Featured image via El Gouna Film Festival on Facebook
Disney cartoons are so much more than just flicks that you watch on TV and forget the next day; they’re more like immortal works of art that never seem to lose their appeal. The graphics play a major contributing factor for sure, but the voices are a dominant aspect as well.
Who doesn’t remember Matthew Broderick’s portrayal as Simba, or the one and only, James Earl Jones, whose voice for Mufasa was so distinctive that Disney cast him for the remake as well? Not to mention Jeremy Irons’ spine-chilling and unparalleled performance while playing the malicious Scar.The Egyptian version of The Lion King also introduced another vocal sound that stood out on a national level; Irons’ counterpart and Egyptian icon, Abdel Rahman Abou Zahra, who was the first character to be approved for the film.
Not only did he leave an impact on us Egyptians and other Arabs, but also on the creator and mastermind behind the movie. According to Sada El Balad, Abou Zahra stated that after listening to the Arabic dialogue, Disney honoured the actor with an increase in salary, and acknowledged that he was the best voice performer, worldwide, to deliver the translated version.Fun fact, Abdelrahman Abou Zahra was also the voice of the Grand Vizier of Agrabah, Jafar, in Aladdin. We can’t help but think that he has a gifted talent for voicing villains!
We’ll leave you with a video of the iconic actor, discussing his animated roles along with a short clip of his performance in The Lion King. You can read more about his bio and filmography on Arabesque InternationalandAhram Gate.