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Toon Talk: Lion King DVD
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Toon Talk Trivia:

  • Matthew Broderick (adult Simba) also starred as the title characters in Inspector Gadget and Meredith Wilson’s The Music Man.
  • Jonathan Taylor Thomas (young Simba) played Randy on the long-running Touchstone series Home Improvement. He also starred in the features Man of the House, Tom and Huck and I’ll Be Home for Christmas.
  • James Earl Jones (Mufasa) appeared in Three Fugitives, True Identity and Jefferson in Paris. He also narrated Judge Dredd and hosted Fantasia 2000 and Disney’s American Legends, as well as voicing Santa Claus in Recess Christmas: Miracle on Third Street.
  • Jeremy Irons (Scar) starred in Danny, the Champion of the World on The Disney Channel and as H.G. Wells in From Time to Time at Disneyland Paris’ Le Visionarium (a.k.a. the Timekeeper at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom). He can also be heard as the narrator of Spaceship Earth at Epcot and Seasons of the Vine at Disney’s California Adventure.
  • Moira Kelly (adult Nala) co-starred in Billy Bathgate.
  • Nathan Lane (Timon) starred in Life With Mikey and voices the title character in Teacher’s Pet, soon to be a major motion picture.
  • Ernie Sabella (Pumbaa) appeared in Tough Guys, Roommates, Annie and the current Disney Channel series That’s So Raven.
  • Robert Guillaume (Rafiki) co-starred in First Kid and Spy Hard on the big screen and Pacific Station and Sports Night on television.
  • Whoopi Goldberg (Shenzi) starred in Sister Act, Sarafina!, Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit, The Associate, Eddie and An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn and on television in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella and A Knight in Camelot. She also plays Calafia in Golden Dreams at Disney’s California Adventure.
  • Cheech Marin (Banzai) also voiced Tito in Oliver and Company and Chili in It’s Tough To Be a Bug and co-starred in all three Spy Kids movies, as well as the television series Golden Palace.
  • Jim Cummings (Ed and the groundhog) has contributed vocals to dozens of Disney projects; he is currently the official voice of Winnie the Pooh, Tigger and Pete and was most recently heard in The Jungle Book 2, Piglet’s Big Movie and Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas.
  • Broderick, Lane and Sabella reunited to voice their respective characters for the Circle of Life: An Environmental Fable film at The Land pavilion at Epcot.
  • Lane (later replaced by Quinton Flynn) and Sabella brought their characters to television with The Lion King’s Timon and Pumbaa (which also featured Guillaume’s Rafiki and Cummings’ Ed), as well as One Saturday Morning and House of Mouse (again also featuring Cummings’ Ed).
  • Broderick, Jones, Kelly, Sabella, Lane and Guillaume all returned for the direct-to-video sequel The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride (set for a Special Edition DVD release on August 31, 2004).
  • And Broderick, Kelly, Sabella, Lane, Guillaume, Goldberg, Marin and Cummings will all be back once more for The Lion King 1 ½, debuting on DVD February 10, 2004.
  • Lion King co-director Roger Allers also worked on Tron, Oliver and Company, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Emperor’s New Groove and the upcoming Lion King 1 ½.
  • Co-director Rob Minkoff also directed the Roger Rabbit shorts Tummy Trouble (which he also co-wrote) and Roller Coaster Rabbit (he co-produced and co-wrote the third short, Trail Mix-Up) as well as the upcoming Haunted Mansion feature. He was also an animator on The Black Cauldron, The Great Mouse Detective and The Little Mermaid.
  • Co-writer Irene Mecchi also contributed to the stories for The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Hercules, Fantasia 2000 and Lion King 1 ½, as well as adapting the stage musical Annie for The Wonderful World of Disney. She co-adapted The Lion King for the Broadway stage with Roger Allers, earning them a Best Book of a Musical Tony Award nomination.
  • Co-writer Jonathan Roberts also contributed to James and the Giant Peach, The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Monsters, Inc.
  • Co-writer Linda Woolverton wrote the screenplays for Beauty and the Beast and Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey, adapted her Beauty script for Broadway (earning a Tony Award nomination for Best Book of a Musical) and co-wrote the book for Disney’s Aida.
  • Producer Don Hahn also produced Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Tummy Trouble, Roller Coaster Rabbit, Beauty and the Beast, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Emperor’s New Groove, Atlantis: The Lost Empire and The Haunted Mansion.
  • Songwriters Elton John and Tim Rice (who won an Oscar writing the Lion King love song “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?) would go on to win a Tony Award for their score for Aida.
  • Composer Hans Zimmer also won an Oscar for The Lion King; his other Disney credits include Green Card, Cool Runnings, Crimson Tide, Muppet Treasure Island, The Preacher’s Wife, Pearl Harbor and Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. He, along with John, Rice and other contributors, were nominated for a Tony Award for their Lion King Broadway score.
  • For more Lion King trivia, click here for the Toon Talk review of the film’s IMAX/Large Format release.

Coming Soon:

  • Watch out for that tree … again! George of the Jungle 2 makes its video premiere (sans Brendan Fraser) on October 21st.
  • Disney’s newest animated feature, Brother Bear, will have a rare Saturday opening on November 1st. The film features the music of Tarzan’s Oscar-winner, Phil Collins.
  • Fans will be Finding Nemo at home come November 4th, when the record-breaking animated blockbuster makes its DVD debut in a special 2-disc set.
  • The DVD debuts of two recent Wonderful World of Disney productions, Eloise at the Plaza and Meredith Wilson’s The Music Man, as well as the Lilo and Stitch Islands of Adventure DVD Game, go on sale November 11th.

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-- Kirby C. Holt

Kirby, a former Walt Disney World Resort Cast Member (and Trivia Champ), is a lifelong Disney fan and film buff. He is also an avid list maker and chronic ellipsis user ...

Took Talk: Disney Film & Video Reviews by Kirby C. Holt is posted whenever there's something new to review.

The opinions expressed by our Kirby C. Holt, and all of our columnists, do not necessarily represent the feelings of or any of its employees or advertisers. All speculation and rumors about the future plans of the Walt Disney Company are just that - speculation and rumors - and should be treated as such.

-- Posted October 21, 2003

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