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The Lion King (Two-Disc Diamond Edition Blu-ray / DVD Combo in Blu-ray Packaging) (1994) by Directed by Roger Allers & Rob Minkoff
Review by Charles Mohapel
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment Blu-ray  ISBN/ITEM#: B0036TGT3E
Date: 13 October 2011

Links: IMDB.com / Wikipedia - Timon & Pumbaa TV Series / Show Official Info /

It's been 17 years since Disney's "The Lion King" dazzled theatergoers and spawned a tidal wave of related products such as a Saturday morning cartoon series, a live theatrical show, children's bedding and pyjamas, and more. "The Lion King" is the story of young Simba's hazardous journey from newborn lion cub being presented to the world by his proud father Mufasa, King of the lions, to the vengeful outcast eager to avenge his father's murder by his evil Uncle Scar.

Directed by:
Roger Allers &
Rob Minkoff

Writing credits:
Irene Mecchi (screenplay) and
Jonathan Roberts (screenplay) and
Linda Woolverton (screenplay)

Cast overview, first billed only::
Matthew Broderick ... Adult Simba (voice)
Niketa Calame ... Young Nala (voice)
Jim Cummings ... Ed (voice)
James Earl Jones ... Mufasa (voice)
Nathan Lane ... Timon (voice)
Ernie Sabella ... Pumbaa (voice)
Jeremy Irons ... Scar (voice)
Robert Guillaume ... Rafiki (voice)
Rowan Atkinson ... Zazu (voice)
Moira Kelly ... Adult Nala (voice)
Whoopi Goldberg ... Shenzi (voice)
Zoe Leader ... Sarafina - Nala's Mother (voice)
Cheech Marin ... Banzai (voice)
Madge Sinclair ... Sarabi (voice)
Jonathan Taylor Thomas ... Young Simba (voice)

Blu-ray Disc:

Previews

  • Promo for Disney Studio All Access (1:00)
  • Promo for Lady and the Tramp Diamond Edition on Disney Blu-ray and DVD (1:22) (According to the insert inside the package, it is scheduled for Spring 2012)
  • Coming to Theaters for Thanksgiving -- The Muppets (1:01)
  • Promo for Cars 2 on Disney Blu-ray 3D, Disney Blu-ray, and DVD (0:47) -- Coming Soon (According to the insert inside the package, it is scheduled for November 1, 2011)
  • Promo for TinkerBell and the Pixie Hollow Games -- A Disney Channel World Premiere Event (0:41) Coming This Fall

The Lion King (88:23)

Options:

  • Play Movie
  • With Disney Second Screen This allows you to use your iPad or computer to watch The Lion King on a second screen.
  • What Is Disney Second Screen?
    • 1. Download the app (www.DisneySecondScreen.com),
    • 2. Watch The Lion King on Blu-ray Disc,
    • 3. And sync with the movie
  • With Sing-Along Mode
  • With Audio Commentary

Bonus Features:
Play Movie With Disney Second Screen

What Is Disney Second Screen?

Bloopers & Outtakes (3:44) Some of them had me nearly hurting myself laughing - others not so much.

Backstage Disney: Diamond Edition

  • 'Pride of the Lion King' with Thomas Schumacher (Executive Producer, Film and Producer & President, Disney Theatrical Group), Jeffrey Katzenberg (Former Chairman Of The Walt Disney Studios), Peter Schneider (Former President Of Walt Disney Feature Animation), Rob Minkoff (Co-Director), Roger Allers (Co-Director), Don Hahn (Producer) , Hans Zimmer (Original Score Composer), Matthew Broderick (Voice of "Adult Simba"), Nathan Lane (Voice of "Timon"), Michael Eisner (Former Chairman & CEO Of The Walt Disney Company), Tim Rice (Lyricist), Julie Taymor (Director, The Lion King Stage Musical), Andreas Deja (Supervising Animator "Scar"), Tony Bancroft (Supervising Animator "Pumbaa"), Ruben Aquino (Supervising Animator "Adult Simba"), Tony Fucile (Supervising Animator "Mufasa"), Michael Surrey (Supervising Animator "Timon"), James Baxter (Supervising Animator "Rafiki"), and Ellen Woodbury (Supervising Animator "Zazu"). Two sentences at the very end of this featurette boggled my mind. First was "With worldwide receipts of over $4 billion to date, The Lion King is one of the most successful productions in theatre history." Second was "The Lion King remains the highest grossing hand-drawn animated film of all time." (38:06) Awesome featurette with a wonderful human theme running through it.
  • 'The Lion King: A Memoir Don Hahn' with Don Hahn, voice of Peter Schneider, voice of Jeffrey Katzenberg, Roy Disney, voice of Chris Sander, voice of Roger Allers, Tim Rice (Lyricist), Rob Minkoff (Co-Director), voice of Thomas Schumacher, and the voice of Andreas Deja (19:40) More of the same narrated by Don Hahn - WONDERFUL!!!
  • 'Deleted & Alternate Scenes' With Introductions By Co-Directors Roger Allers And Rob Minkoff
    • 'Zazu Flatters Mufasa' (0:42) Wisely cut as not really funny
    • 'King Of The Wild' (2:43) Good decision to cut it.
    • 'Scar With Nala As His Queen' (5:46) Good riddance.
    • 'Simba And Nala Reunited' (3:44) An early version of the scene that was superior in the film.
    • 'Zazu Flatters Scar' (1:07) Lame!!!

Music & More

  • Play Movie with Sing-Along Mode
  • 'The Morning Report: Extended Scene' (2:30) Scene added for the stage musical, then subsequently animated for the DVD of the film.

Interactive Blu-ray Gallery

Disney's Virtual Vault The feature requires a BD-Live enabled Blu-ray Player.

Discover Blu-ray 3D with Timon & Pumbaa (4:24) This promo spot was funnier than some of the deleted scenes.

Learn How To Take Your Favorite Movies On The Go with Disney Digital Copy. (1:04)

Sneak Peeks

  • Promo for DisneyMovieRewards.com
  • Promo for The Lion King Musical
  • Promo for Disney Parks
  • Promo for 2 new Lion King movies on Disney Blu-ray: The Lion King 2: Simba's Pride Special Edition and The Lion King 1 1/2 Special Edition on Disney Blu-ray Combo Pack. Also Available on Disney DVD. (According to the insert inside the package, it is scheduled for 2012)
  • Promo for Disney Prep & Landing: Naughty vs. Nice Coming This Holiday Season on ABC-TV.
  • Promo for Disney Nature African Cats on Disney Blu-ray and Disney DVD (According to the insert inside the package, it was scheduled for October 4, 2011)
  • Promo for Disney's Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas Special Edition New on Disney Blu-ray Combo Pack. Also Available on Disney DVD & Movie Download. For A Limited Time Only (According to the insert inside the package, it is scheduled for Holiday 2011)
  • Promo for Treasure Buddies Premiering on Disney Blu-ray and Disney DVD Coming Soon
  • Promo for TinkerBell and the Secret of the Wings Coming Soon
  • Promo for Cinderella: Diamond Edition -- The Blu-ray Premiere. Also Available On DVD. Limited Time Only (According to the insert inside the package, it is scheduled for Fall 2012)

DVD:

Previews

  • Promo for Disney Studio All Access (1:00)
  • Promo for Lady and the Tramp Diamond Edition on Disney Blu-ray and DVD (1:22) (According to the insert inside the package, it is scheduled for Spring 2012)
  • Coming to Theaters for Thanksgiving -- The Muppets (0:53)
  • Promo for Cars 2 on Disney Blu-ray and DVD (0:39) -- Coming Soon (According to the insert inside the package, it is scheduled for November 1, 2011)
  • Promo for TinkerBell and the Pixie Hollow Games -- A Disney Channel World Premiere Event (0:40) Coming This Fall (According to the insert inside the package, it is scheduled for November 2011)

The Lion King (88:16)

Bonus Featurette:

  • 'The Lion King: A Memoir Don Hahn' with Don Hahn, voice of Peter Schneider, voice of Jeffrey Katzenberg, Roy Disney, voice of Chris Sander, voice of Roger Allers, Tim Rice (Lyricist), Rob Minkoff (Co-Director), voice of Thomas Schumacher, and the voice of Andreas Deja (19:39) More of the same narrated by Don Hahn - WONDERFUL!!!

Sneak Peeks:
  • Promo for Disney File Digital Copy

  • Discover Blu-ray 3D with Timon & Pumbaa
  • Promo for DisneyMovieRewards.com
  • Promo for The Lion King Musical
  • Promo for Disney Parks
  • Promo for Disney Prep & Landing Naughty vs. Nice Coming This Holiday Season on ABC-TV.
  • Promo for Disney Nature African Cats on Disney Blu-ray and Disney DVD (According to the insert inside the package, it was scheduled for October 4, 2011)
  • Promo for Disney's Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas Special Edition - New on Disney Blu-ray Combo Pack. Also Available on Disney DVD & Movie Download. For A Limited Time Only (According to the insert inside the package, it is scheduled for Holiday 2011)
  • Promo for Disney's Beauty and the Beast: Belle's Magical World Special Edition -- New on Disney DVD. For A Limited Time Only (According to the insert inside the package, it is scheduled for Holiday 2011)
  • Promo for Disney Prep & Landing -- New on Disney DVD. (According to the insert inside the package, it is scheduled for November 22, 2011)
  • Promo for Treasure Buddies Premiering on Disney Blu-ray and Disney DVD Coming Soon
  • Promo for TinkerBell and the Secret of the Wings Coming Soon
  • Promo for Cinderella: Diamond Edition -- The Blu-ray Premiere. Also Available On DVD. Limited Time Only (According to the insert inside the package, it is scheduled for Fall 2012)

I remember how much fun I had watching The Lion King on the silver screen with friends in 1994 and also watching the Timon and Pumbaa animated TV series. so I was eager to watch the Blu-ray disc and repeat the best parts again and again and again. It proved to be all that and more. And according to the Wikipedia article on the original animated TV series with Timon and Pumbaa, "The two are also slated to be the protagonists in Disney Channel's upcoming animated TV show Timon & Pumbaa: The Wilds in 2011 with Timon again played by Nathan Lane.".

'Pride of the Lion King' and 'The Lion King: A Memoir Don Hahn' were my favorite bonus features and lived up to the very high standards of Disney. Normally I disagree with some if not most of the deleted or alternate scenes in their own segment but this time around I agreed 100% across the board with those included as bonus features. In fact most of them were only partially finished and not even colorized, a sign that they were dropped relatively early in the process.

Looking over the treasure trove of upcoming animated features I'm really excited over the upcoming releases of The Lion King 2: Simba's Pride Special Edition, The Lion King 1 1/2 Special Edition, Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas Special Edition, Beauty and the Beast: Belle's Magical World Special Edition, TinkerBell and the Secret of the Wings, Prep & Landing, and Cinderella: Diamond Edition.

In my opinion the only thing better that The Lion King (Two-Disc Diamond Edition Blu-ray / DVD Combo in Blu-ray Packaging) is The Lion King (Four-Disc Diamond Edition Blu-ray 3D / Blu-ray / DVD / Digital Copy). Simply a must have for children of all ages.

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