Young Simba – Abraham Attah
Attah made a stunning debut in Cary Fukunaga’s Beasts of No Nation last year, establishing himself as a young actor to watch. Obviously, his turn as a child soldier in that film is a far cry from Disney material, but tell me if this sounds familiar. Agu, his character, went from playful happy-go-lucky child to traumatized and mature man after insurgents killed his father and kidnapped him. Sure, Simba doesn’t become a soldier, but the root of the trauma is very similar. Attah could bring rambunctious energy to the film’s first act, and genuine pathos to the death of Mufasa.