Between the recent Aladdin remake, casting news about The Little Mermaid, and The Lion King's impending July 19 release, the Disney of the past is making a comeback. That's why, when Bustle Editor Mallory Carra sat down with the cast of the new Lion King remake at the movie's LA press junket, she challenged their knowledge of some of the most well-known songs in the Disney musical canon. Presented with a partial lyric, cast members Alfre Woodard (Sarabi), Chiwetel Ejiofor (Scar), Seth Rogen (Pumbaa), and Billy Eichner (Timon), and director Jon Favreau had to complete it correctly. It's like The Singing Bee, except nobody's sent home if they get it wrong.
Some of the Lion King crew had a little more trouble than others, but there are a few delightful surprises, including Rogen angling for some extra credit by taking Eichner's answer to one of the more difficult Little Mermaid lyrics ("I've got gadgets and gizmos aplenty... I've got whozits and whatzits galore!") and tacking on the next line ("You want thingamabobs? I got twenty!"). Ejiofor and Woodard request their clues be sung to them, which is actually fair. And though Favreau struggles a bit, he claims that he knows the lyrics well enough to fake it during a karaoke session.
The Lion King songs they pretty much have down, of course. The new film includes versions of all the Elton John and Tim Rice songs you know from the 1994 animated original, including "Hakuna Matata," "Can You Feel the Love Tonight?," "I Just Can't Wait to Be King," "Be Prepared," and "The Circle of Life."
That said, there's plenty of new music to enjoy as well, including tracks from some of the legendary artists who helped make the original soundtrack as great as it still is. John and Rice teamed back up with a new song titled, "Never Too Late," which plays over the movie's end credits. And Hans Zimmer, who composed the original score, returns with a handful of new pieces.
And there's Lion King star Beyoncé (Nala), of course, with "Spirit," a track that appears both on the official soundtrack and another Lion King-inspired album she's curating, titled The Lion King: The Gift. (That album comes out the same day as the film.) "Spirit" fits well with the rest of the movie's score, but there's a Beyoncé edge to the proceedings, one that sets it apart without making it feel totally out of place. The piano and the choral backing vocals give it a cinematic air, and the lyrics are uplifting, speaking to the major Lion King themes of The Lion King of growth and living up to grand expectations.
If The Lion King's July 19 release seems too far away, the good news is that the soundtrack's already available to stream online in its entirety. Sure, you probably know the original album well enough to ace a quiz like this one, but the new musical goodies in this new film ought to please any longtime Lion King fan.