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Disney Lion facts

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Disney's 1994 film The Lion King was made by their B-team of animators. The company expected Pocahontas to be the bigger hit and had their A-team make that movie.

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Disney originally wanted ABBA to do the soundtrack for 'The Lion King'. When ABBA said they weren't available, they asked Elton John.

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  1. Most senior animators at Disney chose to work on Pocahontas rather than the Lion King as many at Disney had little faith in the project, leaving mostly first time animators to work on the Lion King.

  2. The Lion King was originally called “King of the Jungle”... until the Disney team remembered that lions don’t live in the jungle.

  3. The Lion King (originally titled King of the Jungle) resembles the Japanese anime “The Jungle Emperor” about a lion named Kimba as he matures and becomes king, but Disney never gave credit to Kimba’s creator. Matthew Broderick thought they were connected when he signed to be the voice of Simba.

  4. In the alternate ending of The Lion King, Scar defeats Simba by throwing him off Pride Rock to his apparent death. A fire then consumes Scar who stands there, laughing manically, while he burns to death. It was deemed "too dark" for a Disney film.

  5. The Lion King, heavily marketed by Disney as their "first Disney original" was straight up plagiarized from Osamu Tezuka's Kimba the White Lion (1960)

  6. Disney instructed the game developers for the 1994 Lion King on Sega Genesis to create a puzzle level so hard that the game cannot be beaten within a period of time to extend and meet Blockbuster rental program rules and the rental market.(starts at 18:30)

  7. When Disney released the first trailer for The Lion King, they simply showed the entire "Circle of Life" opening sequence. Disney felt it was so powerful it worked as a trailer, and the movie went on to set box office records.

  8. After The Lion King was released, one hyena researcher sued Disney for defamation of character for portraying hyenas as villains.

disney lion facts
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Film producer Jeffrey Katzenberg revived The Walt Disney Studios by producing some of their biggest hits: The Little Mermaid, The Lion King,etc. After he was denied a promotion, and was then abruptly fired,he swore revenge against Disney and founded DreamWorks Studios.

Disney uses lime green to represent unfathomable evil. This can been seen in movies such as Maleficent, Lion King, Hercules and more... - source

I learned that Zazu (that hornbill bird) from Disney’s The Lion King was voiced by Rowan Atkinson aka Mr. Bean. - source

There are so many similarities between the 1960's Japanese anime show "Kimba the White Lion" and the 1994 Disney film "The Lion King," that Matthew Broderick thought what he was working on was an adaptation of the anime show.

The co-founder of Dreamworks Animation, Jeffrey Katzenberg, was fired from Walt Disney Animation even though he's responsible for reviving the studio in the early 90's. He produced Disney's hits The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, and The Lion King. - source

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The 1960s anime "Kimba the White Lion", which sparked controversy when Disney's Lion King was released due to strong similarities.

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The Disney predicted that Pocahontas would be a successful hit while deeming The Lion King experimental and less likely to succeed.

Disney originally wanted ABBA to do the music for The Lion King, but ABBA wasn't available, so they chose Elton John instead.

Disney's "The Lion King" is basically a copy of a japanese animated movie, despite Disneys claims of it being "unique and completely original"

The Lion King" was the first Disney film to be dubbed into Zulu for its African release.

Hans Zimmer was unable to visit South Africa to record parts for The Lion King as he had a police record there for doing 'subversive' movies (The Power of One). Disney studio bosses expressed fears that Zimmer would be killed if he went.

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Disney holds the records for the highest selling VHS (Lion King), DVD (Finding Nemo), and Blu-Ray (Frozen) titles in US history.

Emperor Hirohito was given the original film print of the 1954 animated short "Lambert the Sheepish Lion", as a gift by Disney. He said it was his favorite short from them.

The movies ‘Pocahontas’ and ‘The Lion King’ were being developed at the same time with many of Disney’s higher ups having little faith in The Lion King while expecting Pocahontas to be a hit. A studio head even stated ‘that if the Lion King made $50 million he’d get on his hands and knees’.

Disney's 1994 Lion King has uncanny similarities to a 1960s Japan anime called "Kimba the White Lion." Both stories focus on lion cubs (Simba/Kimba) whose father is murdered by a lion (Scar/Claw) who's left eye is messed up, assisted by hyenas. Several scenes are identical as well.

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Disney originally intended to reunite Cheech & Chong to play the hyenas in "The Lion King". While Cheech Marin accepted, Tommy Chong was unavailable. His role was given to Whoopi Goldberg.

Rowan Atkinson voiced Zazu in Disney's 'The Lion King'

Borderlands 2 has a reference to Disney's Lion King. There are two enemies: Pimon and Tumbaa. If killed within ten seconds of each each other, it completes the 'Ride Together, Die Together' challenge worth +10 Badass Rank.

The Lion King was partially drawn by SEK Studios in Pyongyang, North Korea without Walt Disney's knowledge.

One of the highest-grossing movies of 2011 was The Lion King. Disney re-released it in 3D and it made $94M that year.

Disney's first 'Original Story' (The Lion King) was just memorable scenes from Kimba the White Lion strung together with the plot of Hamlet.

The wildebeest stampede scene in The Lion King took Disney CGI animators over two years to create and involved creating AI to govern the movements of the herd

In 1994, Disney earned approximately $1 billion with products based on the Lion King, with $214 million for Lion King toys during Christmas 1994 alone.

There were only five original songs in the 1994 Disney film "The Lion King." A sixth song, "The Morning Report," was added later to home video releases.

Disney's The Lion King shamelessly plagiarizes a 1960s anime called Kimba the White Lion without giving credit. Video comparison in comments.

The musical numbers in the Dreamworks movie The Road to El Dorado were written by Tim Rice, Elton John, and Hans Zimmer. The trio had previously worked together on the soundtrack for Disney's The Lion King.

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