwriters can see the movie in front of their eyes and adjust them live, for example, lighting.
Then the images were sent to London, the MPC visual effects company, which gave them a final version of the luster.
Inspiration of documentaries
The film was also inspired by the magnificent documentaries of the famous British director David Attenborough, who inspired the nature of millions of people around the world.
From the first scenes, the remake looks at the audience with breathtaking "scenes" of the antelope, zebras and wild game that gallop through Savannah.
Unlike the original cartoon, the animals are realistic and the heads do not look like people's faces.
For Jon Favreau, it was important that the film "illuminate that it is a documentaryist of nature."
"We watched (…) all of these documentaries Attenborough on the BBC and (examined the path), whose emotions can be expressed without human representation," he explained.
Another break with tradition: players who took care of voices to characters and who usually speak themselves in booths were shot together on the stage, which allowed them to improvise.
In this way, a well-known scene emerged in which Simba teaches the philosophy of "Hakuna Matata" ("no problem", in Swahili).
Seth Rogen, Pumba's bearded voice, found "great" to ask him to improvise in "probably the most amazing technological film".
Remake of great success from 1994 closely follows the story of the first film, which returned James Earl Jones as the voice of Simbie's father, Mufasso.
Cultures such as "The Circle of Life" and "I Am the King" are coming back as it is. Composers Hans Zimmer and Lebo Morake reunited power for the soundtrack, Elton John and the writer Tim Rice offered a new song.
The original was criticized for largely white distribution. This time, Florence Kasumba, born in Uganda, plays a humiliating Shenzi, while South African John Kani gives his voice to the blue Rafiki.