The legendary musician, who composed the soundtrack for Disney's original animated film in 1994, didn't hold back his bad feelings about the way his music was incorporated on the soundtrack for the 2019 motion picture — and event went as far as dubbing the project a failure.
"The new version of The Lion King was a huge disappointment to me, because I believe they messed the music up," the 72-year-old performer told British GQ. "Music was so much a part of the original and the music in the current film didn't have the same impact. The magic and joy were lost."
Even with the addition of hip-hop heavyweight Donald Glover and a vocal powerhouse like Beyonce, John ultimately believed the production, which was managed by Pharrell Williams this time around, evoked little to be admired.
"The soundtrack hasn't had nearly the same impact in the charts that it had 25 years ago, when it was the bestselling album of the year," John explained. "The new soundtrack fell out of the charts so quickly, despite the massive box-office success."
What's more, John added that the newcomers apparently didn't involve him in the experience as much as he'd hoped. "I wish I'd been invited to the party more, but the creative vision for the film and its music was different this time around and I wasn't really welcomed or treated with the same level of respect," he said. "That makes me extremely sad. I'm so happy that the right spirit for the music lives on with the 'Lion King' stage musical."
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