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New Ads For Disney's 'The Lion King' Have Sparked Outrage In Ottawa

One Twitter user wrote, "It's trash and should be removed."

When it comes to Disney, the modern remakes of their own, classic movies tend to divide people in two camps. There are those who love the up-to-date, CGI-modified, live-action films. Then there are those who feel the remakes are largely unnecessary. It turns out, the advertising for those movies is just as divisive after new "Lion King" ads in Ottawa have sparked outrage among some residents. 

The 2019 version of "The Lion King" is the latest film to attract people’s attention. It's an updated and reworked version of Disney’s 1994 animated favourite. It seems that unfortunately this particular movie has done little to appease film critics, as the ‘Critic Score’ rating on movie-review website Rotten Tomatoes is as low as 55% at the time of writing. Ouch!

It also seems that the critics are not the only ones unimpressed with the latest "Lion King" movie. After "Lion King" logos popped up in Canada's capital, several Ottawa residents have taken to social media to complain about the movie’s latest advertising venture of drawing the film’s logo onto the city’s streets.

The advertisements, which are believed to be drawn with chalk, feature a picture of the famous lion head logo associated with the movie, alongside the film’s title and the opening date: today, Thursday July 18. The ads have been seen across the Ottawa city centre, including on the paths along the Rideau Canal, as well as on Sparks and Elgin streets.

According to reports from CBC News, several people have already contacted the National Capital Commission (NCC), to ask whether they will be doing anything about the pictures on the pavement. 

In response, the NCC told upset city residents that they would be requesting the removal of the advertisements, but could not confirm who was responsible for the ads, when they were created or if the advertisers had permission to draw on the pavements.

A number of people who took to social media to complain about the drawings were disappointed with the marketing campaign. One user wrote, “Pretty pissed at this guerrilla marketing campaign that @Disney did all over @ottawacity. What is this, 2012? Why damage my city like this?”

While another added, “Disney⁩ is appropriating paths in public ⁦@NCC_CCN⁩ parks in Ottawa as ad space. One wonders how it would feel about other advertisers following suit in Disney theme parks.”

That said, despite several complaints about the artwork, there was also a considerable number of Twitter users who felt the advertising was perfectly acceptable. One user wrote, “And we wonder why Ottawa is referred to as the city that fun forgot?? There is no damage to anything. You want to complain, take pictures of all the potholes that need to be filled!  Let the kids have their fun when they see the CHALK advertising.”

In fact, several Twitter users also pointed out that the drawings were in chalk, therefore non-permanent and easily removable. One person noted, “First rainfall we get this is as good as gone.”

According to CBC, the City of Ottawa responded in an email to news of the complaints, saying that there is usually a process for public advertisements, and in this particular case, the process was not followed.

The email stated, "It would appear that the proper approvals were not sought for these advertisements. The city will be working with the organization in question to determine the next steps."