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How do the ‘Lion King’ movies compare? A closer look at 6 key elements.

Baby Simba, as held by Rafiki during “Circle of Life.” (Walt Disney Pictures)
Sonia Rao

Judging by how the studio has been operating as of late, the circle of life now refers to the near-guarantee that the animated Disney movies we once watched, adored and probably owned on VHS will soon be reborn in live-action(ish) form. (One “Aristocats” in the real-people-but-furry style of the upcoming “Cats,” please!) We are right now referring to Jon Favreau’s photorealistic rendition of “The Lion King,” of course, which features the voices of singing superstars like Donald Glover and Beyoncé Knowles-Carter and hits theaters Friday.

Comparisons are imminent with source material this beloved, and, aside from the obvious difference of animation styles, Favreau sticks pretty close to the 1994 original. The “Hamlet”-esque plot remains, as do many of the lines, the dynamics between characters and all the songs. In a slight departure, Beyoncé did us a solid by tossing in an extra tune, “Spirit,” which has its own music video co-starring Blue Ivy Carter.

For those who are curious, here’s a more thorough breakdown of how the two movies compare.

The Ciiiiircle of Life

Before he became the go-to music guy for directors like Ridley Scott and Christopher Nolan — and way before he ever played Coachella — German composer Hans Zimmer was awarded an

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