If you’re a fan of The Lion King – and who isn’t? – this is the home video edition you’ve been waiting for.
There’s no point in recounting the plot of the film as I doubt there is a human on Earth who hasn’t seen The Lion King. This new Signature Edition, however, is all about enhancing the viewing experience. The audio and video have been enhanced in just about every way and the animation has never looked this crisp or impressive. Animation fans know how important the thicker black border lines on a character are in hand-drawn animation, and they look gorgeous here.
Disney has also once again proven it gets digital unlike any other studio. As someone who enjoys bonus features, over the years I’ve found myself with multiple physical copies of the same film due to different bonus features being included. The Lion King: Signature Collection does do away some of the old bonus features on the physical copy, but if you redeem the digital code you’ll have access to the older features once again. A move like this is a fantastic concept for film lovers and something that would be fantastic to see other companies adopt.
Even if you already own The Lion King, you’re going to want to think about upgrading to this version.
- 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.
- The Recording Sessions – Watch rare footage of the actors recording their roles, matched with the final animation. Intro by Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff.
- 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.
- Inside the Story Room – Co-directors Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff present archival footage of five original story pitches.
- Circle of Life – See how color creates emotion and meaning in the film’s iconic opening.
- Simba & Nala – See how elements proposed in story meetings evolve into what appears onscreen.
- Simba Takes Nala Out to Play – …And, sometimes what seems funny in story meetings never makes it into the film!
- Hakuna Matata – Co-directors Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff sing, act and dance their hearts out as they pitch the “Hakuna Matata” sequence.
- Rafiki and Reflecting Pool – Co-directors Roger Allers & Rob Minkoff pitch a sequence that became the emotional heart of The Lion King to Producer Don Hahn.
Music & More – Sing along to your favorite songs from the movie!
- “Circle of Life”
- “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King”
- “Be Prepared”
- “Hakuna Matata”
- “Can You Feel the Love Tonight”
- Visual Development – Explore a gallery of striking artwork that inspired the movie’s look and feel.
- Character Design – Trace the development of the film’s unforgettable characters through early concept art drawings.
- Storyboards – Examine storyboards created in the development of “The Lion King.”
- Layouts – Feast your eyes on layouts created in the development of “The Lion King.”
- Backgrounds & Layouts – Journey through a gallery of landscape paintings that shaped the world of “The Lion King.”
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.
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Disney provided us with a review copy for the purposes of this review.