It’s the circle of life. Or rather, the circle of Disney remakes. Hot off the heels of Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, and The Jungle Book, this studio released a photo-real version of The Lion King. The production featured a new song performed by Beyoncé — and one track sung by Sir Elton John.
Beyoncé, Hans Zimmer, and Elton John created most of the music for Disney’s 2019 version of ‘The Lion King’
Disney is known for its Grammy Award-winning, chart-topping soundtracks. That’s especially true of the 1993 animated film, The Lion King, which told the story of one lion grappling with the loss of his father and his new role as king of Pride Rock.
Disney remade their iconic film in 2019, featuring iconic songs like “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King” and “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” in its official soundtrack.
Inspired by the story of The Lion King, Beyoncé created The Lion King: The Gift, featuring prominent African artists. With each track, Beyoncé detailed the story of Simba with a modern lens. She later debuted the visual album Black is King on Disney+.
These productions included “Spirit,” a new track in The Lion King’s official soundtrack and the actual photo-real film. As a prominent musician behind the original 1994 film, Disney included John in 2019’s The Lion King soundtrack.
Elton John only performed one song in Disney’s 2019 version of ‘The Lion King’
With such a connection to this story, it made sense Disney featured John in one song from this remake’s album. John is the vocalist behind “Never Too Late” on The Lion King (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack). Since its debut, this track has earned over 17 million Spotify plays.
In conjunction with Disney’s original version of The Lion King, John performed “Circle of Life,” “I Just Can’t Wait To Be King,” and “Can You Feel the Love Tonight.” He is credited as the composer for Disney’s film. Tim Rice created the lyrics for The Lion King. Hans Zimmer appeared as the score composer for 1994’s movie and the 2019 version of Disney’s film.
Elton John thinks the music of the photo-real ‘The Lion King’ is ‘a huge disappointment’
John attended the premiere of Disney’s recently released version of The Lion King, even posing for pictures with Beyoncé. Despite his small role in creating the music for Disney’s 2019 The Lion King adaptation, this musician shared his disappointment with the remake.
“The new version of The Lion King was a huge disappointment to me because I believe they messed the music up,” John said during an interview with GQ. “Music was so much a part of the original and the music in the current film didn’t have the same impact. The magic and joy were lost.”
“I wish I’d been invited to the party more,” he added, “but the creative vision for the film and its music was different this time around, and I wasn’t really welcomed or treated with the same level of respect.”