Lion King Director Rules Out Using Animals In Movies

Lion King Director Rules Out Using Animals In Movies


(updated 28th September 2020)

2 Minutes Read

The film avoided using real-life animals (Photo: Twitter) - Media Credit:

American director and actor, Jon Favreau, ruled out using animals in movies for the 2019 Lion King remake, thanks to advances in technology.

In an interview with Vanity Fair, Favreau explains how the film pays tribute to the northern white rhino – a species that featured in the movie but became extinct during the course of filming. 

‘A sense of responsibility’

“Hopefully having these images so realistic, and for kids to see it for the first time, they may develop a relationship and feel a sense of responsibility to help protect this [world],” Favreau said.

“The fact that technology can make it look so photo-real, it becomes harder and harder to make a case that you need to actually put animals in danger when making movies.”

The director also describes how Walt Disney brought live animals onto set for animators to sketch when creating the film Bambi – but explains that it’s not necessary due to the internet. 

“You have libraries and libraries of footage of animals sop you have all the reference you could ever want.”

Animals in film

While the Lion King avoided using real-life animals, Hao Ning’s film Crazy Alien was slammed last year after whistleblower footage showed a young German shepherd locked in a cage being suspended in the air, spun around on a crane, and then plunged into a river.

A log, written by the whistleblower, says: “On November 28, 2017 I witnessed first hand one of the worst animal cruelty acts I have ever seen.

“The second the dog cage rose into the air the dog stopped barking instantly as the cables were used to spin the cage out of control in circles. …The director took many takes and this was just awful to witness as the torment went on.

“[T]he cage was completely submerged with the dog in it landing in a 10mph current. After five-eight seconds the director yelled out ‘cut’. … A final decision was made by the director to shoot a second identical take. I could not believe my eyes.”

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