The Big Picture
- Celebrate Disney’s 100th anniversary with the return of The Lion King, a timeless classic that tells the story of Simba’s journey to reclaim the throne and restore the circle of life.
- The Lion King was a box office sensation, earning over $900 million and winning two Oscars. It revitalized Disney’s animation division and sparked the production of more animated classics.
- The 2019 reimagined version of The Lion King used groundbreaking CGI to create realistic animals and environments. It became one of the highest-grossing films of all time.
As part of its ongoing 100th anniversary celebrations, Disney has announced that the latest classic animated film to return to movie theaters will be their 1994 Academy Award-winning feature, The Lion King, which is heading back to multiplexes for a two-week run beginning September 29, until October 12.
It tells the story of Simba, a young lion cub who is born as the heir to the throne of the Pride Lands, a vast African savanna. Simba’s father, Mufasa, is the reigning king, and he teaches Simba about the circle of life and the responsibilities that come with being king.
However, Simba’s uncle Scar is jealous of Simba’s position in line for the throne and plots to take it for himself. Tragedy strikes when Scar engineers the death of Mufasa and convinces Simba that he is responsible, leading Simba to flee the Pride Lands in guilt and shame. Following a journey of self-discovery and acceptance alongside new friends Timon, a wisecracking meerkat, and Pumbaa, a big-hearted warthog, an adult Simba returns to the Pride Lands to confront Scar and reclaim the throne.
The Legacy of the Lion King
The film was a massive box office success, becoming one of the highest-grossing animated films of all time, earning over $900 million worldwide in its initial release. It won two Oscars for Best Original Score (Hans Zimmer) and Best Original Song (“Can You Feel the Love Tonight?” which was written by the duo of Elton John and Tim Rice).
The Lion King has been considered by many to be the high point and significant achievement in the Disney Renaissance of the 1990s, revitalising Disney’s animation division alongside films like The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin. Its success encouraged Disney to continue producing animated classics. The film was “reimagined” by Jon Favreau in 2019 as a “live action” adaptation. It primarily used cutting-edge CGI to create photorealistic animals and environments. In reality, it’s more of a “live-action-style” adaptation since it doesn’t feature human actors, although the visuals were so remarkable it would be difficult to see it as anything other than live action.
The film received mixed-to-positive reviews from critics. While the visual effects were praised for their realism and technical achievement, some critics felt that the film lacked the emotional depth of the original animated version. However, the film was an incredible commercial success, grossing over $1.6 billion worldwide, making it one of the highest-grossing films of all time. A prequel film, focusing on the relationship between Mufasa and Scar, is currently in production. To see the original, and best, The Lion King in theaters, book your tickets now.