Disclaimer: Disney invited me to California on an all-expenses paid trip, in exchange for my coverage of events, which included D23 Expo and a special session, Celebration of an Animated Classic: THE LION KING panel. It was there that the announcement for The Lion King Blu-Ray was made. As always, all opinions are my own. Affiliate link in post. Complimentary copy provided. All photos provided by D23 Expo, Disney or myself.
The Lion King.
It has carved out a special spot in Disney history, a spot no-one could have dreamed it would attain. In fact, this film was considered to be the underdog, a shocking fact that I learned while I was sitting inside the D23 Expo listening to the executive producer, cast and more last month.
- TIP: If you haven’t read my 7 Surprising Facts about The Lion King, you’ll want to head there now (scoop on Elton John and more)!
It was there, during the expo, that a huge announcement was made. The Lion King would be coming out of the vault. Any Disney fan knows that this doesn’t happen everyday. Oh, the excitement in the room.
Walt Disney Signature Collection – A Rare Gem (5 to be exact)
The once proclaimed underdog, The Lion King proudly joins the highly celebrated Walt Disney Signature Collection this month, only the fifth (5th) film to do so.
The Walt Disney Signature Collection which groundbreaking films created or inspired by the imagination and legacy of Walt Disney, featuring timeless stories and characters that have touched generations.
The Lion King now takes its place alongside Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Beauty and the Beast, Pinocchio, and Bambi.
The Lion King Blu-Ray, DVD and Digital Release
Releasing on Digital August 15th and on Blu-ray and DVD TODAY, August 29th, The Lion King roars back into our homes (that means replacing my incredibly old VHS tape) and into the lives of a new generation of fans. Many of these young fans (including my daughter) have already fallen in love with these characters and their families, having become fans of the new The Lion Guard.
The movie is timeless and so is the music, with Academy Award®–winning music – 1994: Best Original Score and Best Original Song, “Can You Feel the Love Tonight”.
But it was the story that made its way into our hearts.
“The Lion King” follows the adventures of Simba, a feisty lion cub who cannot wait to be king, as he searches for his destiny in the great “Circle of Life.” The film earned a Golden Globe® for Best Motion Picture—Comedy or Musical and inspired a Tony Award®-winning Broadway musical that is currently the third longest-running musical in Broadway history. In 2019, a reimagined live-action film, helmed by Jon Favreau, will delight audiences with the thrilling retelling of the original tale utilizing groundbreaking technological advances—as only Disney can do.
The Lion King Blu-Ray Bonus Features
Of course a very special release coming out of the vault will also have some very special content. My copy had a limited edition film frame from The Lion King – a treasure!
- Brand New Sing-Along Version
- Audio Commentary – View the film with commentary by producer Don Hahn and co-directors Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff.
- Visualizing a Villain – Against a backdrop of live dancers and the animated “Be Prepared” sequence, artist David Garibaldi paints a masterpiece of evil.
- The Recording Sessions – Watch rare footage of the actors recording their roles, matched with the final animation. Intro by Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff.
- Nathan and Matthew: The Extended Lion King Conversation – Nathan Lane (Timon) and Matthew Broderick (Adult Simba) offer candid and hilarious insights into their Lion King experiences.
- Inside the Story Room – Co-directors Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff present archival footage of five original story pitches.
- Circle of Life – See how color creates emotion and meaning in the film’s iconic opening.
- Simba & Nala – See how elements proposed in story meetings evolve into what appears onscreen.
- Simba Takes Nala Out to Play – …And, sometimes what seems funny in story meetings never makes it into the film!
- Hakuna Matata – Co-directors Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff sing, act and dance their hearts out as they pitch the “Hakuna Matata” sequence.
- Rafiki and Reflecting Pool – Co-directors Roger Allers & Rob Minkoff pitch a sequence that became the emotional heart of The Lion King to Producer Don Hahn.
- Music & More – Sing along to your favorite songs from the movie!
- “Circle of Life”
- “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King”
- “Be Prepared”
- “Hakuna Matata”
- “Can You Feel the Love Tonight”
- Visual Development – Explore a gallery of striking artwork that inspired the movie’s look and feel.
- Character Design – Trace the development of the film’s unforgettable characters through early concept art drawings.
- Storyboards – Examine storyboards created in the development of “The Lion King.”
- Layouts – Feast your eyes on layouts created in the development of “The Lion King.”
- Backgrounds & Layouts – Journey through a gallery of landscape paintings that shaped the world of “The Lion King.”
- Classic Bonus Features (Digital Only) – These offerings from prior home entertainment releases include hours of bonus material, such as bloopers, audio commentary, deleted and alternate scenes, and in-depth journeys into the music, film, story, animals and stage show.
*Bonus features may vary by retailer
The Future of The Lion King – While the focus of this panel was on the original animated film, much discussion was had in the Live Action Panel earlier in the weekend about the upcoming live action film, The Lion King. So different and so beautiful. I had the chance to see scenes from this incredible endeavor. Head on over to read all about it –> Disney, Marvel Studios, Lucasfilm Live Action update!
Now for a giveaway to celebrate – 2 Winners!
More from D23 Expo Blogger Trip:
- New Disney movies – Animation Update for Disney, Pixar, Disneytoon update
- Disney, Marvel, Lucasfilm Live Action film update – so many surprises
- Disney Parks and Resorts Big News – Announcements
AND if you didn’t see how much of a Disney fanatic I am, be sure to check out my full costume in my I’m Going to D23 Expo post! Yes, I said costume! 🙂
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