The Lion King has left ‘Hakuna Matata!’
- The Lion King is an 88 minute feature film that tells the tale of a young lion, Simba, heir to the throne, who is blamed for the death of the king, his father, by his uncle Scar, and thus leaving the savannah kingdom in shame.
- The musical and mostly hand-animated film The Lion King, was designed, produced and animated by Walt Disney and released on June 15, 1994; and the full first scene of the film, ‘The Circle of Life’ song, was used on the film’s promotional trailer, and it was the first Disney trailer to do so.
- The concept of The Lion King was first generated in 1988 through a discussion between Disney colleagues, that included the then Disney chairman Jeffery Katzenberg, who nurtured and carried the idea, and incorporated some of his personal history into the original story.
- The original The Lion King script titled King of Beast and King of Jungle during the early stages, was written in late 1988 to early 1989 by Linda Woolverton, and it was significantly rewritten when Don Hahn was promoted as chief producer, because he perceived it to be somewhat messy and without a defined theme.
- During the production of The Lion King, there were a number of significant staff changes due to disagreements over the film which caused some to leave, and the final directors were Rob Minkoff and Roger Allers.
The Lion King
Image courtesy of Walt Disney
- Many Disney animators were hesitant about, or refrained from working on The Lion King‘s animation, as Pocahontas, another Disney feature film being produced at the same time, was thought to become more profitable.
- The final animation sequences of The Lion King were required to be created at the animators homes, after the horrific Northridge earthquake of 1994 in California, that rendered the Disney studios unusable.
- The Lion King has grossed almost $987.5 million across its release and rereleases (2002 and 2011, the latter in 3D), and earnt the title of 1994’s highest grossing film, and as of the end of 2014 it was the 3rd highest grossing animation film ever.
- The Lion King received Academy Awards for both the Best Original Score and Best Original Song ‘Can You Feel the Love Tonight’, as well as Golden Globe awards for the Best Motion Picture -Music or Comedy and Best Original Score.
- A musical production for the stage, adapted from The Lion King film, debuted in the United States in 1997 in Minnesota’s Minneapolis, and it was highly successful, leading to various adaptations throughout the world, while the film itself has spawned two sequels.