WATCH: Celebs walk the red carpet at The Lion King SA premiere

Johannesburg – The cold was not enough to keep Disney fans away, as The Lion King made its official South African debut in Johannesburg on Thursday night. 

Scores of supporters braved the chilly weather, wrapping up in warm blankets with popcorn at the ready as they watched the live-action remake of the classic film in an outdoor theatre. 

Speaking to Channel24 on the night, Dr John Kani told us what it was like voicing Rafiki and then watching that character come to life. 

"You invest everything (into the character) – your passion, your love, your vulnerability, your integrity – and you try and make the character as respectful with incredible dignity, and at the same time, make it lovable, understandable, and show the wisdom of the elders. For me, it's important that young people know there are certain things we still have to tell them. And that's why it's important for Simba to listen to Rafiki. It's important for youth, when they see the story, to realise there are things your mom can still tell you, clever." 

Other stars who walked the red carpet included composure/producer Lebo M, popularly known as the voice behind the iconic track, Circle of Life

"I'm looking forward to the pride that I believe South Africans, and Africans in particular, will have over this brilliant movie," he tells us. 

The Lion King hits SA cinemas on Friday 19 July. (READ OUR REVIEW HERE)