Disney's Lion King remake may have only just released its first teaser trailer, but that's enough to confirm the remake will fix the original movie's strangest inaccuracy - and its most laughable continuity error.

It may be hard to believe anything has been changed at all, since the new Lion King Trailer looks identical to the original. The truth is that most fans will have missed the correction in the new Lion King trailer, since most viewers probably never even noticed it was inaccurate to begin with. Simba and Mufasa may claim the movie's actual title, but in the long history of movie mistakes, it's Rafiki whose most famous errors are finally getting fixed.

Rafiki is No Longer a 'Mutant' Baboon

It's the creators of Rafiki, the savanna shaman who truly deserve the credit for these errors and inaccuracies, since the self-proclaimed "baboon" had to work with what the animators gave him. For starters: Rafiki isn't a baboon at all. That won't be a shock to anybody who has ever searched for photos of baboons online, and discovered that where Rafiki is brightly colored, most baboons are... well, bland by comparison. So why does Rafiki also refer to himself as a baboon in the actual movie, if he doesn't resemble one? The animators are partly to blame, but so is the system and science of identifying and labeling animals in the first place.

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To be perfectly clear, Rafiki is a mandrill, one of two species of Old World monkeys in the genus Mandrillus. From a scientific perspective, the mistake in The Lion King is easy to understand. Until the late 1980s mandrills were thought to belong to the same genus as baboons, before zoologists determined the relation between the two was tenuous enough to be inaccurate. They created the genus Mandrillus to acknowledge the distinction, but the Disney animators may not have gotten the memo when crafting Rafiki the mandrill... but they probably wouldn't have cared.

Where other characters in The Lion King are humanized forms of existing animals, and take the small liberties that entails, Rafiki was openly referred to as "a mutated mandrill," shaped to be more human-proportioned, and given a long, prehensile tail despite mandrills having only a small stub. Finally, it appears that director Jon Favreau and his animators have decided to right this weird, unsettling wrong, and un-mutate Rafiki back to the mandrill he should be. Since his colorful face is the defining feature, the rest of him adheres to real-life mandrills as well. His body and proportions reflect the real species, and shots of him atop Pride Rock show almost no tail visible whatsoever.

In the process, making it even more impossible for him to recreate the OTHER continuity mistake from the first Lion King, as well. But be warned: once you notice the impracticality of Pride Rock as it's depicted in the original Lion King, and the hilarious way Rafiki throws logic to the wind, there may be no way of un-seeing it...

Page 2 of 2: Lion King's Funniest Mistake is Fixed Already

Pride Rock Never Made Any Sense

Knowingly twisting nature and assuming audiences won't care is one thing. But in a movie filled with (understandable or minor) continuity errors, the scene opening on Pride Rock and Simba's presentation is a serious problem. Not concerning the safety of Rafiki outstretching a newborn over a cliffs edge, either. No, the issue is with the location itself. As the remake's trailer proved, Pride Rock is one of the most iconic locales in Disney movie history. Which is a shame, since examining more than one shot of it reveals that the animators may not have been completely clear on how the writing of the movie described its placement.

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For the most part, the logic gaps can be dismissed as forgivable mistakes, like Mufasa telling Simba of the danger to be found in the lands which the light can not touch - located to their right. A location he later refers to as being to the north of Pride Rock, when it should be south. But you don't need a compass to enjoy the most absurd Pride Rock moment, which comes in the very first scene. Before Simba appears, Mufasa makes it known he is king by proudly standing on the very tip of Pride Rock, stretching out dozens of feet into nothing but air below him... before the aging, hunched Rafiki climbs inexplicably from the smooth underside of the rock, directly in front of Mufasa.

When audiences notice the implication, and the establishing shots of Pride Rock before and after Rafiki's miraculous and unnecessary free climb, it makes for a good laugh. But it appears the Lion King remake will not be trying to explain the shot, but do what makes far more sense, and have Rafiki simply approach and ascend the naturally occurring earth ramp at the base of Pride Rock. Like the original, we'll assume Pride Rock faces north-west, allowing the sunrise to hit it as shown. In which case it makes sense for the same sunrise to strike Rafiki on his left side, approaching from the same direction as the ramp (with the more arid regions to the north, including those of the hyenas, visible behind him).

It certainly makes more sense than in the original Lion King, where Mufasa forgot which was north or south of Pride Rock. Or when Rafiki entered the movie in the first scene with the rising sun directly behind him, either. Again, these are details that might be missed by those not paying attention. But when the Disney die-hards try to get a mental image of the world in which The Lion King is set, they're flat-out errors that can't be explained away once noticed.

Thankfully, these are exactly the kind of animation and logic errors - understandable at the time - that Disney's new Lion King remake is keen not to repeat the second time around. That's the impression given by the teaser trailer, at least. So if fans would prefer to see Rafiki execute impossible feats of strength and athleticism completely off-screen, without comment... there's still reason to hope.

MORE: Why The 'Realistic' Lion King May Already Be Worse

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Source:gamerant.com
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