The idea that Beyoncé would do a “visual album” is nothing new. Previously, the singer released her album “Lemonade” initially as a visual album on HBO. That 65-minute film ended up winning awards and gaining new fans for the musical artist. And now, a half-decade later, Beyoncé has another visual album in the works, titled “Black is King,” and it will be released on *checks notes*…Disney+? Huh?
According to Disney, Beyoncé was so inspired by her time working on the live-action adaptation of “The Lion King,” including her voice work but also her original song for the film, that she has written a “celebratory memoir for the world on the Black experience.” So, even though the idea that new Beyoncé music would be premiering on Disney+ is a bit, uh, strange, it does sort of make sense with the “Lion King” connection.
But for those people thinking that “Black is King” is going to be some animated children’s show have another thing coming. As seen in the trailer for the visual album (written, directed, and produced by the singer), the film is definitely going to be a unique entry into the Disney library. The visuals are definitely African inspired, with a healthy dose of glamour that anything featuring Beyoncé is bound to have. And though there is a very real “kid growing up to be king” vibe in the narration of the trailer, this doesn’t really look like anything remotely related to “The Lion King.”
And you know what? That makes it even more exciting for those of us that are more interested in Beyoncé’s art than yet another Disney rehash.
“Black is King” debuts on Disney+ on July 31.
Here’s the synopsis:
Based on the music of “The Lion King: The Gift,” and starring the album’s featured artists and some special guest appearances, “Black Is King” is a celebratory memoir for the world on the Black experience. Videos for “My Power,” “Mood 4 Eva,” and “Brown Skin Girl” are extravagances of elegance and soul. The film is a story for the ages that informs and rebuilds the present. A reunion of cultures and shared generational beliefs. A story of how the people left most broken have an extraordinary gift and a purposeful future.