This week sees the release of the CGI remake of classic Disney film The Lion King. Eurovision and Melodifestivalen stars John Lundvik and Molly Hammar have taken on the classic roles of Simba and Nala. By lending their voices and vocals to the dubbed Swedish version and the soundtrack.
John Lundvik and Molly Hammar become Simba and Nala
As one of the all-time highest grossing animated classics, it was long overdue that The Lion King would join the growing list of Disney’s modern adaptations. This year marks the 25th Anniversary of the original classic and this week the new remake hit the box office. Although the worldwide release sees global stars Beyoncé and Donald Glover take on the famous roles of Disney couple Simba and Nala, localised versions are created for regional markets with native language dubs.
Fresh from Tel Aviv it is this years Swedish entrant John Lundvik that becomes the world’s most famous lion, Simba for the dubbed version – Lejonkugen in Swedish. Alongside him as Nala is Melodifestivalen 2015 and 2016 entrant, as well as Ira Losco’s backing singer for ‘Walk On Water’ in 2016, Molly Hammar. The pair took to social media to reveal their excitement over the news.
Both John and Molly attended the Swedish premiere of The Lion King, walking the red carpet and revelling in their newfound acting fame.
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Last night at the Red Carpet arraged by @zapgroup Thank you for an amazing hostning of the World Premire of The Lionking! Hearing myself on a Disney screen is something im really proud of. And also a dream come true for me. By my side (Nala) the one and only Molly 🙌🏾 ”Swedens own Beyonce” @mollyhammar //John
Classic songs from The Lion King on Swedish soundtrack
Of course no film is complete without a soundtrack and The Lion King features some of the biggest Disney hits of all time. Elton John’s ‘Can You Feel The Love’ and the fun, feel good anthem ‘Hakuna Matata’ have long remained in the hearts and minds of many when recalling the songs of the classic film. Here they’ve been given a new Swedish flavour, as John Lundvik and Molly Hammar provide Swedish language vocals for these two hits on the soundtrack. The former becomes ‘Känn en doft av kärleken’ and takes on an even more emotional tone with the gentle melodic blend of John and Molly’s vocals.
Whilst the latter maintains the spirited humour. whereby Simba learns the meaning of the Swahili phrase, ‘No Worries’ and ages from Ruben Adolfsson’s young portrayal to John Lundvik’s adult Simba. With the interplay of the comedic duo of Björn Gustavsson (Timon) and Linus Eklund Adolphson (Pumba).
Molly Hammar in Melodifestivalen
Making her name on Swedish Idol, Molly Hammar is a rising talent and has entered Sweden’s famous selection show Melodifestivalen on two previous occasions. First in 2015 with the fierce Jazz-Pop number ‘I’ll Be Fine’ and secondly in 2016 with the impassioned ballad ‘Hunger’. Although neither song made it to the Final in the Friends Arena, Molly’s impressive vocals left a lasting impression.
In co-writing Ira Losco’s Maltese entry for Eurovision 2016, ‘Walk On Water’, Molly also got to experience her own taste at Eurovision stardom. During the contest Molly featured as a backing vocalist and her unmistakable vocals can be heard prominently in the bridge and key change. Since then Molly has continually been treating fans to new music, including the release of her debut EP Sex last year. More recently Molly has crossed over to the UK market, teaming up with Big Narstie on ‘No Place Like Me’.
John Lundvik in the Eurovision Song Contest 2019
After a landslide victory in this years Melodifestivalen, which saw John Lundvik become the first act to receive 12s from every international juror. It was finally his turn to fly the flag for Sweden in Eurovision. During the 2019 contest Europe and Australia decided it wasn’t ‘Too Late For Love’. As John’s silky gospel fused vocals, alongside the quartet known as The Mamas, took him to 5th place in the Grand Final with 334 points. As well as this John doubled up and was a songwriter for the United Kingdom entry ‘Bigger Than Us’, that unfortunately achieved a lesser result. Following a later voting correction Michael Rice finished in last place with 11 points. Following the contest John has released his debut EP ‘My Turn’ which features both Melodifestivalen entries.
Are you feeling the love for John Lundvik and Molly Hammar’s take on these Lion King classics? What Eurovision acts would you like to see take on Disney roles? Let us know in the comments and on social media @ESCXTRA