The Lion King parents guide

The Lion King Parent Guide

Elton John's score, melded with the cutting-edge animation technology of its time, make this animation one of Disney's true classics.

Overall A

A young lion (voiced by Jonathan Taylor Thomas and Matthew Broderick) learns to take his place in the circle of life.

Release date September 16, 2011

Violence B-
Sexual Content A-
Profanity A-
Substance Use A

Why is The Lion King rated G? The MPAA rated The Lion King G

Run Time: 89 minutes

Official Movie Site

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.

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

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 father’s life?

Home Video

The most recent home video release of The Lion King movie is August 29, 2017. Here are some details…

Home Video Notes: The Lion King: The Signature Collection
Release Date: 29 August 2017
The Lion King re-releases to home video (Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy) as part of The Signature Collection. This package includes:
- Brand New Sing-Along Version
- Audio Commentary – View the film with commentary by producer Don Hahn and co-directors Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff.
- Visualizing a Villain – Against a backdrop of live dancers and the animated “Be Prepared” sequence, artist David Garibaldi paints a masterpiece of evil.
- Nathan and Matthew: The Extended Lion King Conversation – Nathan Lane (Timon) and Matthew Broderick (Adult Simba) offer candid and hilarious insights into their Lion King experiences.
- The Recording Sessions – Watch rare footage of the actors recording their roles, matched with the final animation. Intro by Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff.
- Inside the Story Room – Co-directors Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff present archival footage of five original story pitches.
- Music & More – Sing along to your favorite songs from the movie!
- Galleries
- Classic Bonus Features (Digital Only) – These offerings from prior home entertainment releases include hours of bonus material, such as bloopers, audio commentary, deleted and alternate scenes, and in-depth journeys into the music, film, story, animals and stage show.

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!

Related home video titles:


Disney’s Beauty and the Beast also underwent the Imax treatment. For another Disney classic try Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

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