When a clip from the digitally-rendered remake surfaced last week – showing the iconic song Hakuna Matata – fans complained online that it felt considerably flatter than the lively, 2D-animated set-piece from the 1994 original.
Favreau told Digital Spy that the updated animation style of this film is all about giving “the best experience” to the moviegoer.
He said: “Whenever you’re dealing with a story that people have a connection with, the good part of that is that they care so deeply and they’re watching very closely.
“So you really owe to them to tell the best story you can, and make for the best experience.
“But like anything else, I think people have expectations based on what their childhood was.
“I certainly felt it when we did The Jungle Book – there are people who remember the old way that it was done.”
He added: “My hope is that kids who see this one might go and look at a 2D animated film that they might not look at otherwise. That was the goal here.
“I think if you have a great story, and if it’s well done with talented people, all it does is expand the message.”
If fans have been fearing the worst in terms of whether the new life-like animation has the same sparkle as the original, they’re not alone: critics seemingly agree.
The film has, at time of writing, scraped a ‘fresh’ rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, with a 61% score – just 1% over the line.
The critical consensus reads: “While it can take pride in its visual achievements,The Lion King is a by-the-numbers retelling that lacks the energy and heart that made the original so beloved – though for some fans that may just be enough.”
Express.co.uk’s own verdict says that, “like all this run of Disney live-action remakes (with the possible exception of the Jungle Book), The Lion King seems to misunderstand what we want from Disney.
“We look at the best Disney films and marvel at their visual imagination and pure cinema magic.
“We do not sit there thinking, ‘this is fine, but I wish that warthog was photorealistic.’
“Hakuna matata? You better be worried, because there are potentially dozens of these live action remakes to come.”
The Lion King is out on July 19.