Of the 14 main characters, just five -- Mufasa (James Earl Jones), Shenzi (Whoopi Goldberg), Rafiki (Robert Guillaume), Sarabi (Madge Sinclair) and the young Nala (Niketa Calame) were black, a casting decision that surely would have raised eyebrows today.
Indeed virtually all of the main roles, including Scar (Jeremy Irons), Nala (Moira Kelly) and both the young and old Simbas (Jonathan Taylor Thomas and Matthew Broderick) were all white; all four roles have been supplanted with Chiwetel Ejiofor, Beyonce Knowles, JD McCrary and Donald Glover, respectively.
Only three roles that started with white actors have remained so, with Rowan Atkinson, Ernie Sabella and Nathan Lane passing the roles of Zazu, Pumbaa and Timon to John Oliver, Seth Rogen and Billy Eichner.
And while Cheech Marin and Jim Cummings' roles of hyenas Banzai and Ed have been renamed Azizi (Eric Andre) and Kamari (Keegan-Michael Key), they are considered direct substitutions.
Only James Earl Jones' booming voice as Mufasa has been retained for the live-action remake 25 years on. Incidentally, the only new main cast member — Amy Sedaris elephant shrew — is white.
Disney Pixar recently took heat from one critic in the UK for the supposed lack of black leads in "Toy Story 4"; Stella Duffy told a BBC review show that while there were black voice-over actors, "they are yellow and they are green and they are plush! How can they possibly think that it's alright now?"
This week fans realized Disney had secretly removed one of the post-credits blooper scenes for its recent re-release of "Toy Story 2"; the offending scene saw Kelsey Grammer's Stinky Pete leering over twin Barbie dolls and suggesting he could get them a part in "Toy Story 3".