Nants ingonyama bagithi baba!
It's been nearly two decades since that glorious savanna sunrise, and once again The Lion King
is at the top of the box office
. It's a good chance to revisit what made the original the capstone of the Disney Renaissance
, starting with the music. Not the gaudy show tunes or the Elton John ballads, but the soaring, elegiac score by Hans Zimmer which, despite winning an Oscar, never saw a full release outside of an unofficial bootleg
Luckily, it's unabridged and high-quality, allowing one to lay Zimmer's haunting
tracks alongside the original video
), revealing the subtle leitmotifs and careful matching of music and action.
In addition, South African collaborator Lebo M
wove traditional Zulu chorals into the score, providing veiled commentary
on scenes like this
; his work was later expanded
into a full album
, the Broadway stage show
, and projects closer to his heart
. Speaking of expanded works, there were inevitable sequels -- all of which you can experience with The Lion King: Full Circle
), a fan-made, three-hour supercut of the original film and its two follow-ups.
Want more? Look... harder...Music:
Excellent orchestral covers of the score by the SAMOHI Orchestra
(synced with the film) and the Bulldogs on Broadway
, along with the Broadway cast recording
. Also: Lebo M stages an impromptu show
while accepting a 2004 award.
The original working script with production notes
[PDF], a full annotated transcript
, and original promotional notes
Never-before-seen concept art from Disney
, a slideshow of original art from the first film
, and test sketches and video from a former animator's blog
. See also the line test of the three-minute stampede scene
, which involved 800 cel-shaded CGI wildebeests following cutting-edge flocking algorithms
that took three years to animate (discussed here
under "Building the Perfect Wildebeests").
Fansite lionking.org also has a large gallery of surprisingly moody production and concept art in several galleries:
Concept Paintings - Composite and Matte Backgrounds - Layout Drawings - Flora - Storyboard Art - Character Cross-references
The maddening Sega Genesis game
- Multilanguage mixes
, including the first Zulu dub
) - The MAD parody
- Was The Lion King stolen from Kimba the White Lion?
) - TVTropes!