Watch Jeremy Irons Record Scar’s Signature Song From ‘The Lion King’ in Never-Before-Seen Footage
Watching an actor record a role in a sound booth for an animated film usually feels a little off, and that’s especially true when those actors are reading lines you memorized as a kid from a movie beloved worldwide like few others. But watching Jeremy Irons read and sing (via EW) Scar’s most dastardly evil lines and lyrics from The Lion King is just plain delicious fun.
Maybe it’s the way Irons sinks his teeth into the part with such clear glee, and how that contrasts with our memories of the murderous, hateful villain we saw on the big screen (and later on VHS like a thousand times) — whatever it is, it adds a whole new dimension to the experience.
Like every song on The Lion King’s multi-multi-multi-platinum-selling soundtrack, Scar’s big number, “Be Prepared,” has numerous instant-classic lyrics:
I know that your powers of retention
Are as wet as a warthog’s backside...
And who can forget how Irons invented a brand new way to sing the word “sen-SAY-tional”? The behind-the-scenes footage also shows how animators used Irons’ body language in the booth to create Scar’s movements on-screen.
So prepare for the chance of a lifetime
Be prepared for sensational news
A shining new era is tiptoeing nearer...
But it’s not only Irons we see, as right then Whoopi Goldberg jumps in for her “Where do we feature?” line as Shenzi, and now we can see just how the whole sequence was built.
We look forward to comparing this footage with how Hugh Jackman (maybe) puts his own spin on Scar for Jon Favreau’s upcoming semi-live-action remake. Will he go with his natural Australian accent? Would an Aussie-sounding lion be too weird? It probably shouldn’t, considering lions are African and not British, like Irons, and no one had a problem with that. Maybe it’s the whole idea that Brits just make great villains. Guess we’ll wait and see.
Irons may not be back for the remake, but at least James Earl Jones is set to return as the *** spoiler alert *** ill-fated Mufasa, and we get a nice glimpse of him recording his lines from the 1994 version here as well. Maybe this time Mufasa will come back at the end of the movie alive and well to give Simba a hug and…no, probably not.
It’s doubtful that, at the time, Irons, Goldberg, Jones and the rest of the cast had any clue that The Lion King would become the record-shattering cultural touchstone that it did, which makes watching these clips — now nearly 25 years old — feel all the more special. It’s like taking a time machine back to when no one, neither actors nor audience, knew what lay ahead.
However the 2019 remake turns out, the 1994 original remains an all-time classic.