One of my favorite movies in high school (YES! High School) was Disney’s The Lion King and it is coming back out on Blu-ray today. We received a preview copy and it has SO MANY great extras that if you were a fan when it first came out, you are going to need to pick up a copy.
The Lion King: Walt Disney Signature Collection
While at the D23 Expo this past summer, we were able to sit in a panel with the producer & director of The Lion King – as well as a few special guests – ahem, Whoopi Goldberg. We heard amazing stories from the crew that made the epic movie and it was delightful to revisit some of my favorite lines & songs from the movie. You can hear more about what we learned here. During the fascinating panel, it was announced that The Lion King would be coming out of the vault and filled with all new extras on Digital August 15 and Blu-Ray August 29.
The Lion King is the fifth movie to join the Walt Disney Signature Collection – a name reserved for movies that are “groundbreaking films or inspired by imagination and legacy of Walt Disney, featuring timeless stories and characters that have touched generations.” Other titles with this special designation include “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Pinocchio,” and “Bambi.”
Watching The Lion King again as an adult is like taking a walk down memory land. I remember where I was when I first saw it int he theater. I remember countless high school basketball bus trips where we would sing all the songs as loud as we could. And I remember introducing it to my older two kids when they were little. We watched it together this weekend and it was amazing how I could remember all the words to Hakuna-Matata!
The Lion King: Bonus Features
The Walt Disney Signature Collection release includes over 3 hours of classic bonus material! Here’s what you will get:
- 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.
- 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.
Live-Action Lion King
While at D23 Expo, during the Live Action Movie Panel, we heard the announcement that a reimagined live-action film, directed by Jon Favreau, will be coming to theaters in 2019! We saw the opening sequence – you know, the Circle of Life moment that gives you chills – in live-action and we were amazed! It’s going to be so good!!
The Lion King Blu-Ray DVD is available August 29, 2017
The Lion King Blu-Ray DVD is one of those classic “must-have” movies to buy your family. It is available to purchase today, so pick up a copy for yourself.
Other The Lion King articles you may be interested in:
Disclosure: I was invited by Disney to attend the D23 Expo to learn about The Lion King. I was also provide with a copy of The Lion King for review. I was not compensated for this article.