Is Beyoncé’s ‘The Lion King: The Gift’ Bigger Than Disney’s ‘The Lion King’ Movie?

The Lion King: The Gift premiered on the same day as Disney’s photo-real adaptation of The Lion King. Since then, fans rave about Beyoncé’s newest masterpieces, including the music videos for “Spirit” and “Bigger.” Here’s what critics are saying about Beyoncé’s celebration of African music and culture.

Beyoncé The Lion King
Beyoncé Knowles-Carter | Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images

Beyoncé produced and curated ‘The Lion King: The Gift’

Yes, Beyoncé is playing Nala in Disney’s The Lion King. More importantly, she transformed the Disney film into a celebration of African music and culture. The artist produced and curated The Lion King: The Gift, an album featuring African musicians and producers.

Beyoncé’s album also includes famous artists from the United States, including Childish Gambino, Kendrick Lamar, Jay-Z and Major Lazer. Through collaboration with these artists, and a cameo from Beyoncé’s eldest daughter, Blue Ivy Carter, The Lion King: The Gift is dominating the music charts.

According to some sources, songs like “Brown Skin Girl” earned spots on the top 10 of iTunes’ United States music charts. The music video for Beyoncé’s song “Spirit,” trended on YouTube, currently holding over 20 million views. That’s more views earned by Beyoncé than multiple clips and trailers released by Disney of their rebooted version of The Lion King.

‘The Lion King: The Gift’ is currently enjoying praise from fans and critics

While the album tops music charts, critics and fans alike commended Beyoncé for her work on The Lion King: The Gift. Some critics said it solidified the artist’s legacy. Other critics said the album was a success because of Beyoncé’s “musical genius.” Fans thanked Beyoncé for her empowering lyrics and message.

“‘Brown skin girl, skin just like pearls, [the] best thing in the world, I’d never change it for anybody, singing’ – Blue Ivy Carter. The way they’re teaching her to love herself and her culture is beyond beautiful #TheGiftAlbum,” said one Twitter user.

Even those who worked on The Lion King: The Gift praised Beyoncé’s album for its cultural importance. That includes lyricists and musicians like Nija Charles and Mr. Eazi.

“The Lion King: The Gift out now! I did two [songs] on here! ‘Water’ and I’m featured on ‘My Power!’ Beyoncé literally continues to change my life. This album is for the culture, bridging the sounds of Africa & America to create a whole new genre,” said artist Nija Charles. “Make sure you guys go see the movie!”

“Growing up, I watched The Lion King but never imagined that someday I would be part of the project! Sending big love to Beyoncé for putting this project together! It’s ‘The World To Africa’ it’s The Gift to the World,” tweeted artist Don Eazi.

'The Lion King' World Premiere
‘The Lion King’ World Premiere | Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney

‘The Lion King’ soundtrack is also doing well on the music charts

The Lion King: The Gift is doing well on the music charts. Still, that doesn’t mean The Lion King’s motion picture soundtrack isn’t doing well. This soundtrack features Beyoncé, in addition to Donald Glover, Seth Rogen, Billy Eichner, and John Oliver. It also included the song “Spirit,” from The Lion King: The Gift.

Beyoncé premiered her song, “Spirit,” ahead of her movie-inspired album. It was well-received by fans and critics, debuting at No. 1 on Kid Digital “Song Sales Chart.”

The Lion King: The Gift is now available for listening on Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, and most music streaming platforms. Disney’s The Lion King is available in theaters.