All Hail The King
The Lion King, that is! The Lion King claims its rightful place as part of the Walt Disney Signature Collection on Digital & Disney Movies Anywhere Aug 15, and on Blu-ray Aug 29. Pre-order now: di.sn/60038qNCN. To celebrate this wonderful news, I attended a cool A Celebration of The Lion King panel with the filmmakers and some of the voice cast at #D23EXPO last month and it was MAGICAL!
The Lion King producer Don Hahn facilitated a panel Sunday, celebrating the legacy of this Disney gem. Joining him onstage was the creative team behind the film, including Rob Minkoff, co-director; Mark Henn, animator; Tony Bancroft, supervising animator for “Pumba;” Jim Cummings, voice of “Ed;” Ernie Sabella, voice of “Pumbaa;” and a surprise last-minute visit by Whoopi Goldberg, voice of Shenzi.
Not only did we hear some funny stories, but we also learned a few fun facts, including:
- Originally, the studio predicted that The Lion King would be a smaller film, barely cracking $50 million. Surprise, surprise—it doubled that in the first week.
- “People always want to know what exactly does an animation director do?” he said. He explained that an animation director works with each and every animator—who he described as “actors with pencils”—coaching and supporting them.
- Originally, the characters of Pumba and Timon sang the entire song “Can You Feel The Love Tonight.” At an early test screening in Atlanta, though, after the lights came up, singer-songwriter Elton John, who wrote the music for the film, just winced and asked, “What have you done to my beautiful song?” It was quickly changed.
Here is a cute clip from the panel of the Behind The Scenes Info of the “Dance The Hula” Scene:
Then at the end, Carmen Twillie, the singer who performed Elton John’s famous song in 1994 film’s opening scenes came out on stage to perform! Everyone in the audience was singing along (including me) and there were a beautiful choir and fans from around the world. I literally had goosebumps hearing those famous lines being sung by the original performer. It was a great way to relive one of my childhood movies and a great moment to be a part of. Remeber The Lion King hits the Walt Disney Signature Collection on Digital & Disney Movies Anywhere Aug 15, and on Blu-ray Aug 29.
***Disclosure: I attended the #D23EXPO My flight, lodgings, and expenses were covered by Disney All opinions are 100% mine. ***