Whether it’s re-dubbing a debate speech to make it seem as though everyone’s speaking nonsense or replacing the swelling strains of the Jurassic Park theme with a squeaking melodica, the internet loves a good sound editing gag. But altering sound can also be profoundly affecting. Case in point: YouTuber Uploadenator recently posted a video of the opening scene of Disney’s The Lion King in which he removed Elton John’s “Circle of Life” and replaced it with natural sounds of the animated African wildlife courtesy of Planet Earth. The resulting video, free of Sir Elton’s pipes, serves as a serene-like look at the Serengeti — and might make you ask Disney to do their own animated nature videos.
Funny enough, Planet Earth often uses synthesized nature sounds themselves. While they try their hardest to capture true sounds in the wild, BBC says it’s often impossible to achieve because camera lenses reach much further than any microphone. Plus, as this Foley sound engineer explains, loud gusts of wind or other such interference often obscures the actual sounds. So, despite many fans crying foul, producers pipe in previously recorded natural sounds or recreate their own. In fact, nature docs have been known to recreate or even stage more moments than you think. It’s mostly an issue of safety: wild animals tend to, you know, freak out when humans are near them. It is, after all, the circle of life.