The Lion King Reo Māori roars at the silver screen premiere

updated By Stefan Dimitrof

The Māori version of Disney's The Lion King premiered last night at Auckland's Civic Theatre.

This isn’t the first time a Disney film has been translated into Māori, with Moana being dubbed into Māori in 2017.

Producer Chelsea Winstanley told Te Ao Māori News this project was a dream come true.

“We had this dream back in 2016 to re-imagine films for our babies so they could go into public spaces and theatres and see themselves and hear their reo on the screen.”

Producer Tweedie Waititi said that there was a difference between translating movies and Disney movies.

“Disney movies have whanau appeal so that works well for our reo.”

“Because of all of the magic that Tweedie and the team did back in Moana that made it much easier to convince the funders,”  Winstanley said.

Tuterangi Ruha, the Māori voice of young Simba, was excited about being a part of the event and working for The Lion King team: “It was super fun meeting other people, they were fun, they played fun, they acted fun.”

Pere Wihongi said one of the major challenges of creating a reo Māori translation of The Lion King was the translation of the songs.

“It was our duty to maintain the same sonic sound to the placements in the songs so that we aren’t changing the melody for translation. 'Can you feel the love tonight- that is seven syllables, so the challenge was finding the words to fit in those seven syllables.”