(The Disneycember logo is shown, before showing clips from The Lion King (2019))
Doug (vo): Well, what can be said about the remake of The Lion King that hasn't been said already? Maybe the same thing that can be said about most of the other remakes, but people saw more in this one for some reason? Okay, I guess we can talk about that. Why did so many people suddenly notice in this one the pointlessness, the lack of expression, the absolute empty void of Disney remakes in this one as opposed to the others? Well...look at it! It's like watching a slightly off National Geographic episode, except...I know it's gonna sound weird, but...there's even less expression. How is this possible? This is a work of fiction, it's animation, it's designed to be that way so you can give them more expression, yet you can just watch an episode of National Geographic and be like, "Wow, that lion really has a lot going on in its head." And here, nothing! Absolutely nothing! Even when they tell you what they're feeling, it's like they're feeling nothing. The story... (Scoffs) ...do I even need to tell you? It's literally the exact same thing. If you've seen The Lion King, you've seen...The Lion King, or Kimba, for that matter, but everybody's made that joke, including me.
Doug (vo): The young lion prince Simba is born at the top of the circle of life. Everybody is happy about this, except his uncle Scar. He does everything he can with the help of the hyenas to kill little Simba and his father Mufasa, voiced again by James Earl Jones, only this time, very clearly needing a nap, or questioning why the hell he needs to say these lines again when he got it right so well the first time. Did he do it wrong? I guess he'll try it another way. Oh, that wasn't better. Oh, well. Print! I'll try not to give away too much of this story you know inside out, but through a series of unfortunate events, Simba is banished, leaving the throne and coming across two outcasts, Timon and Pumbaa, who, I will admit, are the only good things about this movie. They are legitimately funny, where I didn't really find the original that funny, and...yeah, they got a laugh. I'll give them credit. They got a laugh. But Simba's girlfriend Nala, who's given a much bigger role of...seeing her escape and...given half a song over music that was honestly better in the original...again, girl power, I guess...runs away and tells him that Scar has ruined everything, and, of course, only he can take the throne. Will he defeat Scar and...? (Sighs) Did you see the first movie? Then you already know.
Doug (vo; sounding annoyed): You already know. It is literally a shot-for-shot remake. It's like the Gus Van Sant Psycho remake. Remember how great that did? Of course you didn't. Nobody remembers it, like nobody's going to remember this! (Sighs and calms down) So, okay, you've heard me go on and on about why I don't think this is a good movie, but why did people finally wake up to it? Why are they saying, "Hey, something feels wrong here", where something like Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin and all these others didn't? Well, for one, those other movies, for all their faults, did actually have people in it. It wasn't animated. That is to say, I love animated films. Clearly, I like the original animated films compared to all these live-action remakes. But if you're gonna remake it and do something different and have it be live-action, have it actually be live-action. This is just another form of animation, trying to match animation. At least with live-action, it's trying to match animation, but it's real people. So that's a little different, at least. Not much, but it's a little different. This is literally the exact same thing, shot-for-shot, minus the freshness and the emotion.
(Footage focusing on the film's characters and their realistic animal expressions is shown)
Doug (vo): Yeah, in a huge miscalculation, these things look so much like real animals that they don't have any expression, so you feel nothing from them when they talk. They just have these blank stares, and like I said, if you watch National Geographic, there is more expression to these animals. But something about the way they do this just doesn't feel right. Sometimes, they look legitimately convincing, like Jungle Book-convincing, I'm like, "Wow, that's actually really impressive." But half the time, they just kind of look weird and they move odd, and it's just the right amount of off. You're always aware you're looking at something that's CG, even though it's trying so hard to convince you it's real animals, but it's talking animals with no expression, so it's just not gonna work.
(Various clips resume showing, while clips from the original animated film are shown as well)
Doug (vo): This is also the Disney remake that easily has the least amount of changes in it. I know I say that about every single Disney remake, because, well, they just keep adding less and less. What a weird contradiction. They keep adding less and less! But this one did the most. People literally made YouTube videos showing side by side the exact same shots. Hell, the marketing did that, like, "Look! We're not coming up with anything fresh or new! Isn't that great?" And people finally said, "That's enough." I think that's the big irony to all this. I'm actually not against live-action Disney remakes, as long as they're done with films that can be improved on or can be given a different point of view or angle. Do something like Black Cauldron or Atlantis, something that can be improved on, has a good concept, but can be made even better, hell, maybe better in live-action. You can really have fun with this.
(Footage focusing on the film's visuals and production design is shown, as well as more clips from the animated film, as well as both films' versions of the wildebeest stampede sequence)
Doug (vo): But as of now, the more I talk to people, the more they say, "Yeah, something just didn't feel right about Lion King." It felt empty, it felt shallow, it felt like a betrayal of one of the biggest stories a lot of people grew up with. And that is because it is the one where they tried the least, even though, in some ways, they tried the hardest. I mean, look at that technology, it's really impressive. I mean, just look at these landscapes. This is supposed to be Africa, gorgeous, beautiful Africa, and it just looks as lifeless as, well, all the characters in it. In the original, the colors and the scenery just leaped off the screen, it was just such a spectacle to behold. The stampede scene is still one of the most heart-pounding scenes in Disney history, and it's because it is animation, and it is hand-drawn, and you can get it as close as you want. You can make it as exaggerated and big as you would like. Here, it doesn't look like there's even that many. There's plenty of space to run between them. If anyone fell in there, I can see them getting hurt, but I don't necessarily see them getting killed. It's something that's just not that threatening-looking. All the major moments that were so big and impactful in the original are so dead and empty.
Doug (vo): So, yeah, I talked about this movie a lot and I know you've heard about it a lot, and chances are, you saw it and you probably agree. I haven't really seen that many people that like this one. But if you are, uh, thumbs up. I can't act like I get it, but, you know, go ahead and enjoy it. But I would say maybe check out the original again, because if this is the one you got a major emotional reaction to...hmm. How did Timon put it?
(A clip from the animated film is shown)
Timon: (to Nala) Have you got your lions crossed.
(The remake's final scene, showing Rafiki lifting Simba and Nala's new cub up in the air for all the animals to see, is shown)