But we can stop worrying about the film, folks, because we’ve heard a bit of the highly anticipated Donald Glover/Beyoncé version of Elton John’s ‘Can You Feel The Love Tonight’ and it is glorious.
We already knew Queen Bey was going to knock it out of the park with Nala’s speaking voice, but hearing her and Childish Gambino’s vocals join forces immediately elevates ‘Can You Feel The Love Tonight’ from iconic to greatest Disney song of all time.
It’s only 30 seconds and it sounds basically what you’d think it would, but that’ll definitely help hold us over until The Lion King releases on July 19. As far as new versions of iconic Disney songs go, it’s definitely a step up from the live-action Aladdin‘s version of ‘Friend Like Me‘ so things are looking (and sounding) promising.
If The Lion King is able to pull off a new version of ‘Can You Feel The Love Tonight’ this well, then I have high hopes for Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen’s version of ‘Hakuna Matata’, Chiwetel Ejiofor’s take on ‘Be Prepared’ and whatever John Oliver got up his sleeve for Zazu’s ‘I’ve Got A Lovely Bunch Of Coconuts’.
Toy Story 4 Gave Woody The Redemption Arc He Deserved After All This Time
It's taken 24 years and four movies but it was worth the wait.
SPOILERS AHEAD FOR TOY STORY 4!
YOU’VE BEEN WARNED!
After some worries that Toy Story 4 couldn’t possibly live up to the hype, especially after the seemingly perfect conclusion we got in Toy Story 3, I’m pleased – and relieved – to say that 4 is simply fantastic.
But perhaps the biggest surprise of the film was Woody‘s character arc. For all his positive qualities, he can a bit of a selfish jerk at times. It’s a testament to Tom Hanks‘ voice acting that he can somehow make a flawed character like Woody as likable as he is.
In a bit of a surprise move from Pixar, Toy Story 4 not only holds Woody accountable for being a jerk, it digs into just why he is one before giving him a big redemptive arc that’s been 24 years in the making.
Woody’s motivation for the entire series has always revolved around “being there for Andy/Bonnie” and it’s caused him to do some questionable stuff, like pushing Buzz out a window in Toy Story and tagging along with Bonnie to kindergarten after being told by everyone not to do it in Toy Story 4.
After spending a good chunk of 4 trying to recklessly get Forky back to Bonnie and causing some serious danger to his friends, Bo Peep finally does what some people have been waiting to do for years and calls Woody out on his behaviour.
But rather than shy away from the possibility of making their beloved protagonist unlikable, Pixar gives Woody a rare moment of painful self-realisation when he admits he acts the way he does because “being there for Andy/Bonnie” is the only purpose he has in life.
With that cathartic moment, Woody’s behaviour suddenly makes so much more sense. After all, haven’t we had moments where we do some questionable thing in an attempt to keep hold of something that makes us happy or gives our lives meaning?
All the cooked stuff he’s done remains unexcusable of course, but we finally get some understanding of why his jerkish side sometimes comes out. Who would’ve thought that toys could go through relatable existential crises like that?
And with that realisation, Woody earns his big redemptive arc at the climax: He manages to let go of his hang up over Andy/Bonnie by saying goodbye to Buzz and the rest of his gang so he can go be a free toy with Bo Peep.
Toy Story 4 represents something of a paradigm shift for the series but it is also something of a natural conclusion to Woody’s story. It remains to be seen whether or not we’ll get Toy Story 5 in 10 years time, but having Woody ride off in the sunset alongside Bo Beep after finally getting over Andy feels like a pretty damn perfect ending already.
Beyoncé's Fierce Nala Voice In This New Lion King Clip Has Us Feeling Like Destiny’s Children
Come for Beyoncé's voice, stay for Timon and Pumbaa.
But it seems like we might be overreacting a little bit because Disney have dropped a new clip showcasing Beyoncé as Nala for the first time and it’s enough to wash away any doubts we may have about the film. Well most of them, the lip-synching still weirds me out a bit.
Hearing Beyoncé’s soothing voice telling Simba he has to “come home” to take his rightful place as king is pure bliss and it demonstrates just why she is the queen of everything right now.
It’s not just Beyoncé who is bringing out all the big guns for The Lion King as Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen also kill it in their brief few seconds as Timon and Pumbaa.
Look, I won’t make you wait any longer, just watch it right here.
You may have several thoughts – some of which may be disturbingly thirsty – about The Lion King but there’s no denying that it has assembled a top-tier voice cast. Hey, when you remake one of the greatest animated films of all time, you might as well go all in by casting the biggest stars on this green(ish) earth.
And just to throw a little tantalising thought into the discussion, the movie will almost certainly have a new version of ‘Can You Feel The Love Tonight?’ that features Donald Glover and Beyoncé singing to each other.
Now that alone is worth the price of admission. July 19. Save the date.