This week on Blu-ray/DVD and Digital and directors Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff is the Signature Walt Disney Collection and the Circle of Life Edition of “The Lion King.”
On Pride Rock a new prince is born to Mufasa (James Earl Jones) and Sarabi (Madge Sinclair). Simba (Jonathan Taylor Thomas) begins to learn the ways of the pride under the watchful eye of Zazu (Rowan Atkinson). Joined by Nala (Niketa Calame), the two young cubs explore their world.
Also watching the young prince is Scar (Jeremy Irons), Simba’s angry and plotting uncle who wants what Mufasa has. In one afternoon Scar, along with the help from hyenas Banzai (Cheech Marin) and Shenzi (Whoopie Goldberg), rid the pride lands of their king and prince.
Simba makes his way across the plains meeting Timon (Nathan Lane) and Pumbaa (Ernie Sabella) but always remembering home. Simba (Matthew Broderick) has now grown to a full size lion enjoying his days until one day he meets Nala (Moira Kelly) again. She is very upset thinking that he was dead but now needs him to return to help the pride from his nasty uncle.
After a talk with Rafiki (Robert Guillaume), Simba knows he must return and set things right for the memory of his father and the survival of the pride!
Thomas as the young Simba has the voice filled with mischief and fun. That’s what catches the kid in us all. His musical relationship with Timon and Pumbaa gave us all a new phrase into the lexicon with ‘Hakuna Matata!’ Broderick as the older Simba brings the intensity to the young lion and a past that he must face head on.
Irons as Scar is creepy, scary and awesome all rolled into one. I just love his vocal portrayal that drips with distain and sugar sprinkled on it. Jones as Mufasa could be the only one to speak for Mufasa.
Lane as Timon is hilarious along with Sabella as the endearing Pumbaa. Together they are perfection in the film. Goldberg and Marin as the very sarcastic and self-entertaining hyenas. They made me laugh because of their laugh!
Guillaume as Rafiki is that crazy shaman who seems slightly off until you realize that it’s just his way to capture your attention and the truth about life. Atkinson as Zazu is equally endearing and quite different than most physical roles he has played.
“The Lion King” on Blu-ray has amazing Bonus Extras that include The Recording Session – Enter the recording booth and watch never-before-seen voice recording sessions, Inside The Story Room – Rare archival footage shows the origins of five iconic scenes, Visualizing a Villain – Performance Artist David Garibaldi creates his own unique interpretation of the iconic villain Scar, The Lion King: Song Selection – All new sing-along version of the movie with ‘Circle of Life’, “I Just Can’t Wait To Be King’, ‘Be Prepared’, ‘Hakuna Matata’ and ‘Can You Feel The Love Tonight’.
What can be said about “The Lion King” that hasn’t been said a hundred times over? This is a fantastic film filled with so many themes of love, family, togetherness, adversity, trials and redemption. This is one of Disney’s most memorable films and it will continue to be for more generations.
It is hard to believe that “The Lion King” graced theatres in 1994 and now, in 2017, twenty-three years later the film still holds firm with audiences. The best part is that on Blu-ray it is absolutely stunning. The picture is unbelievable and the color is so impressive! Watching the film with my granddaughter I think we were both jaw dropped and enraptured at the same time and I’d have it no other way.
The Circle of Life Edition of “The Lion King” has something even more exciting inside with a Limited Edition 35-mm film strip frame that has been sourced from the film’s original digital files. Absolutely amazing!
In the end – the King has returned!