“The king has returned.”
Ok. So maybe it’s his line towards the end of the movie, but none the less, it’s true. For a limited time, The Lion King is out of the Disney vault with its third release on DVD and second on Blu-Ray. It’s the first time on Digital HD. Whatever your platform, Disney’s The Lion King is available everywhere TODAY!
Probably you know the synopsis of The Lion King. The story follows young lion cub named Simba, who is the prince of the Pride Lands. His father, Mufasa, is killed by Simba’s uncle Scar. Simba narrowly escapes and grows up under the care of Timon and Pumba. He must return home to free his family from his tyrant Uncle’s rule and take his place as King.
It is a story that tugs at the heart, uplifts and makes you laugh out loud. It was a worldwide hit then and continues to be one of the most beloved Disney films.
The story comes to life with an amazing soundtrack featuring the music of Elton John, Hans Zimmer, Tim Rice, Lebo M. In this release, the film is presented as the “Original Theatrical Version” or in Sing-Along mode for the first time so you can follow stylized on-screen lyrics while watching the film.
The Lion King’s Walt Disney Signature Collection release can be purchased as a Blu-Ray/DVD/Digital Combo Pack, which is the subject of this review.
I mentioned The Lion King is available digitally, and that’s true. However, you’ll miss out on a limited edition film frame. The included film frame features three frames of Rafiki lifting baby Simba up on Pride Rock. It is sealed inside a sturdy card, and the back gives you a description. Advertised as owning a piece of the film, it is a reproduction created just for this release.
There’s also a slew of Bonus Features:
- Visualizing a Villain (2:53) – New – Performance artist David Garibaldi paints a large image of Scar while dancers perform “Be Prepared.”
- The Recording Sessions (4:46) – New – Directors Rob Minkoff and Roger Allers introduce this clip reel of the voice actors in the studio in the early 90’s, mostly sourced from VHS resources.
- Inside the Story Room (23:42) – New – Five story room sessions are presented with a “Play All” option or individually. “Play All” gives an introduction by the Directors about the storyboard process. The sessions themselves were recorded on a hand-held camera and used some close-ups of the artwork to help tell the story.
- Circle of Life (4:58)
- Simba & Nala (3:40)
- Simba Takes Nala Out to Play (2:23)
- Hakuna Matata (5:43)
- Rafiki and the Reflecting Pool (5:55)
- Nathan and Matthew: The Extended Lion King Conversation (7:08) – New -Filmed for a 2011 documentary called “Pride of the Lion King,” this extended interview features moderator Tom Schumacher interviewing Matthew Broderick and Nathan Lane from Sardi’s restaurant on Broadway while both actors were starring in The Producers.
- Bloopers & Outtakes (3:44) – Animated bloopers created for the Diamond Edition release, sometimes using real recording session bloopers and other times completely made up animated moments.
- The Morning Report: Extended Scene (2:30) – Produced for the Platinum Edition DVD, this song from the Broadway show was inserted back into the film.
- Deleted & Alternate Scenes (12:42) – Available as a “Play All” feature or individual, the Directors introduce these deleted scenes from the Diamond Edition Release.
- Zazu Flatters Mufasa (0:27)
- “King of the Wild” (2:23)
- Scar Wants Nala as his Queen (5:08)
- Simba and Nala Reunited (3:19)
- Zazu Flatters Scar (0:52)
- Song Selection (16:49) – The five main songs from the film in their Sing-Along form are presented outside of the film as a “Play All” feature or individually.
- “Circle of Life” (4:03)
- “I Just Can’t Wait to be King” (2:35)
- “Be Prepared” (3:01)
- “Hakuna Matata” (4:08)
- “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” (3:02)
- Audio Commentary (1:28:23) – Co-Directors Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff share this commentary with Producer Don Hahn. They provide a lot of insight into the story process as well as technical details and production anecdotes. The track itself is from 1994 and was recorded for the original laserdisc release.
- Classic Bonus Preview (0:50) – New – An ad for the digital copy and the “3 hours of classic bonus features” that can be seen using this feature.
We love The Walt Disney Signature Collection version of The Lion King.
The colors are spectacular, and the sound is incredible. The bonus features are a fun addition. It makes for a great family night and pairs nicely with the make your own Lion King Mask with a milk jug activity.
Pick up your copy of The Lion King, available in stores everywhere, today!