Legacy Content

Toon Talk: Lion King DVD
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(c) Disney

Bonus Feature Highlights:

  • Introduced by a CGI Zazu, disc 1 includes a few bonus features, divided, for no apparent rhyme or reason, into four sections named after locations in the film. The Grasslands features The Making of “The Morning Report?, which is actually longer then the song itself, and The Lion King Personality Profile Game hosted by Zazu (for the record, I’m Timon).
  • The Tree of Life (the first of many obvious synergistic tie-ins to Disney’s Animal Kingdom, this is actually Rafiki’s tree, which is actually never called the Tree of Life in the film) includes a new “Circle of Life? Music Video that is billed as “performed by The Disney Channel ‘Circle of Stars’?, but might as just be credited solely to Hilary Duff, considering how much face time she has in this synthesized pop throw-back to “We Are the World? by way of your local karaoke bar. And just in case you didn’t get enough Hilary, there’s also the superfluous The Making of the Music Video, as well as access to a Sing Along Track, providing onscreen song lyrics while you watch the movie.
  • The Jungle section contains two monotonous DVD games, Timon’s Grab-a-Grub and Pumbaa’s Sound Sensations, which is not as interesting as it … sounds.
  • The Elephant Graveyard, appropriately enough, features a handful of deleted scenes and abandoned concepts, including Timon’s missing verse from “Hakuna Matata? and Timon and Pumbaa’s sarcastic take of “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?.
  • Also included on disc 1, again for no apparent rhyme or reason, is a Preview of Disc 2, as well as an incomplete Index to all of the bonus features on disc 1.
  • The Audio Commentary (featuring producer Don Hahn and co-directors Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff) is available only on the “original theatrical version?, so, again, you have to hunt for it in the “Set Up? menu. It takes awhile for the trio to get a good conversational rhythm going, but Hahn, who has become a kind of expert at these things, soon has the two directors following his lead.

The Top Ten Things We Learn From This Commentary:

  1. The Lion King employed several cinematic techniques more commonly (and easily) used in live action films, such as cross fading, dolly shots and slow motion.
  2. The “dad’s day out? scene originally had a song titled “To Be King?, but it was ultimately dropped due to difficulties seeing Mufasa sing.
  3. Long before Kim Possible, the groundhog in the “morning report? scene was originally conceived as a naked mole rat.
  4. Nathan Lane and Ernie Sabella originally auditioned for the hyenas. Lane also auditioned for Zazu as well.
  5. Scar’s song “Be Prepared? was originally titled “Thanks To Me? and was placed later in the story, after he took over Pride Rock. A reprise of “Be Prepared? was also considered for this point in the story.
  6. Another difficulty for the animators was the fact that almost all of the characters (except for Rafiki and Timon) didn’t use props, stood on their hands and “had no opposable thumbs“.
  7. The groundbreaking wildebeest stampede sequence took the entire length of time of production to conceive, design and complete. It was also the first time Disney used CGI for “flesh and blood? characters.
  8. An early concept for the story had Timon and Pumbaa appear throughout the movie, as childhood friends of Simba who grew up with him.
  9. Rowan Atkinson had to be taught how to sing “It’s A Small World (After All)?.
  10. Rafiki’s “asanti sana, squashed banana? is an actual saying, a schoolyard chant, in Africa. The filmmakers’ guide on their research trip taught it to them; it means “thank you very much, squashed banana?.

 

 

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