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03 July

Beyoncé lands in Disney

 

After doing the original soundtrack for the “Lion King” remake and lending her voice to the character of Nala in 2019, the American superstar has joined forces with Disney once again for a new visual album project called “Black is King”. Entirely written and directed by Beyoncé, the full-length feature will be available from July 31st on the Disney+ platform.

By Emma Naroumbo Armaing

“Black is King” trailer | Disney+

An extended partnership with the Disney studios 

 

 

Traditional garb, sumptuous landscapes and images that blend fiction and reality, Black is King promises to be an aesthetic show no less fabulous than the planetary star’s other artistic performances. Last Saturday night, the singer of Run The World (Girls) unveiled the trailer for her new movie, a visual album that she has written and directed in partnership with the American animation giant, Walt Disney Pictures. Set for release on July 31st 2020, Black is King, will be broadcast exclusively on the digital Disney+ platform, launched in France on April 7th. 

 

 

This visual album extends the collaboration between the Disney studios and the American singer. The Sun newspaper has revealed that Beyoncé was offered a whopping 100-million-dollar contract by the production company to make three big projects, including the soundtrack for the second instalment of Black Panther planned for May 2022. Black Is King draws its inspiration directly from the live action remake of The Lion King for which Beyoncé lent her voice to the Anglo-Saxon version of the character Nala. Making the soundtrack for the artist’s film led to the album The Lion King: The Gift (2019) and the documentary Beyoncé Presents: Making the Gift, detailing the creative process behind the music. As the source of inspiration for this visual and musical project, the album will be reinvested into Black is King including the tracks My PowerBrown Skin Girl and Mood 4 Eva.

 

 

A visual album destined for the young

 

 

"This visual album reinterprets the lessons of The Lion King for the young kings and queens of today in search of their own crowns," explained Disney studios in a statement. According to them, the film tells of the struggle and the determination "of black families over time" through the adventures of a young king, who, guided by his ancestors, begins the reconquest of his throne in the face of adversity. Kept secret for more than a year, the film's production highlights “a cast and a crew that represents diversity”, made up of African and African American professionals and artists, according to the entertainment giant who also promises a list of distinguished guest stars, not yet disclosed.

 

 

A commitment to diversity in the world of cinema, which goes hand in hand with Queen B's artistic stance on promoting talents from the African and American continents. She already discovered, among others, both the photographer Awol Ezikzu, who took her pregnancy photos, and the director of Queen & Slim (2020) Melina Matsoukas, who also made the Pretty Hurts (2013), RUN (2013) and Formation (2016) music videos for the megastar. Beyoncé has turned her gigantic platform into a showcase for the work of emerging artists, who are enjoying a resounding success today, all while highlighting her political commitment. The Juneteenth celebration on June 19th – the annual American commemoration symbolising the emancipation of slaves in 1865 – was the perfect opportunity for Beyoncé to surprise her fans with the unexpected tribute track Black Parade. This artistic and political line throughout her career also saw her receive the BET Award for humanitarian commitment on Sunday, June 28th.

Beyoncé - “Spirit” and “Bigger”, from the “The Lion King: The Gift” album (2019) | Extended cut from Disney “The King Lion”

Beyoncé’s visual album Black is King will be available from July 31st 2020 on the Disney+ platform.

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