***The Following DVD / Blu-Ray is released at all local Columbus stores. Please check local retailers for their own unique pricing ***
Disney is notorious for double-dipping it’s releases, especially big ones like this one. The big one being the film that put Disney officially back on the map, cementing it’s place as reigning king of animation and also beginning of the end of their silver age of animation, which is accurately detailed in Waking Sleeping Beauty. The film in question is The Lion King, the same film that was in theaters beating top tier films like Moneyball at the box-office.
I am more than happy to admit I saw the film in theaters and saw it in 3-D, and while it had some cool features in 3-D, I had some problems with the transfer. And was looking forward really to the blu-ray which was to be released only a week or two later. When it came in, it did so with a long list of fun features such as:
- 4 Never-Before-Seen Deleted Scenes;
- Deleted Song;
- The Morning Report: Extended scene;
- Never-Before-Seen Bloopers;
- Disney Second Screen*;
- Pride of The Lion King; The Lion King: A Memoir- Don Hahn; Disney Sing Along Mode; Interactive Gallery; Audio Commentary; Disney’s Virtual Vault: Classic DVD Features Powered by BD-Live*
(*Not Available in all territories. Features subject to change.)
-you can bet your sweet bippy I was going to devour as soon as I could. While The Lion King has been long celerbated as the jewel in the Disney crown when it comes to animated features, it is quick to point out, which the DVDs, any of them, this one including, fail to really point out how under-loved by Disney brass the film was in it’s extras. As an animation fan, I am truly facsinated by the background on these films, because so many things need to click and work just right and if not, the film can fail. And while the Pride of the Lion King documentary does shine some light, as always with disney documentaries on DVDs, it feels a bit stuffed with bright and shiney happy people talking about a bright and shiney happy film and the bright and shiney expierence it gave everyone. And I’m sorry, it just rings a bit false. Because the story of The Lion King is clearly Hamlet, or a take on the classic Shaekspeare play, mixed with other ideas, and then there is the music. Elton John has been noted before saying he thought he was killing his career, and that seems to be all but missing in some of the features. And with a film as wonderful as this, to see the dark AND light, would have been way more beneficial to me as an animation fan AND as a fan of the film. But, in terms of the film on blu-ray, the film is simply BEAUTIFUL. I can not say this enough. After being disappointed by the 3-D transfer in theaters (especially during wide-shots) the film looks crisp and clear as ever just like when it first came out in 1994. It is quite possibly the most gorgeous animated 2-D film transfer I own. The Sound has been remixed here as well and sounds wonderful on DTS Dolby Digital 5.1.
The transfer alone is worth the moolah to drop on the film, but in terms of the whole package, the film, the extras, everything, nothing beats the 2-3 Disc Special Edition of Tarzan that Disney dropped about 10 years ago, that features almost everything you wanted to know, both good and bad, about the making of Disney’s Tarzan, including about 10-15 demos of Phil Collins recording songs for the film, some that never made it to the screen,and others that mutated and became the songs we loved. (Where was that HERE, Disney?!) For those who love the film, the blu-ray version is a real treat, it’s the same film you’ve loved now in it’s original format. For fans who want more behind The Lion King will be half-surprised and half-disappointed in the features, while those who love the film will be delighted in this beautiful transfer of the Disney Classic.