Lindiwe Mkhize, Lebo M. – Circle of Life/Nants’ Ingonyama

“It’s very much ‘let’s not mess with perfection'”

Tim: By all accounts, the new version of The Lion King, out on Friday, is exceedingly similar to the original, frequently having scenes that are shot for shot redos.

Tom: Only with basically expressionless CG faces instead of animation.

Tim: Ah, but photorealism, see. Main question for us: will this vary from the original? Well, only one of the vocalists has changed, and the length is [checks music library] yep, identical. But let’s have a listen anyway.

Tom: I mean, the rest of the tracks are basically Celebrity Lion King Karaoke (and John Oliver, sad to say, is not a patch on Rowan Atkinson), so I guess this could have been worse. But like all covers that are so close to the original: why bother?

Tim: Well, you’ve maybe got to, if you’re redoing the film? But it’s very much ‘let’s not mess with perfection’: aside from Lindiwe’s vocal being audibly different from Carmen Twillie’s in the original, it is, I’m fairly sure, identical. But you know what? I don’t care. It’s an amazing song, and that moment when Rafiki holds up baby Simba will never fail to give me goosebumps.

Tom: For me, it’s the cut to the title card at the end: it’s the first time I can remember being awed by cinema.

Tim: Who cares if it’s the same? I’ll be at the cinema at 10:00 on Friday morning, so I’m out in time for work, and I’m very excited about it.