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Blu-ray Review: The Lion King: The Circle Of Life Edition
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The Lion King

The Lion King
The Circle Of Life Edition
Blu-ray | Digital
Walt Disney Signature Collection
Director: Roger Allers, Rob Minkoff
Screenwriter: Irene Mecchi, Jonathan Roberts, Linda Woolverton
Cast:
Matthew Broderick, James Earl Jones, Jeremy Irons, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Moira Kelly, Nathan Lane, Ernie Sabella, Rowan Atkinson, Robert Guillaume, Madge Sinclair, Whoopi Goldberg, Cheech Marin, Jim Cummings
Distributor: Walt Disney Home Video
Release Date: August 29, 2017

Like a lot of Walt Disney animated films, The Lion King has stood the test of time in its own way. The celebrated piece is a powerful film that has beautiful animation, resonating themes, catchy songs, and plenty of charm to boot. It’s no wonder that it is among our favorite films. Now, The Lion King gets, yet another, re-release in “The Circle Of Life” edition as part of the Walt Disney Signature Collection. Like many of these re-releases, this one is chock full of bonus extras that will have fans fall in love once more and introduce this lovely film to a new generation who may have never seen it before. Check out our review here below.

The Lion King is a timeless classic that is filled with humor and heart, with a live-action adaptation currently in development from The Jungle Book director Jon Favreau. It’s a breathtaking animated tour de force filled with joyful and snappy songs – including the 1994 Academy Award-winning classic “Can You Feel The Love Tonight.” It’s no wonder that many of us find ourselves glued to the film whenever it comes on television or if we have the itch to see it again. It’s that good of a film.

In The Lion King, we follow a young lion cub named Simba who learns about his destiny in the great Circle of Life. Drawing inspiration of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the film was surprisingly emotional if not downright dark for a Disney animated feature. At the time, it was strange to see a Disney film handle such a dark subject matter like family betrayal, and yet it worked out, and for the better.

The film seems more appropriate for adults than kids. And yet, it still retains a lot of that Disney humor with humor and heart. “I Just Can’t Wait To Be King” and “Hakuna Matata” seem to be the songs that resonate with younger audiences, with the latter still being a fun mantra to live by, with the “Circle of Life” being an eye-opening song that teaches us about where living things stand within the grand circle. Finally, “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” is probably one of the most romantic of all the Disney romance songs. I mean, it did win an Academy Award.

Here are a list of the bonus features on the Blu-ray:

Bonus Features

BLU-RAY, DIGITAL*:

  • 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.
  • The Recording Sessions – Watch rare footage of the actors recording their roles, matched with the final animation. Intro by Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff.
  • 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.
  • Inside the Story Room – Co-directors Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff present archival footage of five original story pitches.
    • Circle of Life – See how color creates emotion and meaning in the film’s iconic opening.
    • Simba & Nala – See how elements proposed in story meetings evolve into what appears onscreen.
    • Simba Takes Nala Out to Play – …And, sometimes what seems funny in story meetings never makes it into the film!
    • Hakuna Matata – Co-directors Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff sing, act and dance their hearts out as they pitch the “Hakuna Matata” sequence.
    • Rafiki and Reflecting Pool – Co-directors Roger Allers & Rob Minkoff pitch a sequence that became the emotional heart of The Lion King to Producer Don Hahn.
  • Music & More – Sing along to your favorite songs from the movie!
    • “Circle of Life”
    • “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King”
    • “Be Prepared”
    • “Hakuna Matata”
    • “Can You Feel the Love Tonight”
  • Galleries
  • Visual Development – Explore a gallery of striking artwork that inspired the movie’s look and feel.
  • Character Design – Trace the development of the film’s unforgettable characters through early concept art drawings.
  • Storyboards – Examine storyboards created in the development of “The Lion King.”
  • Layouts – Feast your eyes on layouts created in the development of “The Lion King.”
  • Backgrounds & Layouts – Journey through a gallery of landscape paintings that shaped the world of “The Lion King.”
  • 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.

The Lion King: The Circle Of Life Edition Blu-ray cover

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