Movie Review: Disney’s THE LION KING (Signature Series Blu-ray Combo Pack)

Disney’s THE LION KING was directed by Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff and features the voices of Matthew Broderick as adult Simba, Jonathan Taylor Thomas as young Simba, James Earl Jones as Mufassa, Jeremy Irons as Scar, Rowan Atkinson as Zazu, Robert Guillaume as Rafiki, Moira Kelly as Nala, Jim Cummings as Ed the Hyena, Whoopi Goldberg as Shenzi, Cheech Marin as Banzai, with Nathan Lane as Timon and Ernie Sabella as Pumbaa.

The Lion King follows the adventures of Simba, a feisty lion cub who cannot wait to be king, as he searches for his destiny in the great “Circle of Life.” The film earned a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture—Comedy or Musical and inspired a Tony Award-winning Broadway musical that is currently the third longest-running musical in Broadway history. In 2019, a reimagined live-action film, helmed by Jon Favreau, will delight audiences with the thrilling retelling of the original tale utilizing groundbreaking technological advances—as only Disney can do.

When young Simba blames himself for his father Mufasa’s death who was king of their homeland, he exiles himself from the rest of the pack and runs away because he thinks his father’s death is his fault but it really wasn’t. His sinister uncle Scar had a hand (or in this case, a paw) in this tragedy and talks Simba into leaving so that he can take the throne and rule as king. Time passes by and an adult Simba is introduced along with  his two loyal friends Timon and Pumbaa. What happens is, Simba accidentally runs into Nala, his childhood friend and the two quickly catch up on old times and a spark ignites between the two. She tells Simba how bad things are now under Scar’s rule and tries to persuade the young lion into returning to his homeland because Scar isn’t doing such a hot job. Simba is reluctant at first but ends up returning to take back what is rightfully his and he has a little help from his friends.

Okay, The Lion King is probably my favorite of the Disney animated movies that uses this classic style of animation and there are so many movies out there to choose from. The coming-of-age story is full of humor as well as drama and follows this young lion that runs way from home because he blames himself for his father’s death only to return sometime later to take back what is rightfully his and make things right. Simba ultimately returns home, takes back his throne and completes the circle of life. I thought the directing team of Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff did a great job bringing this touching story to life and all of the animators did an amazing job with it. The talented voice cast gives these wonderful characters their personality and attitudes and they’re all so much fun to follow. Even Scar who is as sinister as any animated character in cinematic history.

The packaging comes with a nice slipcover/o-card. The front of the packaging features the artwork you see at the top of the page and the back includes movie details, an image and list of special features. Each disc is color coded and features the movie logo. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for the high-definition disc were crisp and clear. The picture and sound quality for the standard-definition disc were really good. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio. This Signatue Edition release also comes with an insert card that features three film frames of the movie.

Bottom line is, it had been a really long time since I had watch Disney’s The Lion King which is one of the biggest animated films in history and it’s deserving of this Signature Edition release. This 1994 coming-of-age masterpiece features the classic style of animation that I’m such a fan of and it looks and sounds maganificent in this all-new home video release. The family friendly story is a lot of fun and explores the circle of life as well as forgiveness and redemption and is complimented by its amazing soundtrack that’s full of popular songs. The Lion King is the fifth title to join the Walt Disney Signature Collection, which includes groundbreaking films created or inspired by the imagination and legacy of Walt Disney, featuring timeless stories and characters that have touched generations. It takes its place alongside Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Beauty and the Beast, Pinocchio and Bambi. The heartwarming animated adventure arrives on Blu-ray+DVD+Digital HD Combo Pack on August 29th and comes highly recommended and the kiddos will enjoy the brand new Sing-Along Version. Hakuna Matata!

Distributor: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment

Run Time: 88 Minutes

Rated: G

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (1.78:1)

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 / French and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1

DVD Video: Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1)

DVD Audio: English, French and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1

Subtitles: English SDH, French and Spanish

Special Features: Good Stuff! This Walt Disney Signature Collection release features new and classic bonus material that includes some audio commentary, behind-the-scenes featurettes, interviews, music videos and a digital copy of the movie.

  • 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. (02:53)
  • The Recording Sessions – Watch rare footage of the actors recording their roles, matched with the final animation. Intro by Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff. (04:46)
  • 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. (07:08)
  • Inside the Story Room – Co-directors Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff present archival footage of five original story pitches. (23:42)
  • Bloopers and Outtakes (03:44)
  • The Morning Report: Extended Scene (02:30)
  • Deleted and Alternate Scenes with introductuons by Co-directors Roger Allers & Rob Minkoff (12:42)
  • Music & More – Sing along to your favorite songs from the movie! (16:49)
  1. “Circle of Life”
  2. “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King”
  3. “Be Prepared”
  4. “Hakuna Matata”
  5. “Can You Feel the Love Tonight”
  • 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.
  • Digital HD Copy

 

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