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The Lion King [DVD]
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Disney animated feature following a naive and curious lion cub as he struggles to find his place in nature's great 'circle of life'. Simba (voice of Jonathan Taylor Thomas/Matthew Broderick) is excited about being king of the pride but is forced into exile by his evil and greedy uncle, Scar (Jeremy Irons), who wants to claim the throne for himself. Away from his family, Simba meets a meerkat named Timon (Nathan Lane) and a warthog named Pumbaa (Ernie Sabella). With the help of his new friends he overcomes great fear and adversity to defeat Scar and take his rightful place as ruler of the Pride Lands.
Disney's 1994 animated feature, The Lion King, was a huge smash in cinemas and continues to enjoy life in an acclaimed stage production. The story finds a lion cub, son of a king, sent into exile after his father is deposed by a jealous uncle. The little hero finds his way into the "circle of life" with some new friends and eventually comes back to reclaim his proper place. Characters are very strong, vocal performances by the likes of Jeremy Irons, Nathan Lane and Whoopi Goldberg are terrific, the jokes are aimed as much (if not more) at adults than kids, the animation is sometimes breathtaking and the songs from Tim Rice and Elton John, accompanied by a colourful score, are more palatable than in many recent Disney features. --Tom Keogh
On the DVD: The Lion King Special Edition is a superb restoration: take a look at the serviceable but dull film clips incorporated in the plethora of extras and compare them to the vivid gorgeousness of the film presentation. This special edition also adds a 90-second song ("Morning Report") that originated in the lavish stage musical. To Disney's credit, the original theatrical version is also included, both restored and featuring two 5.1 soundtracks: Dolby Digital and a new Disney Enhanced Home Theater Mix, which does sound brighter. As with the Disney Platinum line, everything is thrown into the discs, except an outsider's voice (the rah-rahs of Disney grow tiresome at times). The excellent commentary from the directors and producer, originally on the laser disc, is hidden under the audio set-up menu.
The second disc is organised by 20-minute-ish "journeys" tackling the elements of story, music and so on, including good background on the awkward Shakespearean origins at Disney where it was referred as "Bamlet". The most interesting journey follows the landmark stage production, and the kids should be transfixed by shots of the real African wildlife in the animal journey. Three deleted segments are real curios, including an opening lyric for "Hakuna Matata". Most set-top DVD games are usually pretty thin (DVD-ROM is where it's at), but the Safari game is an exception--the kids should love the roaring animals (in 5.1 Surround, no less). One serious demerit is the needless and complicated second navigation system that is listed by continent but just shows the same features reordered. --Doug Thomas --This text refers to an alternate DVD edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
I still remember seeing the trailer for this film. It was the opening number ('Circle of Life') and it gave me chills. I've always loved animations but I knew this was special straight away.
When it was released I saw it with my lovely German pen pal, who was over on a visit. Such a brilliant film! But fast-forward to Mufasa's demise, which made me cry so much I had to leave the cinema and sob in the loo. I've never been so devastated by a film death, and that was 20-odd years ago.
TL;DR - ah just watch it, it's bloody brilliant.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is one of all time favourite Disney classics and now I can enjoy on DVD. Set in the breath-taking Pride Lands of Africa the story follows young lion cub prince Simba son of... Read morePublished 1 day ago by Lucy Annabelle Beacham
Great, and a fraction of the price than here in the USA. Works wonderfully and my kids love it.Published 3 days ago by Leon