100 Facts About The Lion King

Aloha my wonderful merfolk!

Another week and another very popular Renaissance movie. I don’t think there is a movie from this era (minus Rescuers Down Under) that I don’t absolutely love and cherish as childhood memories.

Even though the Lion King absolutely destroyed me and my parents had to fast forward a certain part of the movie because it was too traumatising, I still love it. Here’s 100 Facts about one of my favourite childhood movies.

27. Lion King

  1. The Lion King was released on June 15th
  2. It is the 32nd film in the Disney Animated Canon.
  3. The film became the fourth highest-grossing animated film of all time.
  4. The Lion King was produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation.
  5. The film was the highest-grossing animated film of all time until Finding Nemo was released.
  6. During it’s release in 1994, the film grossed more than $968 million worldwide.
  7. Unlike the other lions, Scar claws are always on show throughout the movie.
  8. The line, ‘What do you want me to do, dress in drag and do the hula?’ was improvised by Nathan Lane.
  9. A few weeks before the film opened, Elton John was given a special screening.
  10. Noticing that the film’s love song had been left out, he successfully lobbied to have the song put back in.
  11. Can You Feel The Love Tonight won him an Academy Award for Best Original Song.
  12. The wildebeest stampede took Disney’s CG department approximately three years to animate.
  13. A new computer program had to be written for the CG wildebeest stampede that allowed hundreds of computer generated animals to run but without colliding into each other.
  14. The story took influence from the Osirian family myths of Ancient Egypt.
  15. Several of the characters name are based on Swahili words.
  16. Simba means Lion, Nala means Gift, Sarabi means Mirage, Rafiki means friend, Pumbaa means simpleton, Shenzi means barbarous and Banzai means skulk.
  17. The animators were so impressed with Jeremy Iron’s performance that they worked Iron’s features into Scar’s face.
  18. The team working on the movie were supposedly Team B who were ‘kept busy’ whilst Team A worked on Pocahontas.
  19. One of the bugs that Timon pulls out of the knothole is wearing Mickey Mouse ears.
  20. When Mufasa tells Simba about the Great Kings of the Past if you look at the stars in the wide shot you can see Mickey Mouse.
  21. While recording the scene where Simba gets pinned down by Nala, Jonathan Taylor Thomas was hit on his back to make it sound like he had just gotten the wind knocked out of him.
  22. Jim Cummings provided the voice of Ed the Hyena.
  23. He also had to fill in for Jeremy Irons for the finale of Be Prepared.
  24. Irons threw out his voice after performing the line ‘you won’t get a sniff without me’.
  25. The first Disney cartoon to be dubbed into Zulu for its African release.
  26. In early drafts, Scar was a ro’gue lion with no relation to Mufasa.
  27. This is why Scar and Mufasa differ so much.
  28. The highest grossing movie of 1994 worldwide.
  29. It was second highest grossing in the US behind Forest Gump.
  30. During ‘Be Prepared’, the hyenas marching past Scar on the elevated rock was inspired by footage of Nazi’s marching by Adolf Hitler.
  31. We can see the constellation of Leo the lion in the sky above where Mufasa is explaining to Simba that the stars are the old Kings.
  32. Originally, Scar was going to send Nala away from Pride Rock for ignoring his romantic approaches.
  33. The idea was abandoned as sexual harassment is considered improper in a Family movie.
  34. Several Disney animators went to Africa to study animal behaviour and interaction in the wild.
  35. A grown lion and a cub were also brought into the animation studio as models for autonomy and musculature.
  36. Matthew Broderick and Nathan Lane only saw each other once during production and that was in a hall.
  37. The best selling home video of all time with more than 55 million copies sold to date.
  38. Zazu says that Scar would make a handsome throw rug, which he does in his cameo in Hercules three years later.
  39. One of three Disney movies to win a Golden Globe for Best Picture.
  40. There is a lost verse of Hakuna Matata that was storyboarded and explained Timon’s situation.
  41. It was used later in The Lion King 1 ½
  42. The last Disney movie to be supervised by Jeffrey Katzeberg before he left to form DreamWorks.
  43. Pumbaa the Warthog was the first character in a Disney film to exhibit flatulence.
  44. This is the second movie in which James Earl Jones and Madge Sinclair perform together as an African King and Queen; the first being Coming to America.
  45. The original script included several characters which were cut.
  46. One was a rhino with a tickbird on his back
  47. This tickbird was kept and eventually evolved into Zazu.
  48. Until 2013, this movie held the record for being the highest grossing animated film in history until it was surpassed by Frozen.
  49. Originally, the film was going to be about a conflict between lions and baboons.
  50. Scar was going to be the baboon leader.
  51. Rafiki was originally going to be a Cheetah in the film.
  52. Although all animals in the film are anthropomorphic, the hyenas gained the short end of the stick from reality.
  53. In the wild, hyenas are seen to be equal to lions I terms of intelligence and ferocity however in The Lion King they are portrayed as dumb.
  54. Nathan Lane and Ernie Sabella were originally cast as Banzai and Shenzi.
  55. The crew loved their performance and thought the duo would be better suited as Timon and Pumbaa.
  56. Hans Zimmer called in the services of his South African friend Lebo M. to help provide some authenticity to the films musical soundtrack.
  57. It is Lebo M.’s call that you hear on the opening bars of Circle of Life
  58. Nala’s mother is called Sarafina
  59. The name is never used in the film but appears in the credits and on merchandise based on the film.
  60. Adult Simba’s mane was supposedly inspired by Jon Bon Jovi’s hair.
  61. Liam Neeson and Timothy Dalton were both considered for the role of Mufasa.
  62. Frank Welker provided all the lion roars.
  63. Not a single recording of an actual lion roaring was used as the producers wanted specific sounding roars for each lion.
  64. Nearly twenty minutes of the film were animated at the Disney MGM Studios.
  65. More than 600 artist, animators and technicians contributed to The Lion King.
  66. More thwn one million drawings were created for the film.
  67. 1197 of these were hand-painted backgrounds.
  68. 119,058 individually coloured frames were created for the film.
  69. Mufasa was original meant to sing a song titled To Be King but it didn’t suit James Earl Jones’ singing voice.
  70. An alternative version of Can You Feel The Love Tonight for Timon an Pumbaa was storyboarded and recorded but ever used.
  71. Elton John and Tim Rice were shocked to see their love ballad sun in a comedic way.
  72. The song was then changed to Simba and Nala with Timon and Pumbaa keeping the final verse of the song.
  73. Originally, the Hula dance with Timon was going to a disco dance like the ones seen in Saturday Night Fever.
  74. This movie was Gregory Pecks favourite animated film.
  75. He also ranked it in his top five movies of all time.
  76. Timon and Pumbaa were originally going to be friends with Simba from the start.
  77. The plot-line is loosely based on William Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
  78. There are also influences from the biblical stories of Moses and Joseph.
  79. The original opening to the movie was supposed to be quite dialogue heavy.
  80. The Lion King opened on Broadway in 1997.
  81. When Irene Mecchi came on board to help with writing the story, she was told that the pitch was Bambi in Africa meets Hamlet.
  82. Tim Curry and Malcolm McDowell were both considered for the role of Scar.
  83. The groundhog that pops up after Simba’s pouncing lesson was originally going to be a naked mole rat but the animators couldn’t get him to look right.
  84. Virginia McKenna, Helen Mirren and Vanessa Redgrave were considered for the role of Sarabi.
  85. For the Platinum Edition DVD release, a new song was recorded and animated.
  86. The Morning Report was written by Elton john and Tim Rice for the Broadway musical.
  87. When recording the new song, Disney had to hire a new voice actor to play Simba as the original singing voice was now an adult.
  88. Evan Saucedo was hired making him the fourth actor to voice young Simba.
  89. Pride Rock and the Gorge are modelled after Hell’s Gate National Park in Kenya.
  90. Scriptwriters envisioned Sean Connery as the voice of Mufasa.
  91. One of the original villain groups being considered was a pack of jackals.
  92. The Lion King was included among the 1001 Movies you Must see before you Die
  93. This was the first Disney animation movie to be dubbed into Portuguese in Portugal rather than Brazil.
  94. The Lion King is the only Disney animated movie that shows the villain committing murder.
  95. James Caan, Robert Duvall and Ray Liotta were also considered for the role of Scar.
  96. George Scribner was the film’s original director.
  97. Production was affected by the 1994 Northridge earthquake which shut off the studio and required animators to finish their work from home
  98. Shenzi the hyena’s full name is Shenzi Marie Fredatora Veldeta Jauqelena Hyena.
  99. Originally, Mufasa was not going to appear again after his death but producers felt that Simba needed a reason to go back to Pride Rock.
  100. Many fans have described Mufasa’s death to be one of the saddest and most traumatizing moments of any film in the Disney canon.

a mermaid be waiting for you, in mysterious fathoms below



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