Providing a voice over for a Disney film has to be the ultimate job in the industry, but it isn’t just the actors who are excited about the upcoming release of Disney’s latest adaptation, The Lion King, as it has smashed Box Office records to become the biggest domestic launch ever for a PG film and the eighth-biggest opening of all time domestically, not adjusted for inflation.
When the original hit movie screens in 1994, it made $1,586,753 during its limited opening weekend alone, becoming the highest grossing film of the year. This was, no doubt, helped by the fantastic array of actors that provided voiceovers for the main characters, from Jeremy Irons as Scar to Rowan Atkinson as Zazu. The ensemble voice cast also included Jonathan Taylor Thomas – from Home Improvement fame – as young Simba, Matthew Broderick as adult Simba, Whoopi Goldberg as hyena Shenzi and James Earl Jones as Mufassa.
Not to be outdone by its predecessor, this year’s remake has an equally impressive cast, including Donald Glover as Simba, Beyonce as Nala, Seth Rogen as Pumbaa, and Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar. Once again, James Earl Jones reprised his role as Mufassa, with the American actor giving a distinctive voice to the King of Pride Rock.
Whilst to English-speaking audiences it would seem no one else could voice the iconic Mufasa, Indian audiences will perhaps recognise Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, who lends his voice to Mufasa in the Hindi language bub of the blockbuster.
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