WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for The Lion King, in theaters Friday nationwide.
Disney’s live-action adaptation of The Lion King doesn’t make a lot of changes to the overarching narrative of the 1994 animated classic. Although somewhat understated, its few alterations are to character motivations. A handful of the supporting players are tweaked here and there, contributing new layers.
And no one receives as much of an update as Shenzi (Florence Kasumba), the leader of the hyena pack. The original movie featured her more as a just another goofy member of the comically inept henchmen for Scar. But in the new film, Shenzi is a much more intimidating and serious character. None of her dialogue is played for laughs, and she’s given a lot more imposing moments to make herself a true threat to the lion pride.