‘Mufasa: The Lion King’ Teaser: Barry Jenkins Takes Us Back To The Pride Lands In Disney’s Musical Prequel

Barry Jenkins probably isn’t the first name one would think of to lead a Disney blockbuster, a prequel to an already-established hit. The acclaimed filmmaker behind If Beale Street Could Talk, Moonlight, and series The Underground Railroad is known for such award-winning dramas, and now he brings that gift to Mufasa: The Lion King, which tells the story of rival kin Mufasa and Scar before the events of 1994’s The Lion King and Jon Favreau’s live-action remake.

Whatever your thoughts on Favreau’s version, the photorealistic imagery probably isn’t one of them. The incredible visuals return as you can see from the newly-released teaser, which features the return of Seth Rogen, Billy Eichner, and John Kani as the voices of Pumbaa, Timon, and Rafiki respectively. Kelvin Harrison Jr. voices the young Scar, with Aaron Pierre as the voice of Mufasa.

Here’s the full breakdown of the voice cast:

Aaron Pierre as Mufasa
Kelvin Harrison Jr. as Taka, a lion prince with a bright future who accepts Mufasa into his family as a brother
Tiffany Boone as Sarabi
Kagiso Lediga as Young Rafiki
Preston Nyman as Zazu
Mads Mikkelsen as Kiros, a formidable lion with big plans for his pride
Thandiwe Newton as Taka’s mother, Eshe
Lennie James as Taka’s father, Obasi
Anika Noni Rose as Mufasa’s mother, Afia
Keith David as Mufasa’s father, Masego
John Kani as Rafiki
Seth Rogen as Pumbaa
Billy Eichner as Timon
Donald Glover as Simba
Introducing Blue Ivy Carter as Kiara, daughter of King Simba and Queen Nala
And Beyoncé Knowles-Carter as Nala

The musical drama has a script by Jeff Nathanson, who penned the most recent Lion King movie, as well.

Here’s the synopsis: “Mufasa: The Lion King” enlists Rafiki to relay the legend of Mufasa to young lion cub Kiara, daughter of Simba and Nala, with Timon and Pumbaa lending their signature schtick. Told in flashbacks, the story introduces Mufasa as an orphaned cub, lost and alone until he meets a sympathetic lion named Taka—the heir to a royal bloodline. The chance meeting sets in motion an expansive journey of an extraordinary group of misfits searching for their destiny—their bonds will be tested as they work together to evade a threatening and deadly foe.

Mufasa: The Lion King hits theaters on December 20th. It’s got big shoes to fill as Favreau’s movie bucked mixed reviews and earned $1.6B worldwide.

Travis Hopson
Travis Hopson has been reviewing movies before he even knew there was such a thing. Having grown up on a combination of bad '80s movies, pro wrestling, comic books, and hip-hop, Travis is uniquely positioned to geek out on just about everything under the sun. A vampire who walks during the day and refuses to sleep, Travis is the co-creator and lead writer for Punch Drunk Critics. He is also a contributor to Good Morning Washington, WBAL Morning News, and WETA Around Town. In the five minutes a day he's not working, Travis is also a voice actor, podcaster, and Twitch gamer. Travis is a voting member of the Critics Choice Association (CCA), Washington DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), and Late Night programmer for the Lakefront Film Festival.