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The Lion King is about Simba, a young lion prince. Simba must overcome tragedy and take his rightful place as the king of Pride Rock. Along the way, he escapes ferocious hyenas, makes new friends, and faces his uncle in battle.

This new movie is a remake of the 1994 animated film. The story remains much the same. But this version uses computers to create realistic images of the animal characters.

JD MCCRARY, 12, voices Simba as a cub. He says the filmmakers used virtual-reality technology to put cast members in the movie’s computer-generated scenery. “Before I recorded most of the lines, I got to check out Pride Rock and the savanna,” he told TIME for Kids. “It felt so real. That helped me get an image of what I would be doing.”

JD says he relates to Simba. “I'm not growing up to be a king or anything,” he says. “But I'm really trying to set my goals and set my priorities straight, kind of like he did.”

The Lion King roars into theaters today.