This animated movie was Gregory Peck`s favorite animated film, he also ranked it in his top five all time favorite movies.
# # The animators were so impressed with Jeremy Irons`s performance that they worked Irons` features into Scar`s face.
Originally, Scar was going to send adult Nala away from Pride Rock because she ignored his romantic approaches, after which she finds Simba alive and well with Timon and Pumbaa. This idea was ultimately abandoned, as sexual harassment was considered improper in a family movie. However, the stage musical adaptation includes this plot development as part of director Julie Taymor`s efforts to expand the female characters` presence in the story.
An extra song for Timon & Pumbaa, Warthog Rhapsody, was written by Elton John and Tim Rice for the film, and was recorded by Nathan Lane, Ernie Sabella, and Jason Weaver. The sequence that was planned for it was worked out on the storyboard, but was never animated and so the song was not used.
# # At one point in the movie, Timon says, What do you want me to do, dress in drag and do the hula? Later, in The Birdcage (1996), Nathan Lane (who played Timon) plays a character who dresses in drag and dances at a night club (although he doesn`t do the hula).
For its Platinum Edition DVD release, a new song was recorded and animated. Morning Report was written for the Broadway musical by Elton John and Tim Rice. They wrote two other songs for the play, Chow Down and The Madness of King Scar.
The first Disney animation movie to have European Portuguese dubbing. Until that, all Disney animation movies were sent to Portugal with Brazilian dubbing.
# # The Italian pop version of the song "The Circle of Life", sung in Italian by Ivana Spagna, was a major hit in Italy in 1994/95, alongside the original version by Elton John.
# # The stage version of The Lion King opened at the New Amsterdam Theater on October 15, 1997 and has played for over 4400 performances as of May 2008.
[June 2008] Ranked #4 on the American Film Institute`s list of the 10 greatest films in the genre "Animation".
# # Production took place at Walt Disney Animation Studios in Glendale, California, and Disney-MGM Studios in Orlando, Florida. Thirteen supervising animators, both in California and Florida, were responsible for establishing the personalities and setting the tone for the film`s main characters.
Nearly twenty minutes of the film were animated at the Disney-MGM Studios. Ultimately, more than 600 artists, animators and technicians contributed to The Lion King over its lengthy production schedule. More than one million drawings were created for the film, including 1,197 hand-painted backgrounds and 119,058 individually colored frames of film.
The main locations for the film, including Pride Rock and the Gorge, are modeled after Hell`s Gate National Park in Kenya.
# # The Lion King opened on Broadway in 1997. The musical garnered 6 Tony Awards including Best Musical, and is produced by Disney Theatrical.
The highest grossing movie of 1994 worldwide and the second highest in the US behind Forrest Gump (1994).
To date this movie still holds the record for being the highest grossing traditionally animated film in history.
# # One of three Disney movies to win a Golden Globe for Best Picture. The other two are Beauty and the Beast (1991) and Toy Story 2 (1999) (all three were in the category "Comedy or Musical").
The stage version of "The Lion King" has run for 4653 performances, and is currently the ninth longest-running show on Broadway (as of February 2009).
# # Jim Cummings had to fill in for Jeremy Irons during the song "Be Prepared". Jeremy threw out his voice after singing, "You won`t get a sniff without me!".
# # Although all of the animals are obviously anthropomorphic in the film, hyenas (as the villainous characters) were most given the short end of the stick from the reality. In fact, Spotted Hyenas are considered the equal of lions in terms of intelligence and ferocity. They have an equally intricate social structure and are less likely to kill their own kind than lions (hyena clan matriarchs allow very little inner-species aggression). Also, while portrayed as nearly full scavengers, in reality lions scavenge the kills of hyenas as much as (if not more so) than hyenas scavenge lion kills.
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