Beyonce was more than just Nala’s voice and an original songwriter for the photorealistic animated film The Lion King. She also curated The Lion King: The Gift features new songs inspired by the film and “Spirit” from the soundtrack. The “sonic album,” as she called it, was a unique visual way of storytelling. And now she will release Black Is King new visual album that will reimagine the lessons of The Lion King, on Disney+ at the end of July.
Disney+ released a teaser trailer that gives us a sneak preview of Black Is King, directed, written and executive produced by Beyonce. “Black Is King” is a celebratory memoir for the world on the Black experience. It is described as a film story for the ages that informs and rebuilds the present—a reunion of cultures and shared generational beliefs. A story of how the people left most broken has an extraordinary gift and a purposeful future.
Here’s the official plot synopsis for Black Is King:
This visual album from Beyoncé reimagines the lessons of “The Lion King” for today’s young kings and queens in search of their own crowns. The film was in production for one year with a cast and crew that represent diversity and connectivity.
The voyages of Black families, throughout time, are honored in a tale about a young king’s transcendent journey through betrayal, love, and self-identity. His ancestors help guide him toward his destiny, and with his father’s teachings and guidance from his childhood love, he earns the virtues needed to reclaim his home and throne.
These timeless lessons are revealed and reflected through Black voices of today, now sitting in their own power. “Black Is King” is an affirmation of a grand purpose, with lush visuals that celebrate Black resilience and culture. The film highlights the beauty of tradition and Black excellence.
There is no doubt that Black is King draws its influence from The Lion King. The striking imagery tells us that the film will have a more grounded feel, while also feeling visceral.
But the one thing that struck me was the incredibly ethereal visuals that blend colors, culture, and celestial beings beautifully.
Black is King debuts exclusively on Disney+ on July 31, 2020.