Lion King translated into te reo Māori

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The Lion King has been translated and re-recorded in te reo Māori.

The updated film has been released over Matariki weekend.

The film is part of a growing movement to revitalise and strengthen te reo Māori, and spread its use in everyday contexts.

Over the course of the last year, the film has been translated, fully recast and overdubbed in te reo Māori, and will play in theatres around the country in full, without subtitles.

The film is the second Disney film to be released in te reo Māori – the first was Moana, in 2020.

While only a small percentage of New Zealanders are fluent in te reo, the number who class themselves as “conversational” is rising – in the 2018 census, it rose to more than 185,000, up from fewer than 150,000 in 2013.

The government has set a target of 1 million speakers of basic te reo by 2040, and 150,000 proficient speakers.

At least 45 language versions of the Lion King have been made since the film debuted in 1994 but the te reo Māori version is the first to include a non-English version of Elton John’s Can You Feel The Love Tonight.

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