22-07-2019 by Freddie del Curatolo
It wasn't just the "Magical Kenya" logo that stood next to the title of Disney's new digital animation movie, the European premiere of the "Lion King".
Every image and sequence recreated on the computer for the computer "remake" of the cartoon "The Lion King" refers to Kenya at a level not even too subliminal, even before the famous motif "Hakuna Matata".
It is no coincidence that at the London projection-event, amplified by the media presence of Prince Henry and his African-American wife Megan Markle (two well-known lovers of Kenya), in addition to Beyoncé and her husband rapper and producer Jay Z and all the international voice actors of the animals, there was also a delegation of the Kenyan government.
"This film will increase the media exposure of Kenya in the world tourism landscape - said the CEO of Kenya Tourist Board, Betty Radier - in this sense it is as if it were our brand, directly associated with the tourist offer that Kenya can boast. Our country is known as one of the main tourist attractions in the world and certainly as the home of safaris. Now, through this, travelers can also discover the other products that offer visitors a range of options ranging from culture to wellness.
The same is true of Vice Minister of Tourism Joe Mucheru, who is sitting in the front rows of the British premiere at Century Imax.
"The film shows the kind of tourism opportunities we have: hotels, lodges, gastronomy, our people. And that means a lot to us, as the industry is constantly expanding.
For KTB chairman Jimi Kariuki, the new Lion King can also propose Kenya as an ideal set for shooting new films, both from foreign productions and for the local film industry. On the other hand, there are already more than eighty films that have Kenya as their protagonist, from the famous "My Africa" to "Nata Libera", from the historians "Mogambo" and "The Mines of King Solomon" to the most recent "White Misdeed" and "The Tenace Gardener" to which are added the Italians "In the Black Continent" and next Christmas "Tolo Tolo" by Checco Zalone.
But the Lion King is certainly a unique opportunity of colossal proportions.
The trailer of the film that is preparing to land around the globe (in Italy in cinemas from August 29) in a few days has already reached 60 million clicks and the stories of Simba, Nala, Pumba and Timon and the fearsome Mufasa will be one of the successes at the next box office.
In 1994, the release of the animated film on which this new digital product by Disney is based 100 percent, caused an interest not to be underestimated in Kenya, thanks to the success of Jimmy Cliff's song "Hakuna Matata".
It is no coincidence that, three years before the release of the film, the American production had explored far and wide the landscapes of Kenya and its wildlife, shooting a sort of documentary for internal use, to reproduce as faithfully as possible scenarios and credible situations of the savannah.
by Beppe Scione
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