‘The Lion King’ Holds Premiere in Japan

TOKYO – “The Lion King,” the live-action remake of the 1994 Disney classic animated film, had a Japanese premiere at Brillia Hall on July 22.

Director Jon Favreau attended the event.

“Your hospitality is always very humbling. Thank you for welcoming me to Japan,” he told the audience.

With regard to the “Circle of Life,” the main theme of the movie, Favreau said, “I think it is a very good theme to concentrate on for this movie because it means so many different things. When you’re small, you see how you fit in into nature, and you start to see the world around you like Simba does here. As you get older, the ‘Circle of Life’ represents the continuation from one generation to another.”

“I think that there’s something about the original film, and hopefully this one as well that talks about the responsibility that one generation has to the next,” he went on.

I think it’s important to remember that the world is getting even smaller, and that all of us are connected, and all of us have the responsibility to generations to follow,” added the filmmaker.

According to Favreau, one of the challenges that he had making the film “was to find a way to honor the original one, and update it for 25 years later because there’s a whole new generation of young people that you could share these wonderful themes with.”

Also in attendance were Japanese voice stars Kento Kaku (Simba), Yoko Kadoyama (Nala) and Yosuke Eguchi (Scar); and singer Riri, who sang the Japanese version of “Circle of Life.”

L-R: Riri, Yosuke Eguchi, Jon Favreau, Kento Kaku and Yoko Kadoyama 

“The Lion King” opens in Japan on Aug. 9. - Words by Florenda Corpuz, Photographs by Din Eugenio