Elton John Slams ‘The Lion King’ Remake: “They Messed The Music Up”

Published: Tuesday 15th Oct 2019 by Sam

The live-action remake of ‘The Lion King’ may have impressed the masses and gone on to become one of the most successful movies of all-time, but one person who isn’t impressed is Elton John. 

An integral component of the original (and subsequent stage show), the legend was tapped to contribute to the soundtrack for the 2019 incarnation.

Yet, in a new interview, he reveals that he was far from happy with the end-product.

See what the outspoken star had to say below…

Speaking with GQ, he said of Jon Favreau film:

“The new version of The Lion King was a huge disappointment to me, because I believe they messed the music up. 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. 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. The new soundtrack fell out of the charts so quickly, despite the massive box-office success. 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. That makes me extremely sad. I’m so happy that the right spirit for the music lives on with the Lion King stage musical.”

On the one hand, in such a PC era, it’s refreshing to see an artist so unwavering in their position of keeping it real at all times. A trait Sir Elton is regally renown for.

And, in probing his comments, it’s hard to deny much of what he said when it comes to the commercial performance (or lackthereof) of the movie’s music.

That said, it’s not like his song was anything to scream about. It was actually one of the weaker tracks on the project. Perhaps, he wanted the experience to mirror his involvement in the 1994 film, which saw him anchor more songs?

So one has to wonder whether that’s the source of his angst or whether he’s just being frank about the behind the scenes process of piecing together the project; a process only a select few were privy to.

All that aside, his comments do make for interesting debate:

Could and should ‘The Lion King’ soundtrack have been approached differently?

From our vantage point, it’s clear the interest in the film ultimately ended up being more rooted in millennial nostalgia about the story than a hunger for re-do’s of old songs.

As such, perhaps it would have benefitted to conjure up a soundtrack of mainly new songs with the inclusion of the core ‘Lion King’ cuts to satisfy all. With the most logical revision being to have Beyonce‘s companion project ‘The Gift’ instead function as the main soundtrack – of course with a few tweaks to render it more palatable to the masses.

Because, in looking at how effectively ‘A Star Is Born’ – for example – managed to create a mutually beneficial relationship between the on-screen story and the newly created music (which very much drove each other), aspects of ‘The Lion King’ 2019 do feel like a missed opportunity comparatively.

Enough of our ranting, though. What are…

Your thoughts?

[Photo Credit: GQ / David LaChappelle]

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  1. aj October 15, 2019

    He ain’t that wrong…

    Beyawnce ruined the film and made it all about her.

    • Namo October 16, 2019

      Absolutely, thank you.

  2. niki October 15, 2019

    exactly !Beyonce is all about her!She ruined the movie in my opinion at least in commercial side.
    I m a fan of the movie but this time everything was all about her and not the movie ..
    like she always do ..her name in front of everything.Thats not what big artists do.I m sorry

  3. Nw October 15, 2019

    I think people are exaggerating. I also think Disney didn’t promote this like they did frozen. It’s almost like people aren’t happy that he music wasn’t westernized enough!! The songs were great ?? and authentic to the trends of afrobeats other genres etc

    And today’s black/mixed/brown demographic has been dumbed down
    To really only support a certain sound hence Cardi and or Travis Scott

    I mean people was lying saying all African artists are homophobic but when a certain rapper made a “q****” reference eyes blind turned. We really have selective support lying saying beyond made the movie all about her no she didn’t. I could see if y’all said that about Dreamgirls.

    • Clarkson October 15, 2019

      Shut up.
      I knew u were going to play the race card

      Kendrick Lamar black panther album had African influence in it and it sound amazingly. 2 top ten hits, nominated for album of the year etc.
      All the stars is basically an African tribal song,
      The one with the weeknd Is also an African tribal song.

      Disney promoted the hell out of the soundtrack.
      British royals ( harry and meghan) attended the movie premiere in the uk and met beyonce and Jay z, what more promo do u need.
      The sound track sold 900 copies in the UK, how embarrassing is that. Even Robin Thicke Paula sold more copies than this soundtrack.

      Those songs were unlistenable, noisy and stupid.
      Beyonce isnt a producer or a mixer or a songwriter and it showed on this album. Non of the genres blended.

    • Danny Bey October 15, 2019

      Thank you. People are overreacting simply bc they were skeptical of the remake from the jump. And you hit it. And tho I liked the soundtrack, I mean what else can you do to the original songs?, I don’t hear Elton his actual contribution to the soundtrack, which no one really cared for. She’s been running her mouth a lot lately like an old tired queen and I’m kind of over it.

  4. A-natural October 15, 2019

    From the off notes in “I Just Can’t Wait to be King” to the lack of actual singing in “Be Prepared” to them mixing different sections of the score around and ultimately changing the moods of different scenes….they definitely missed the mark. And none of that had to do with Beyonce.

    The Gift soundtrack stood well on its own outside of the movie and as a companion piece made sense. But the focus of this masterpiece to shift towards Beyonce coupled with soooo many changes in the main musical score killed for me.

    If I had my way, they simply should’ve re-released the original movie in theaters with some of the original songs simply re-sung on a companion soundtrack (not in the movie) and The Gift as a bonus inspired by album. They did similar things with The Prince of Egypt which had 3 soundtracks: Songs and Score from the movie, the Gospel Inspired Soundtrack (Whitney & Mariah, Boyz II Men, Take 6), and the Country Soundtrack. They all sold amazingly well!!!

  5. Unnatural October 15, 2019

    ?????thank you mr Elton. The movie was also straight garbage. It made money but not because it had any heart. And beyonce making that extra soundtrack was unnecessary as Africa is only where the story took place but it was not what story is about. The story was about a boy and his father. Yes the song were ok but it had nothing to so with the movie. And then she went and did a documentary on it. Talk about clueless.

    • Danny Bey October 15, 2019

      You sound dumb. The Gift told the story while using authentic African music and artists. Did you even listen to the album? You must be white

      • Shayla Queen October 16, 2019

        How is Brown Skin Girl related to a story about a LION taking his dead father’s throne? ? You reach too hard I can’t

  6. Mike October 15, 2019

    He ain’t lying! I saw the broadway musical in New York recently and it’s just musically so much better than what they did with this new 2019 movie!

  7. Pat October 15, 2019

    The soundtrack for this movie should not have went to an aging dance diva who hasnt had a smash hit or hit ballad in years. Disney got caught up in thehype and watched it flop

    • Rosy October 15, 2019

      With her dry and tired voice Beyoncé is narcissistic and clueless her voice is horrible

  8. Dc October 15, 2019

    Agree and Beyoncé fake African soundtrack was terrible and flopped hard they thought spirit would be a smash ??

  9. Nevrforget October 15, 2019

    No lies detected. Not only did she mess it up and cheapen the movie but she helped the entire production flop
    # never forget

    • Justme October 15, 2019

      How when she was only in two songs on the soundtrack.. stop reaching ugly

    • Paulo October 15, 2019

      “The entire production flop” how when it’s at a billion in the box office already? ? sit down

  10. Clarkson October 15, 2019

    One word ,BEYONCE.
    Love letter to Africa my black àss.
    She’s not a genius the way the media portrays her to be.

    “The new soundtrack fell out of the charts so quickly, ”

    Lool . Beyonce doesn’t sell records. Her fans always claim she’s an album seller, but she’s NOT.

    She released a whole documentary on how the album was made and the album didnt even jump back into the top 10 on the charts.

    stupid dated songs like mood for eva and brown skin girl, lol.

    Lady gaga’s a star is born soundtrack has sold 5 million copies and the album is still in the top 50 today.

    • Nicky October 15, 2019

      When has a Beyonce era flopped pea brain?

      Not a soundtrack or collab album

      Worry about the Camicky b I t c h. ?

      • Clarkson October 15, 2019

        Keep denying the flop albums dumb àss

        Everything is love
        The fifth
        These are all beyonce albums. U cant deny these flops. Lol

        Cheek to cheek by Tony Bennett and lady gaga, is counted as a lady gaga album.

        The black panther album is counted as a Kendrick Lamar album

        The bodyguard soundtrack is counted as a whitney Houston album. She even won album of the year for this album.

    • XYZ October 15, 2019

      She was an album seller. But I have the feeling people lost interest. And actually, personally, I did. She seems so full of herself these days and really seems to think she is some kind of goddess, when in real talk her music is just subpar. The album with jay was meh and the gift was like a present you just keep to give it away on some cousins birthday.

      • Maxx October 15, 2019

        Ha! ‘The Gift’ is actually only good for that …a stocking stuffer gift…Well I knew immediately once they announced Beyoncé was going to be in it, it lost all it’s credibility to me. I am glad it made money, but I haven’t even seen it yet because I am just so tired of Beyoncé & her trying to hard to be ‘magical’. Girl stop…get a clue from Rihanna & try to just be ‘REAL’

  11. Clivyoubadboy October 15, 2019

    Beyflop ruined this movie all around tbh. Tf were they thinking using some washed up flop who had some succsess in the 90’s by being the daughter of her groups manger

  12. Nw October 15, 2019

    I definitely think Clarkson is a paid staffer planted here to cause drama in the comments section

    • only facts October 15, 2019

      I second this.

    • @ss October 15, 2019

      We been knew

  13. King of Kingz October 15, 2019

    ?You hating ass h*** are confusing the actual offical movie soundtrack & the GIFT, he’s talking about the movie soundtrack which sold less then the Gift. The gift will be bringing home Grammys & ya’ll haters can stay pressed

    • Shayla Queen October 15, 2019

      You h*** can’t make up your damn mind! When The Gift flopped HARD, you were calling it a SOUNDTRACK. Now The Lion King SOUNDTRACK is getting dragged, you’re saying The Gift is NOT a soundtrack? So you’re admitting it’s an actual FLOP album of her’s now?! ???

      • Danny Bey October 15, 2019

        Are you dense? She’s saying the article is talking about the actual LION KING soundtrack with the original songs from the film. The Gift is also a SOUNDTRACK but that is not what’s being discussed. Y’all get stupid whenever Beyoncé is the topic of conversation

    • only facts October 15, 2019

      Did you read the article? He is definitely talking about The Gift.

  14. only facts October 15, 2019

    I’m a Beyoncé fan, but I agree with Elton. I don’t like any of the songs on Lion King: The Gift. The visuals were stunning, but the songs were…not it. It pains me to say this, but I do believe Beyoncé needs to bring Matthew back into her camp because he has the ear for a hit…she unfortunately doesn’t. And this is NOT shade to Bey because I’m a fan.

    • XYZ October 15, 2019

      Actually Beyonce always had a good team. She had the best people surrounding her and they made her, because she herself is not all that.

      • Jeans October 15, 2019

        That is true! Beyonce has a great team. On her own, she is not all that hunty

  15. Jasmine The Real Princess October 15, 2019

    That rant over fücking Beyoncé LMAO

    Just get over it. 9k King was a FLOP the Music sucked and Beyoncé is old fat and ugly

    • Kennedy October 15, 2019

      “Old fat and ugly”..that sounds like your mother. With fat and ugly defining you as well lol.

      • Strawberry October 15, 2019

        Wow, Don’t we all wish we could be Old, fat & Ugly LIKE THAT. And don’t forget RICH !!!

      • Jasmine The Real Princess October 15, 2019

        Yes!!! We all want a cheating ass husband and ugly kids like bey as well ?

  16. Jasmine The Real Princess October 15, 2019

    Im still mad they turned Nala into an illiterate lioness

  17. Nw October 15, 2019

    Disney didn’t promote Lion King the way they did Frozen. Beyonce’s Position was over what Kendrick Lamar contributed to black panther. The songs are actually really great like Tiwa Savage Keys to the Kingdom, Beyoncé ft Shakra Wale, Burma Noy etc. It was authentic and I do believe if this were the 90s early 2000s the soundtrack would have gotten more support.

    It’s weird that Disney would promote the Let it Go singer with live performances etc. Beyoncé didn’t perform live the only real promo was an interview and movie premiere that’s normally not how Beyoncé is promoted. She again normally has live performances of some sort. But Disney is supposed to be working with her on future projects so hopefully that will do well cause seems people are happy this didn’t chart well but luv Cardi on this site
    People were happy to see lizzo get knocked from #1 saying she was getting cocky but luv Cardi. Complain about Normani for mediocrity but praise Camilla Cabello

    • Clarkson October 15, 2019

      Excuses excuses excuses

      Disney didn’t do this , Disney didn’t do that. Yawn

      Why is it that when black people fail they start calling racism and playing the race card. When normani flops u guys are going to do the same thing, play the race card. I wonder what excuses u will come up with.

      Idina menzel didnt meet the British royal couple at the movie premiere but frozen soundtrack sold like hot cake and let it go hit number 2 for several weeks cause the sound track was made by professionals and had a lot of heart and soul in the songs and album.

      Kendrick Lamar didnt promote the black panther album soundtrack but the album did well. Hit number 1 on the album charts.
      He was nominated for an oscar but he didnt even attend, same thing at the Grammys. He was nominated in several categories and he disnt even attend or perform but the album still sold alot of copies.

      Stop making excuses.

      Lion king is a well known movie already, it has a fan base, there’s no excuse for the album to sell 900 copies in the UK.
      It was a bad album thanks to beyonce.

      Arianna Grande Charlie Angel’s soundtrack will sell more than the gift which is such a shame and an embarrassment to beyonce.

  18. OOPS October 15, 2019

    Elton is shaking his wig on everyone, but the music did suck

  19. Mermaid Galore October 15, 2019

    buuuuuuut…..Elton was right there working with them on the music for the current version sooooo he can sit back and he the messy diva he is.

  20. only facts October 15, 2019

    I’m laughing at how messy Elton is. He is using this to promote his book that comes out this week.

    Side note: Speaking of soundtracks flopping, I’m concerned for the Charlie’s Angels soundtrack after that lead single. I love Ariana Grande, but I’m concerned…

  21. Nw October 15, 2019

    I legit think that Clarkson and The jasmine are that grape juice staff or interns who are told to make negative comments especially about black female artists except Rihanna all to draw traffic to the site

    I wish that grape juice could disable the comments permanently but the seem to thrive on that

    Some commenters were happy that Lizzo isn’t #1 saying good she was getting too cocky Yikes crabs in the barrel. Now I could see if she called someone’s deceased child a m***** like Cardi did but some Stan’s have selective outrage and support cause people said Lizzo shaded iggy azalea

    Then a lot of Normani posts get Camilla Cabello mentions in the comments.

    It’s totally BIASED, again staffers I also think the record labels reach out to the blogs and tell them to have staff say the best about the token artists and drag specific artists

    • Clarkson October 15, 2019

      Yes, when u dont like hearing the truth, u ask the moderator to block the people who are speaking the truth.

      This is why trump won the election.
      Facebook, Twitter, YouTube were deleting truthful comments attacking Hillary Clinton and people didnt like it.

      A black artiste dethroned lizzo
      Travis is a streaming giant that’s why he was able to knock lizzo off not because of Iggy

      A lot of Rihanna post get beyonce comments and vice versa.
      A lot of cardi b posts get nicki comments.
      I dont understand what ur whining about.

      Beyonce is not a good musician.

      If Rihanna curated this lion king album, trust me it will be a hit. Rihanna knows how to blend African sounds and dance hall and reagge sounds together, beyonce doesn’t. Rihanna has a good ear for a hit ,beyonce doesnt.

      • Strawberry October 15, 2019

        Wow. Y’all funny. The reason er’body so PRESSed over YONCE.. is cause she is the greatest artist of our generation. (with or WITHOUT a hit) ,and the greatest Female artist who EVER LIVED. PERIOD!! ..stay PRESSed. LOL! ## ALL HAIL THE QUEEN #BOW DOWN #Watch the MF THRONE!!**

    • Jasmine The Real Princess October 15, 2019

      Beyoncé is fat old and ugly ?

  22. XYZ October 15, 2019

    The music in the movie was actually kind of annoying and seemed forced. It did not suit the movie.

    And though being a massive success at the box office, I feel no need to watch the movie again. It has amazing opening scenes, but the lions were so real that they showcased no emotions. And that was the movie – soulless

  23. Jeans October 15, 2019

    Elton ain’t tell no lies! None of the new songs were memorable and The Gift wasn’t even necessary.

  24. Danny Bey October 15, 2019

    Where tf are y’all getting that he’s talking about The Gift? Y’all be so pressed to hate on Beyoncé you start thinking stupid. He’s clearly talking about the main soundtrack for the film, hence why he compare it to the musical which used the same songs. Not once did he mention Beyoncé yet here y’all are tryna connect the two. Dummies

    • only facts October 15, 2019

      “The new soundtrack fell out of the charts so quickly, despite the massive box-office success.”

      • Danny Bey October 15, 2019

        Again, where does it say THE GIFT dummy? The NEW soundtrack is the one with the original songs re-done, which did fall out the charts. You’re trying hard here and it’s not working

  25. Swirly October 15, 2019

    Elton is speaking on the actual soundtrack from the movie. THE ORIGINAL SONGS, not Beyoncé’s project. You trolls can’t wait to “drag” Bey but always end up looking stupid.

    • only facts October 15, 2019

      DID YOU READ THE ARTICLE?! “The new soundtrack fell out of the charts so quickly, despite the massive box-office success.” – Elton John

      He is referring to Lion King: The Gift…

      • Swirly October 15, 2019

        NO he is not. He’s clearly speaking about the actual soundtrack. Hence the Lion King Musical reference. They aren’t singing any Beyoncé songs….

    • Danny Bey October 15, 2019

      I swear they’re all DUMB AS ROCKS

      • Jasmine The Real Princess October 15, 2019

        That’s rich coming from dumbyonce fans lmaooo

      • Shayla Queen October 15, 2019

        Rocks don’t have brains DUH!

  26. JaZzy Da Bi Asian TGJ STAFF SUPPORT #TROLLminators October 15, 2019

    The music was good. The movie was good. Period.

  27. Nonya October 15, 2019

    Queen Bey has y’all BIG MAD! Y’all make her chuckle; stay in your struggle! ?

    • Kennedy October 15, 2019

      ? Exactly.

  28. Nw October 15, 2019

    Again I think Clarkson is a staffer that isn’t telling any truth just extremely Biased because that is what Clarkson’s higher ups enforce

    No point in having a comments section if it’s only going to be completely negative towards specific public figures and boasts up others.

    The album wasn’t just some “fake African” inspired concept. She could have worked with other artists but that didn’t happen. I think people want her to flop and boast over younger artists it’s ageism like Madonna said

    Just like people want Taylor Swift to flop she’s not new. Sadly people only wanna support ig and strip club culture type of artists but sometimes all that music jus sounds like a gmo version of drake and future hits

    Also people keep creating this narrative that Beyoncé feels she’s to good for everyone How because of song lyrics just because she is private doesn’t equate to that

    Social media makes consumers feel they are entitled to every aspect of your life and Beyoncé doesn’t really do interviews so they have something against her it

    She should have performed Spirit on the Good Morning America and some other songs at that made in America festival but I promise she probably will incorporate the gift into her next tour and people I think will eat it up like Coachella cause one thing Bey’s performances and brand highlight BLACK ARTISTRY

    • Shayla Queen October 15, 2019

      Beyoncé’s last three albums flopped. The Gift sold only 949 copies in the UK. Stating FACTS isn’t being biased. Get over your whining.

    • Shayla Queen October 15, 2019

      And YOU’RE the one being biased by only wanting to read POSITIVE comments about Beyoncé and to block any NEGATIVE ones. Fool.

  29. Danny Bey October 15, 2019

    If he were talking about Beyoncé’s project he would’ve explicitly said Beyoncé’s project. Elton doesn’t have an issue name dropping as you all have seen recently. But the idiot haters will try to turn this around and make this about her, yet, they all complain that they made TLK all about her.


    • Swirly October 15, 2019

      Okay!! Sir Elton is afraid of no one.

  30. stan October 15, 2019

    he’s not wrong

  31. ah October 15, 2019

    Well, yeah he’s not wrong. And his song wasn’t great, but it’s not like he had any involvement in the project. Prob did it in an hour and they were done with his contribution. It was a lot different during the original.

    And Can You Feel the Love Tonight became Beyonce’s song and not a love song between the two lions. But he’s not shading her album, but the Lion King OST.

  32. High Price October 15, 2019

    I BEEN SAID THIS!!!! He did not LIE! Where are the lies? I personally think it musically lacked SOUL.

  33. Paulo October 15, 2019

    I know some of the Hive will see this as an attack but he’s right. Disney should’ve allowed Bey’s original work to be properly incorporated into the film. The way they included Spirit in it was 0% organic. The idea of a separate album worked for Bey’s discography just fine but not for the movie legacy

  34. three October 15, 2019

    Agreed. Just watched the TLK 2019 a few days ago and the music was an afterthought, as opposed to the centerpiece. It was basically just filler. CGI was pretty good though.

  35. Sadie October 15, 2019

    Amen!!! I’ve watched it yesterday with my family and there was no spark, no magic, it was pretty boring and ironically enough, the two characters that”so terrible” , Timon and pumbaa, we’re actually this movie saving Grace. I hate that they cut the f****** hula dance and added that weak-ass beauty and the beast line in the movie??? The remake of beauty and the beast bombed all by itself, and then y’all want to be cheap and take the be our guest line? Terrible movie, glad I watched it on Showbox.

  36. Miss salt gawl October 15, 2019

    I liked the soundtrack album. I didn’t care for the music in the original. People are only slandering this movie because Beyoncé was in it. The gag is she was only in it for a total of 8 minutes.

  37. Sibongiseni October 16, 2019

    Firstly the whole Movie was bad. Its watchable if you have a few drinks and tissue paper. You begin to hate the movie as soon as the first important song is played. ( the Circul of life ) the voice used there was terrible as if they where trying to impress the judges from Idols. The most important parts of the movie where you see scores meeting action where left out. If you know the movie by heart you just fill up the songs as you go which was sad. Hans zimmer made the lion king Scores so powerful mixing African Language with his Composition was Magical. I hated the fact that they changed the script on * you are Mufasa’s Son * one epic scene that made the movie more heartfelt it got lost because one they changed the score two they changed the script. And then just as you think it’s all over they put Beyonces song in one of the changing parts of the movie Simba going back home. How can they scrap out hans Zimmer’s composition and add that Beyonce Song? Terrible thing to do. I can go on and on. Even with our very own John Kani he was to serious in playing Rafiki he didn’t do well for me. Either. This lion king was brilliant in animation but terrible on breaking the Magical world of the Lion King. I know whoopi Goldberg is not dead so why didn’t she play Shenzie? I’m glad I know the Original to this 2019 one. Dreams where crushed. Beyonce as Nala wasn’t the best choice either.

  38. i ain’t even LYING bOO October 16, 2019

    Hey Elton- queen please sit you & your wrinkled yt privilege down.

    1st- music doesnt sell the same way it did decades agao when your yt ass was tapped for a soundtrack about an African themed film.

    2nd- “The magic and joy were lost”. only yt people lost their “magic= yt priviledge” & “joy= yt priviledge”. the rest of us enjoyed tf out of the film, its soundtrack and Bey’s gift.

    3rd- Black lives, stories and most of all MUSIC, matter… fk you & your irrelevance sis

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