She may be one of the world’s biggest stars now, but Beyonce’s childhood wasn’t much different from the rest of the world’s.
In a new interview with ABC, she revealed that The Lion King was the first Disney movie to bring her to tears when she was a young girl. The singer, who voices the character Nala in the new adaptation of the popular animation film, spoke about the impact the original version had on her life in a new ABC special titled The Lion King: Can You Feel The Love Tonight.
The special aired just days before the Jon Favreau version hits movie theaters worldwide on July 19, and it featured interviews with several cast members, as reported by The Daily Mail. Bey admitted that she was still a little taken aback by the fact that she is involved in the star-studded film, considering the Disney classic was such a big part of her life growing up.
“I am still a bit in shock that I’m a part of this film because I grew up loving The Lion King. It’s so much nostalgia for me and it’s the first Disney movie that brought me to tears,” the 37-year-old explained.
The original film, which came out in 1994, was a record-breaking sensation and remained the highest-grossing animated movie for years before Frozen surpassed it. In it, Nala — who is the love interest of young Simba — was voiced by Moira Kelly. And now, Beyonce says that the role has been expanded to both reflect reality and reaffirm the fact that female characters should be as important as the male ones in the family-oriented film.
“It was important to the director that Nala and that the females in this film were heroes and he put Nala right alongside Simba in the big fight. I thought that was really interesting and really real, because women, you know, we’re the fighters,” she said.
“Being a mother, my family is my biggest priority. There aren’t many films that the parents can go and feel the way I feel about Lion King, and pass that legacy onto their kids,” the mother of three added.
Beyonce also dropped the music video for her new song, “Spirit,” which is one of many on the upcoming album The Gift, featuring more music from the movie. In the new The Lion King, she stars alongside Donald Glover (a.k.a Childish Gambino, who plays Simba), Seth Rogen (Pumba), Billy Eichner (Timon), James Earl Jones (Mufasa), John Oliver (Zazu), and Chiwetel Ejiofor (Scar), among many others.