Leader of the Pack

September 6, 2019
2019 DISNEY ENTERPRISES, INC.; JIM SPELLMAN—GETTY IMAGES

The Lion King was one of this summer’s biggest movies. Worldwide, it made over $1 billion. The movie is a remake of the 1994 animated film. But this version is different. It 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 help cast members get into their roles. How? They gave actors a sneak peek at the movie’s computer-generated scenery. “Before I recorded most of the lines, I got to check out Pride Rock and the savanna,” JD 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.”