Blame it on the video cassette.
The Lion King director Jon Favreau was acutely aware of the place the 1994 animated classic had in hearts and memories of Millennials.
Favreau even had Chance the Rapper on-board as a "millennial consultant", soliciting the musician's take on whether the photorealistic remake was going to make the social media-obsessed, opinionated generation happy.
"This is a movie you make knowing full well that there's a fan base for the original," Favreau told news.com.au. "I'm older but I work with people who are millennials and it's amazing to me how much The Lion King affected them.
"You have to take into account people's expectations based on the title and their familiarity with it because that generation grew up watching films not just once, but over and over again on video, so they know every line of it."
When Favreau reimagined The Jungle Book in 2016, he didn't have that same bond to absolute fidelity.
"If I didn't have that responsibility, I probably would've approached it more like The Jungle Book. That's a movie I grew up with but I didn't have access to a DVD player growing up so I only saw it a handful of times. I knew the music but the movie mostly existed in my memory.
"The Lion King existed on people's shelves in the form of a video cassette.
"That was definitely part of the challenge. You couldn't call your movie The Lion King and create a whole new bunch of characters and a whole new bunch of songs and a whole new story. I think it would've defeated the purpose of doing it in the first place.
"It was such a finely constructed story originally. I think that's why we wanted to maintain what was there because whenever we tried to change it, we weren't improving things."
Favreau was tapped to direct The Lion King, a visually stunning, technologically advanced CGI remake, after he successfully steered The Jungle Book, which cleared almost $US1 billion at the box office.
So far, The Lion King has nabbed $US713 million worldwide, including an Australian opening weekend of $20 million.
There's no doubt that when it comes to blockbuster event movies, Disney, with its animation, Marvel, Star Wars and Pixar franchises, is king.
Favreau is well bosomed in that Disney world. It's not just The Lion King and The Jungle Book that he's got his name on. He also directed Marvel's Iron Man and Iron Man 2 (even if they were made at Paramount before Disney bought Marvel Studios), and features onscreen as Happy Hogan in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
He will also be the director, writer and showrunner on upcoming Disney+ Star Wars TV series The Mandalorian.
All that combined has earnt him the designation of "Disney Legend", a hall of fame type honour that will be bestowed on Favreau at the upcoming D23 Expo. He'll be inducted alongside Robert Downey Jr, James Earl Jones, Hans Zimmer and more, while past recipients have included Robin Williams, Randy Newman and Angela Lansbury.
It's probably not what Favreau imagined when he was getting his start in Hollywood as an actor, initially in bit parts before breaking out in Swingers with Vince Vaughn, a movie he wrote as well.
For all the people who, inevitably, complain about remakes, Favreau points out telling a familiar story in a new way is what Disney was built on.
"I think up until The Lion King, every one of Disney's animated movies was based either on a fairy tale or a story that was pretty commonly understood.
"The idea of taking something people are familiar with and combining it with the technology was the initial impetus for Walt Disney's creative process, going back to his first film (Snow White).
"I think what's different with this The Lion King is the level of familiarity people have will have with the underlying material, and the technology is such a big leap from what they've seen last time.
"There's also a tremendous amount of conversation going on thanks to social media. The conversation surrounding the film often eclipses what the film is until hits the theatres. And now that it's out in theatres, you're seeing a more traditional relationship between filmmaker and audience."
That social media reaction Favreau may be alluding to is the narrative that while his version hits highs in terms of technical wizardry, it maybe didn't when it comes to emotional resonance. After all, photorealistic lions don't emote on their faces.
But while the reviews from critics were mixed, the audience is turning out in droves, unable to stay away from the allure of such a production.
"The fact that (audiences) are reacting so favourably and coming out to see the film, and reacting emotionally is everything you could hope for when you take a classic like this and present it to a new generation using new techniques.
"You're being held to such a high standard because there's such a deep love for the old one. So I'm very happy that people are connecting with this one.
"Part of what people come to these movies for is that there is a tremendous amount of emotional depth."