Mufasa: The Lion King Director Responds to Criticism Prequel Is Part of a “Soulless Machine”

Academy Award and Independent Spirit Award-winning filmmaker Barry Jenkins found himself embroiled in discussions with Twitter users after posting the Mufasa: The Lion King trailer on social media. When criticized for working on a Disney franchise movie, Jenkins defended The Lion King’s artistic merits. However, the discussions reached a point where Jenkins was compelled to withdraw from the conversation, as he felt overwhelmed by the intensity of the online discourse.

Anthony Ali, a writer featured in “MacLean’s,” claimed that he interviewed Jenkins during the premiere of “Moonlight” at TIFF and asserted that Jenkins would not have made the statement he did about not working on kid-centric projects at that time. In response, Jenkins shared various children-oriented projects he had created and posted online during the time he was developing “Moonlight.”

“For decades, children worldwide have experienced collective grief and engaged with Shakespeare through ‘The Lion King,’ transcending language barriers in theaters. It remains a powerful catalyst for communal empathy.”

Both Krystian, who advocates for David Zaslav’s firing and the release of “Coyote vs. Acme,” and Ali criticized Jenkins’ collaboration with Disney. Ali contends that “Disney stifles creative expression by prioritizing financial motives, limiting children’s imaginations with its paywall model.”

At some point, Jenkins abruptly ended the conversation, informing Ali that he was returning to work.

Disney has faced criticism before, and the live-action prequel, Mufasa, has also received its share. However, this criticism overlooks the potential for success in seemingly unoriginal projects. Films like The LEGO Movie, Barbie, and the sequel to Puss in Boots have proven that unexpected elements can create critically and commercially successful films.

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