The Lion King: A Case Study

Member News  |  06 August 2019

Technicolor, owners of MPC Film, have published an extensive case study page on MPC Film’s work on Disney’s The Lion King, featuring interviews, stills, visual effects breakdowns, and more.

The Lion King (2019) © Walt Disney Studios. All rights reserved. VFX by MPC Film.

Read all about MPC Film’s work on this summer’s box office record-breaking Disney’s The Lion King in exquisite detail on Technicolor’s dedicated Case Study page released today, with interviews from MPC VFX Supervisor Elliot Newman, Overall VFX Supervisors Adam Valdez and Rob Legato, VFX breakdowns, stills from the film, and more.


“Jon wanted to create an experience where you forgot you were watching something created, a new connection to the story through a documentary-style sense of reality. Accomplishing his vision to make something that looked entirely believable as the real thing – not abstract or stylized – required that we be true in terms of representing Kenya; in giving it enough detail that you fall into that magical sweet spot between ‘I know this isn’t real’ but somehow ‘I believe it.’ That was our mission.”

MPC VFX Supervisor Adam Valdez
The Lion King (2019) © Walt Disney Studios. All rights reserved. VFX by MPC Film.

“For me in charge of the sets, the main goal was to replicate the natural environment in such a way that the audience believes they are in Africa on the savannah. Traveling to Africa was important to that goal. It created a common experience that enabled me to understand exactly what James Chinlund (the production designer) wanted to achieve in terms of sets and environments. It built a common memory of spaces, so that when Caleb Deschanel (the cinematographer) references the light halfway up Mount Kenya, everybody remembers exactly what he’s talking about.”

MPC’s Audrey Ferrara, DFX Supervisor
The Lion King (2019) © Walt Disney Studios. All rights reserved. VFX by MPC Film.

” MPC helped build the tools for virtual production, which is a technique that we innovated for The Lion King, using a game engine platform to emulate live action film production in a VR space – even though the film is completely digitally rendered, every environment is made digitally by the artists at MPC, and every character is keyframe animated. The tools were being refined constantly; it was a real learning process all the way through. And now MPC has a suite of tools that are available to any filmmaker based on the innovations that we made on The Lion King.”

Jon Favreau, Director, The Lion King

Read in full on Technicolor’s Case Study page

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