The Lion King Parent Guide
Like my favorite chocolate cake, which also contains all the typical ingredients, I enjoy watching this movie repeatedly for many reasons.
Parent Movie Review
You could hardly declare Disney’s Lion King as a benchmark of creative storytelling. Instead this animation claims all of the Mouse House’s best tricks: Kill the parent, leave the child to struggle, supply a couple of comic-relief sidekicks, and bring the whole show to a stellar ending where protagonist meets antagonist. But like my favorite chocolate cake, which also contains all the typical ingredients, I enjoy watching this movie repeatedly for many reasons.
First, I could contentedly listen to James Earl Jones read a phone book. Providing the voice of Mufasa, father to the often-rebellious Simba (voiced by Jonathan Taylor Thomas and Matthew Broderick), Jones’s vocal pipes are perfect for delivering soft-focus morals and guidance to his cub (and young audiences.)
Wandering aimlessly after his dad’s death, Simba looks for the easy life and becomes particularly enamored with Timon (Nathan Lane) and Pumbaa (Ernie Sabella). A meerkat and warthog whose apathetic personalities redefine “couch potato,” the trio musically states their “no worries for the rest of your life” philosophy. Yet even after growing accustomed to eating worms instead of big game, Simba eventually recognizes his responsibility to return home and accept the challenge of saving his family from the menacing dictator Scar (Jeremy Irons). The experience allows all three friends to grow and accept their place in the “circle of life.”
Besides the positive messages, Elton John’s score takes the honor of one of Disney’s best. Melded with the cutting-edge animation technology of its time, the music flows with the many vivid colors and wafting grasslands until it creates a visual feast. The usually static backgrounds are moving, and depth of field is employed to create a sense of realism not seen on the screen before this movie’s release.
With the exception of the planned murder of Mufasa by a stampede of wildebeests and the eventual showdown between Scar and Simba, this film is clear sailing for all but the youngest family viewers.
Original Theatrical Release Date: 24 June 1994
September 16, 2011: The Lion King in 3D will be showing select theaters.Directed by Roger Allers, Rob Minkoff. Starring Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Matthew Broderick, Jeremy Irons, James Earl Jones. Running time: 89 minutes. Theatrical release September 16, 2011. Updated July 12, 2016
The Lion King Parents' Guide
Talk about the movie with your family…
What are some challenges in your life you have been unwilling to face? Does avoiding them ever make the situation go away? When you face them, have you ever discovered the obstacle was not as big as it first appeared?
How could Simba have avoided the tragedy that took his fathers life?
The most recent home video release of The Lion King movie is October 4, 2011. Here are some details…
Home Video Notes: Lion King 3D
Release Date: October 4, 2011
The 3D version of this classic Disney title becomes available to home video on October 4, 2011. The 4-Disc 3D Combo Pack includes Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital Copy. These bonus extras are offered:
- Never Before Seen Bloopers
- 4 Never-Before-Seen Deleted Scenes
- Deleted Song
- The Morning Report: Extended Scene
- Disney Second Screen
- Pride of The Lion King
- The Lion King: A Memoir - Don Hahn
- Disney Sing Along Mode
- Interactive Blu-ray Galleries
- Audio Commentary
- Disney’s Virtual Vault: Classic DVD Features Powered By BD-Live!
October 7, 2003, The Lion King Special Platinum Edition: DVD Release
Roaring into the market place once more (this time on DVD), The Lion King Platinum Edition offers a gorgeous restoration and re-mastering of the movie that conquered the world.
Much of the promotional hype has centered on the insertion of a new song taken from the hit Broadway adaptation. (Both the enhanced and original versions of the movie are on the disc.) Unfortunately, this amounts to much ado about nothing. The addition of The Morning Report extends the running length of the film by about 90 seconds. While it is cool that Sir Elton John and Tim Rice authored the punny tune, and that extra artwork was done to make it seamlessly fit, it is certainly not the reason to buy this re-release.
However, anyone who loves this tale will not be disappointed by the purchase. First, the movie didnt look this good when I first saw it in the theater. The colors burst off the screen, and the most subtle artwork details are evident. And my techie husband Rod is convinced the digital surround remix also seems more alive than even the earlier Dolby 5.1 laserdisc release. (The disc also has a Home Theater sound mix that will wallop your subwoofer.)
The claim, There is more to see than can ever be seen, more to do than can ever be done, isnt much of an exaggeration. The two disc set is offers interviews and audio commentary with the animations key creators, as well as information about the musical score, the work involved in making the films international début and the process behind converting the story to a stage play. For younger audiences, this edition also supplies sing along tracks, a music video (featuring the Disneys Circle of Stars|not necessarily a selling point), some simple games and animal facts (these include mild animated and live-action animal violence, and flatulence humor).
Because I am technologically impaired, I found navigating a little confusing. The extras disc provides two menus; one listed by location, the other by topic. It took me a while to figure out both of them lead to the same clips just ordered differently. But even with my confessed shortcomings, I didnt miss the self-promotional nature of much of the commentary|and you can bet your kids wont either. Expect to be asked a few times when The Lion King 1½ will be coming out.
No one can contest the phenomenal success of The Lion King. The story speaks to our universal desire to be accepted, while illustrating the importance of taking responsibility and living up to our potential. So if its been a while since you and your cubs have visited this realm, you might want to pounce on this Platinum opportunity.