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The Lion King (1994)

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Released:  Tuesday, November 15, 1994  
Length:  89 minutes
Studio: Walt Disney Pictures
Genre: Family
Rating: The Lion King Is rated G by the Motion Picture Association of AmericaGeneral audiences. All ages admitted.

Synopsis

An unforgettable story, breathtaking animation, beloved characters, and Academy Award(R)-winning music (Best Original Score, 1994; Best Song, "Can You Feel The Love Tonight") set the stage for the adventures of Simba, the feisty lion cub who "just can't wait to be king." But his envious Uncle Scar has plans for his own ascent to the throne, and he forces Simba's exile from the kingdom. Alone and adrift, Simba soon joins the escapades of a hilarious meerkat named Timon and his warmhearted warthog pal, Pumbaa. Adopting their carefree lifestyle of "Hakuna Matata," Simba ignores his real responsibilities until he realizes his destiny and returns to the Pride Lands to claim his place in the "Circle of Life."

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The Lion King images are © Walt Disney Pictures. All Rights Reserved.


Win a Copy of THE LION GUARD: THE RISE OF SCAR From FlickDirect ...  1/9/2018 3:46 PM EST
The Lion King was one of Disney's popular movies that had wonderful characters and a great soundtrack.  It has spawned merchandising, a sequel and now a Disney Junior series called THE LION GUARD: THE RISE OF SCAR.  Disney and FlickDirect are excited to offer a fan the chance to win a copy on DVD available now.To enter for your chance to win a DVD copy of THE LION GUARD: THE RISE OF SCAR simply su...  More>>

James Earl Jones and Donald Glover Join Disney's The Lion King  2/20/2017 9:17 AM EST
Walt Disney Studios has announced that James Earl Jones and Donald Glover have joined the cast of their live-action version of "The Lion King". Donald Glover will voice adult Simba, while James Earl Jones will reprise the role of Mufasa, which he made famous in the 1994 animated film. The film is being directed by Jon Favreau, and is the next in a series of films that will bring a fresh, live acti...  More>>

Favreau to Direct Live Action Lion King  9/28/2016 12:10 PM EST
Jon Favreau will once again be collaborating with The Walt Disney Studios for a reimagining of The Lion King.  After the success of making other live action films out of animated classics such as Maleficent, Cinderella and The Jungle Book, the news comes as no surprise.  The original Lion King film was released in 1994, and was a huge success, earning $968.8 million globally.  The beloved film als...  More>>


Lion King: Walt Disney Signature Collection Blu-ray Review


Disney animation has had a long and storied past.  From the original classics like Cinderella and Bambi to the newest film, Moana, Disney has produced exceptional movies with soundtracks that touch our lives.  For many years, there seemed to be a lull in Disney films but all that changed in 1989 with The Little Mermaid.  From then on, it has been one hit after another including Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and The Lion King through to Frozen and again, Moana.

Originally released in 1994, The Lion King became a huge success with an amazing Elton John/Time Rice soundtrack and while there have been other iterations, Disney is now releasing their Signature Collection/Circle of life Edition Blu-ray.

The story is based on the classic Shakespeare's Hamlet as told from the perspective of the animals in the African desert.  The film starts with the birth of the lion cub, Simba (Jonathan Taylor Thomas; Home Improvement and Matthew Broderick; Ferris Bueller's Day Off) and his proud father, Mustafa (James Earl Jones; Field of Dreams).  Precocious Simba is anxious to be independent and doesn't heed his father's warnings.  When Simba gets into trouble, Mustafa goes to save him only to fall to his death, albeit after being pushed by his jealous brother Scar (Jeremy Irons; Die Hard with a Vengeance).  Believing his father's death was all his fault, Simba runs away and Scar becomes the lion king in Simba's absence.

Simba lives the next several years roaming the jungle care free with his friends Timon (Nathan Lane; The Bird Cage) and Pumbaa (Ernie Sabella; Hill Street Blues) but must face his fears when he finds out Scar has ruined the kingdom and let the Hyenas take over.  Devastation and famine have plagued the land and the only way to reverse it for Simba to fight his uncle and take his rightful place as The Lion King.

A terrific story with a fabulous cast, great animation, and an amazing soundtrack is Disney's formula that seems to work time and time again.  The Lion King is no exception and has become a Disney classic in its own right.  Broderick, Jones, Lane, Sabella, and Irons along with Rowan Atkins (Bean), Whoopie Goldberg (Ghost), Cheech Maron (Nash Bridges) and Robert Guillame (Big Fish) are all fantastic and add so much to their characters.  Along with directors Roger Allers (Open Season) and Rob Minkoff (Stuart Little), they created an enduring story that delights fans of any age.

The Blu-ray is 1080p video quality with a 1.78:1 aspect ratio.  The picture is clear and free from any artifacting with vibrant red and yellows and lush greens. The audio is presented in DTS- HDMA 7.1 and is spectacular.  The soundtrack is as magnificent as when it was first heard in 1994 and the orchestration is almost magical (but isn't that part of what Disney is known for).

The combo pack includes a digital download and hours upon hours of extras.  While many of the extras are previously released on the Diamond and Platinum editions, they are worth watching over again.  There are interviews with cast, crew, producers and composers and so much material that is enjoyable, informative and fun.  There is also some additional material including an extended interview with Matthew Broderick and Nathan Lane, Visualizing a Villain which is a two-minute performance art piece, The recording sessions and inside the story room plus more.

With an African vibe that permeates the picture and the music, The Lion King is a masterpiece that became another fabulous Disney film that garnered well-deserved praise.  Whether you are young or old, it is a wonderful film that deserves to be enjoyed over and over again.   With better picture and audio quality, and new extras, any fans should pick up this latest version for the home video library.

Grade: A

 

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