With Disney's 'Lion King Reo Māori' about to hit cinemas in time for Matariki later this month, we've been given a behind-the-scenes look at the actors laying down their voice tracks, and it's got us even more hyped for the release.
Tuterangi Ruha will be playing the loveable, troublemaking young Simba in the film, here’s him singing part of ‘I Just Can’t Wait to Be King’ beautifully in Te Reo. Tuterangi’s iwi is Ngāti Porou.
Next up is Te Haakura Ihimaera-Manly, who will be playing young Naala, and she sounds awesome as well. How good is it to see some young Māori talent working together on such a massive Disney film!
Timon is voiced by Justin Rogers. He will be singing, laughing, and of course talking as the crack-up meerkat. Justin is a descendant of Ngā Puhi and has done a lot of work in theatre.
Timon’s sidekick Pumba is played by Mātai Whetu Ra, who also works as a teacher. His voice in Te Reo is perfect for Pumba. We can’t wait to hear him and Justin chop it up as Timon and Pumba.
Mataara Stokes will play the adult version of the prince of the pride lands - Simba. He’s also one of the choir singers for the film, and here he is putting his amazing voice to work to sing Hakuna Matata.
Arihia Cassidy will be voicing Nala. Here’s a small clip of her singing ‘Can You Feel the Love Tonight’ from the original film in Te Reo.
The king of the pride lands Mufasa will be played by Piripi Taylor. You may recognise his voice from TV and radio, as he's been a reporter/presenter for Te Kāea since 2006. A great choice for a powerful character.
We are so pumped to see the Te Reo version of the legendary film and hear all the awesome songs in our beautiful language.
It's set to come out in cinemas on the 23rd of June, and will also be out on Disney+ later in the year.