Jon Favreau's remake of The Lion King has created quite an uproar from its audiences during its theatrical stint, and we can't hide excitement either! There's probably no better way to pay tribute than to look back at the 1994 Disney film where all the glory all began. Here are the most surprising facts about The Lion King that you probably never heard of. Clue: It involves a lawsuit.
Allegations of plagiarism surrounded the animated film when multiple sources pointed out its similarities to Kimba the White Lion. And yes, the resemblance is uncanny. From the characters to the scenarios, everything is almost indistinguishable. That's not even the most surprising thing about it. Matthew Broderick, the voice actor who played Simba, thought he was doing it for an adaptation.
Hyenas aren't actually bad, but The Lion King made it seem like it was. Well, at least according to some animal researchers. One of them filed a lawsuit against Disney. Another one actually clamored for a complete boycott of the movie.
Fatherless princes, shady uncles, foreboding spirits, funny sidekicks, and romantic interests? Okay, you might just simply say that The Lion King is basically Hamlet. Well, you're not wrong. The similarities are impossible to deny. In fact, the original film's co-directors, Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff, already confirmed this.
You have to admit it, Scar certainly wouldn't be the domineering, fierce, and ultimately scary villain if it wasn't for Jeremy Irons. But here's something you probably didn't know: McDowell and Tim Curry were originally considered for the role. Unfortunately, Curry had conflicts with his filming schedule for Home Alone 2, and the gig ultimately landed on Irons' hands.
Many Disney animators actually passed up working on The Lion King because they thought that the animated film would be a complete flop. Instead, they wanted to work on another upcoming film, Pocahontas. As a result, a majority of the animation team were just new to Disney. Guess who proved them wrong.
The Lion King was just a few weeks away from hitting the big screens when the massive magnitude 6.7 Northridge earthquake in 1994 struck San Fernando Valley, where the studio was situated. As a result, the studio was temporarily shut down and the animators were forced to finish their work from home.
Yes, Elton John wasn't the first choice for the soundtrack. Since Tim Rice's composing partner Alan Menken was working on another project at the time, Rice invited ABBA instead to aid him in writing the soundtrack. However, the proposition fell through because Benny Anderson was busy with Kristina från Duvemåla. Rice suggested John to the studio, and the composer accepted it with open arms.
When it comes to VHS releases, The Lion King still leads with pride. It sold over 4.5 million copies on the first day of its release alone. Remember, that was within 24 hours. Honestly, guys, we could still feel your love. We felt it then, we can still feel it now.
The Rice-John tandem is possibly one of the best decisions Disney ever made, and we couldn't agree more! No wonder it's sold over 10,000 copies in excess, making it the only soundtrack for an animated film to be certified by RIAA.
The fact of the matter is, The Lion King is one of the biggest box office hits of all time. It earned nearly a billion dollars ($968.5 million, to be exact) during its original theatrical run. It currently holds the record of the third highest-grossing film of Walt Disney Animation Studios, falling behind Frozen and Zootopia, which were released in 2013 and 2016, respectively. Um, this is what timeless means, right?
|1||The Lion King could have copied Kimba the White Lion||Other||17||Paid|
|2||Disney faced legal battle over the movie's representation of hyenas||Other||12||Paid|
|3||The story is largely influenced by Shakespeare's Hamlet||Other||7||Paid|
|4||Jeremy Irons wasn't the first choice for Scar||Other||5||Paid|
|5||Many Disney animators had doubts about the movie||Other||2||Paid|
|6||A natural disaster almost stopped the production||Other||2||Paid|
|7||The movie almost had an ABBA soundtrack||Other||2||Paid|
|8||It's still the best-selling VHS release of all time||Other||2||Paid|
|9||The soundtrack is still well-loved||Other||1||Paid|
|10||The Lion King had a groundbreaking theatrical release||Other||1||Paid|
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