It’s easy enough to skim over JD McCrary and Shahadi Wright Joseph’s names while gawking at the voice talent assembled for “The Lion King.”

But while Donald Glover, Beyoncé and Co. illuminate the Pride Lands with star power, McCrary, 12, and Joseph, 14, carry the first half of Disney’s photorealistic remake as young Simba and Nala, respectively, most notably belting out the iconic “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King.”

And they’re no strangers to the big screen: McCrary recently appeared in the Regina Hall comedy “Little,” while Joseph — who also played Nala in “The Lion King” on Broadway — fielded dual roles earlier this year in Jordan Peele’s sociopolitical horror film “Us.” Now, the rising stars can say they were a part of the eighth-best opening weekend in history after “The Lion King” roared to a $192 million domestic bow.

Obviously, this is a remake of a beloved film. How much did you pay homage to the previous voice-over performances while also making the roles your own?

Joseph: We tried to keep it as authentic as possible without trying to perfectly re-create the original. It was really awesome just having the time and having an awesome director in Mr. [Jon] Favreau, just to give us the freedom to do whatever we wanted.

McCrary: Yeah, we didn’t want to clone them. I put my own spin on it, she put her own spin on it — everyone did. I want people to know the difference.

In what ways did you connect with your characters?

McCrary: I can really relate to Simba. I look up to my dad as he looks up to his dad. I think I’m brave, he’s brave. I used to be really scared of stuff, but I guess I grew out of it.

Joseph: Oh yeah, I used to be terrified of everything. I used to be scared of sparkling sodas — the bubbles scared me.

McCrary: That makes me feel a lot better about myself. I thought I was super bad, but you’re scared of sparkling bubbles.

How did you react when you found out that Glover and Beyoncé would be voicing adult Simba and Nala?

Joseph: I was just really excited to meet her, or just be in the same room with her. It’s just fantastic.

McCrary: It’s pretty cool being able to say, “Yo — we’re Simba.”

How much have you relished the opportunity to each show your range in multiple movies this year?

McCrary: It’s a huge blessing just having those things under my belt at such a young age and being able to show that I can act, show that I can do it.

Joseph: I’m really glad that “Us” came out before “The Lion King,” just so people can see me as a serious actor first, and then they can see me as a singing lion.

Going forward, what roles do you have your eyes on?

Joseph: I definitely want to be young Tiana from “The Princess and the Frog.” That was my favorite princess movie growing up.

McCrary: Well, I want to be Miles Morales [from “Spider-Man”]. I do want to be a superhero, and he’s the superhero that I want to be.