Directed by: Roger Allers, Rob Minkoff
Starring: Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Matthew Broderick, James Earl Jones, Jeremy Irons, Moira Kelly, Nathan Lane, Ernie Sabella, Rowan Atkinson, Robert Guillaume, Madge Sinclair, Whoopi Goldberg, Cheech Marin, Jim Cummings
Distributed by Walt Disney Pictures
MPAA Rating: G
Running time: 87 minutes
Film: 5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 5 out of 5 stars
Alright so we have all seen “The Lion King”, many many times and the film only seems to get better for a film made over 17 years ago. We are excited about watching this film for two reasons, one it is the first time it is has ever been restored and released in high definition Blu-ray and the other is the fact that it was converted to 3D. When I hear that Disney is converted their films into 3D, you just know it is being done right. Honestly, I was in awe by the 3D effects that were created for this film. Between “The Nightmare Before Christmas”, “Beauty and the Beast” and this film recently, Disney has me on the end of their finger. I have to admit that this is honestly one of my best Blu-ray’s that I have the privilege of owning. If you are looking for a reason to purchase that 3D TV, this will definitely give you the nudge that you need.
Of course we all known about the story of “The Lion King”. This film is going to be passed down from generation to generation over the years and will never be forgotten, nor will it’s story. The music in the film is so fantastic and has not aged a day. The Blu-ray presentation on this disc is so vibrant and beautiful that I had to go back and watch it a second time right away just to make sure that I experienced everything. You are not sure what to expect from a almost 20 year old hand drawn animated film but it really surprises and shocks you. Disney never skimps on the sound for its Blu-ray either, this one also included amazing 7.1 surround sound. Every piece of grass, every word in the songs are heard perfectly.
The special features on the film are just as special as the film itself. For fans of Audio Commentary, producer Don Hahn and co-directors Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff deliver a good time. “Pride of The Lion King” is a 40 minute new retrospective producers, Walt Disney World heads and other cast and crew members discussing the film, its production and its legacy. “The Lion King: A Memoir – Don Hahn” is exactly what it says it is a look back to Don Hahn in 1994 working on the film. The next feature is a collection of extras from Disney’s Virtual Vault and were only available via Disney’s online “Virtual Vault.”
There are 15 minutes of Deleted & Alternate Scenes presented in HD, “Zazu Flatters Mufasa,” “King of the Wild,” “Scar Wants Nala As His Queen,” “Simba and Nala Reunited” and “Zazu Flatters Scar.”The Morning Report is an extended scene brings a song written for the musical to animated life. Bloopers & Outtakes are always fun to watch when it comes to an animated feature. Another HD feature an art gallery with hundreds of images ranging from Character Design to Visual Development to Storyboards and Layouts and Backgrounds. A cool feature for kids (and parents) is a Sing-Along Mode with the film’s songs, karaoke style. Lastly the sneak previews on this disc are actually amble and worth nothing with trailers for some films like “Lady and the Tramp”, “Tinker Bell and the Pixie Hollow Games”, “Tinker Bell and the Secret of the Wings”, “Prep and Landing: Naughty vs. Nice” and “Treasure Buddies”.