It only took 90 seconds for fans to notice that the first teaser for The Lion King‘s remake is a condensed replica of the animated film’s opening scene — a realization that instantly sparked side-by-side comparisons and later, questions as to whether the carbon copy loses some of the magic of the original.
But Disney wants us all to know that the Jon Favreau-directed Lion King is not going to be exactly like the 1994 version we know and love, and the proof lies in a brand new character: an elephant shrew, voiced by Amy Sedaris.
The native African mammal is a tiny addition — elephant shrews look way more ‘shrew’ than they do ‘elephant’ — but as we know from the established lore, physical stature is no indication of importance to the kingdom. (Just look at Zazu!) Still, given that the species can survive in a variety of habitats, there’s no way of knowing (yet) where Sedaris’s shrew will enter or just how much of the story she’ll affect.
The comedian joins an already-stellar cast list, including Donald Glover as Simba, Beyoncé as Nala, James Earl Jones reprising his role as Mufasa, John Oliver, Seth Rogen, Billy Eichner, Keegan-Michael Key, Eric Andre, and more.
If the hype behind the teaser trailer is any indication, The Lion King is guaranteed to be a massive success. Within a day of its Thanksgiving debut, the preview amassed 224.6 million views, surpassing the record previously held by Avengers: Infinity War for Disney’s most viewed trailer in its first 24 hours.
If you are not counted among the 224.6 million viewers, check out the first teaser for The Lion King above. The movie hits theaters July 19, 2019.