5/29/2011 - TLK Blu-Ray Release Details Confirmed
Disney is going to be releasing The Lion King
on Blu-Ray (including a 3D version) on October 4, 2011.
Also, in advance of this, on September 16, the new 3D version will begin a theatrical run. This will be the first time TLK has been seen in general theatrical release since the IMAX version began its circulation in 2002.
BURBANK, Calif. (May 26, 2011) — Simba, Mufasa, Nala, Timon and Pumbaa are back and better than ever this fall when Disney’s “The Lion King” roars into theaters and homes in breathtaking 3D. A special two-week theatrical extravaganza kicks off Sept. 16, 2011, showcasing the Oscar®- and Golden Globe®-winning film on the big screen in Disney Digital 3D™ for the first time ever, and its highly anticipated home entertainment debut kicks off October 4, celebrating the Diamond Edition release of the epic movie “The Lion King” in high-definition Blu-ray™ and Blu-ray 3D™.
Get the full press release at Christian's Cartoon Corner
4/24/2011 - "The Lion King Trilogy" 8-Disc Set Available for Preorder
That's right: eight discs. That includes the original movie in:
On top of that, both Simba's Pride
and TLK 1 ½
are included in both Blu-Ray and DVD formats.
The whole thing lists for $100, but you can preorder it at Amazon
11/18/2010 - TLK HD trailer on Beauty and the Beast Blu-ray
The recently released Blu-ray edition of Beauty and the Beast
contains a full High Definition trailer for The Lion King
, as reported by Michael:
The trailer from the last news is indeed on the "Beauty and the beast" Blu-Ray, but in much better quality than the youtube version. In other words 1080p with four different audio tracks. So far it's looking very good.
The trailer appears in full 1080p, with four different audio tracks, and can be accessed under the "Bonus Features" section. The detail is striking, though it will inevitably put on display a few of the shortcuts taken in the original animation that was made clear in the IMAX re-release, which has a much higher effective resolution than the 35mm print for which the film was animated. It remains to be seen whether Disney will have done any further touch-ups to enhance the detail in background characters that now show up on modern screens.
The Blu-ray release that the trailer advertises remains slated for fall 2011. Head over to s-tlk.org
for 1920x1080 screenshots and more details.
6/24/2010 - TLK in 3D?
This sounds perhaps too weird to be true, but it certainly has the press buzzing:
First, Hahn revealed that Beauty And The Beast isn’t the only Disney classic about to go 3D. A certain cartoon starring a warthog and a meerkat will be returning to cinemas too. “I’m actually trying to work out a 3D conversion of The Lion King. I’ll be doing that when I go back to the States in a couple of weeks,” he said, explaining that we shouldn’t expect to see it for a while yet, since the Disney boffins are taking their time in making Simba, Zazu et al pop out of the screen. “It’s going to be spectacular – we will do a good job for ya! The technology is tremendous. We did A Nightmare Before Christmas a few years ago and Tim thought it was better than the original because it allows you to walk onto the set.”
Read the original article
for more about this interview with Hahn, and to make up your own mind about how good it will look (especially if you've seen the other 3D adaptations he mentions).
Thanks to Ryan and Michael!
3/24/2010 - TLK Blu-Ray Release: October 2011?
Word on the web is that the schedule for Disney's animated classics' release on Blu-Ray is being finalized. According to UltimateDisney.com
(see the Feb. 3 entry):
Now, thanks to a tip from someone aware of Disney's retail schedules, we've gotten word of the studio's plans for its tentpole titles. This year's anticipated Diamond Editions are still on track to make it to stores in 2010. Beauty and the Beast is slated to make its Blu-ray debut in October, with Fantasia and Fantasia 2000 following in December. Meanwhile, already heavily-marketed Dumbo, which isn't part of the Diamond line but was clearly intended for re-release this week, won't arrive until February 2011 (rendering its proposed 70th Anniversary Edition moniker more accurate). Beyond that, a big October 2011 splash is expected for one of Disney's biggest all-time titles; The Lion King is set to bow on Blu-ray then.
Thanks to the crafty "ask"-manship of Bits reader Thomas R., we now know when Disney tentatively plans to release its new Blu-ray edition of the original Tron! Look for it in November (a month before the theatrical debut of the new Tron Legacy sequel), or so says Jeremy Sheer who administers the Disney Movie Rewards program's Facebook site. He also posts word there that Disney currently has The Lion King set for BD release in October of 2011. Bang-up job, Jeremy!
Naturally, take these rumors as just that: unofficial scuttlebutt. But we know it'll happen sooner or later. The only question is whether the transfer quality will be all we hope for from a true HD medium... or if all that resolution will only magnify flaws we never realized were there. Oh, and whether they'll include a "theatrical" version without the "Morning Report" song.
Thanks to Lindsay M. for the tip!
3/10/2009 - Get Notified of TLK Availability on Blu-Ray
Disney has posted a notifier
page where you can sign up to receive an e-mail when Disney publishes a release date for The Lion King
on Blu-Ray (or the DVD re-release).
No word as yet on what that date will be, of course; also uncertain is whether this release date will coincide with any release schedule for Disney's more tightly-guarded features on digital download sites such as iTunes, whether for rental or purchase.
Information courtesy of s-tlk
7/29/2008 - "Continue The Lion King" Petition
I've already endorsed the petition
to release The Lion King: The Complete Score
as an official Disney product, and I hope visitors to the site still sign that one if they're as interested in seeing that as I am.
However, there's a new petition being circulated, one which encourages Disney to produce a fourth Lion King
There are already more signatures for this signature than the soundtrack petition ever accumulated. Clearly there is some interest in seeing Disney produce more movies in this series. And even though John Lasseter, Disney's new chief creative officer imported from Pixar, has instituted a policy of avoiding the cheaply made direct-to-video sequels that have tarnished Disney's reputation for quality in the past, I think that under the right circumstances the TLK universe could benefit from another installment.
This is not something I say lightly. I was never much of a fan of TLK 2: Simba's Pride
; I thought it was poorly conceived and poorly executed, with lackluster animation and an unimaginative, tawdry story—but more importantly (and more subtly), I thought it detracted from the unity and epic timelessness of the original movie by being a mere "continuation". There's a scene in the Kathleen Turner/Michael Douglas movie Jewel of the Nile
where Joan Wilders, a romance novel author, is talking with her publisher, who has to admonish her that she can't keep confusing real life with a romantic novel—when your characters ride off into the sunset, that's The End. There is no "next morning", when the sun comes up and the characters have to make breakfast and go to work and argue over paying bills. Joan keeps falling prey to the urge to imagine what comes next
, but her publisher knows that doing so ruins the story she's just told. And I feel it's the same deal with TLK: it starts and ends with the big "BOOM" of the title splash and the "Circle of Life" song, and that really ought to have been The End
. "Simba's Pride" just told us that it wasn't epic after all, and there was a "next day" and a next and a next, with more and more generations of cardboard lion royalty that argue and fight and sing songs about Upendi, which to me deflates all the magic and majesty of the original.
On the other hand, I actually loved TLK 1 1/2
, because it was precisely the kind of "sequel" that I did
think would work with TLK: more of a parody than a continuation, something that kept the original story intact but looked at it through a cockeyed, tongue-in-cheek, yet affectionate way. The very fact that it was imagined in such a silly manner just made the original's epic scale all the more apparent by the explicit comparison it invited. Plus it was just plain fun
, and better animated than TLK 2
to boot. The silhouetted theater scene at the end with all the gathered Disney characters was like one giant cast-and-crew screening of Disney's greatest achievement, and the retrospective "Digga Tunnah Dance" song over the credits gave the whole thing a feel of being sort of a wrap party, a celebration of the original. Nothing like the workmanlike, linear inevitability of TLK 2
, which just felt like a preview of ever more mundane and tedious sequels to come. Small wonder, to me, that TLK 1 1/2
never even acknowledged TLK 2
Now, a lot of whether another sequel would be a storytelling and financial success depends on how it's framed. For instance, a prequel showing the lives of Mufasa and Scar before the events of the original movie has potential. Prequels are tricky things to do—as the Star Wars
films proved, it's very difficult to present an engaging and surprising story when you already know how it turns out. But on the other hand you're working with characters you already know, rather than having to invent new ones to get the audience interested in; and unlike with Star Wars
, there's no implausibility in asserting that all these well-known characters knew each other way back when. After all, in the case of TLK, they did.
In short, if there's to be another sequel, I'd want it to feel necessary
from a storytelling standpoint to create it, a key part of the story that deserves to be realized—not something they did just because they couldn't come up with any better ideas.
Finally, I should point out carefully that signing a petition does nothing to legally bind Disney to sink millions of dollars into the business investment that is a new movie project. We all must keep in mind that every movie Disney creates—whether a theatrical blockbuster or a direct-to-video cheapquel, whether 3D, 2D, or live-action—is a fresh business venture that has to be carefully studied and approved from within the company. You can be sure that the subject of doing another sequel to the biggest cash cow in Disney's modern history is something that comes up in board meetings every other week; this isn't some brilliant new idea that nobody has thought to suggest to management before. Disney is constantly brainstorming story ideas of which we have no idea, and for every one that gets green-lit, dozens lie on the boardroom floor. The fact that no TLK 4
in in the works tells us that Disney has evaluated the proposal—probably numerous times—and determined that the potential rewards wouldn't be worth the investment. What's more, there are legal issues surrounding any story ideas that Disney uses from outside its walls; it has enough sidelong scrutiny from fans of Osamu Tezuka's Kimba/Jungle Emperor Leo
and Richard Williams' The Thief and the Cobbler
without having to worry about what happens if they use a story idea suggested by some fans in public and then don't mention where they got the idea in the credits and pay the originators a hefty sum. That's why Disney's official policy is to return unopened any unsolicited script or screenplay sent to them: they can't legally afford to even look at it without compromising their plausible deniability.
Disney has to make the decision to produce another Lion King
sequel on its own. A petition can give them a sense for how well it would do in the marketplace; but that's about it. We shouldn't get our hopes up. There is a lot of internal resistance to the idea of pillaging the TLK war chest once more—potentially reducing the impact and value of the original in the interest of the short-term gains to be had from another sequel—and the Disney management under Lasseter might be dead set against it, in which case we have to accept that reality.
Yet a fan petition got Family Guy
reinstated, so who knows?
That URL again:
2/20/2008 - Complete Soundtrack Petition
Ravi K. mails to let me know of a petition being circulated to ask Walt Disney Records to release The Lion King: The Complete Score
as an official licensed product.
This score has been available on the Internet for some time now as a bootleg, with some audio flaws and without the legal backing of Disney; fans of the movie and Hans Zimmer's masterwork have been forced to resort to using less-than-legal methods to obtain the tracks.
Online petitions are certainly no foolproof solution, not being legally binding and not addressing the business concerns that a publicly traded, profit-motivated corporation like Disney must weigh when deciding which products to sell and market; but adding your voice to the chorus might yet make a difference if Disney's team is listening to its fans and judges them to be representative of the market as a whole.
So: if you'd like to see the complete score of The Lion King
emerge as a special-edition soundtrack with dozens of tracks of never-before-generally-available material, please feel free to sign!
1/15/2008 - Blu-Ray Release Speculation
IGN has an article
outlining Disney's plan for movie releases on Blu-Ray format in 2008.
For the first time ever, Disney will begin releasing its animated classics on Platinum Edition Blu-ray Disc beginning with Sleeping Beauty in the fall of 2008. The classic animated tale has been revitalized to include exceptional high-definition picture and sound quality and compelling interactive content such as virtual games, full motion picture-in-picture and online shopping capabilities via BD-Live broadband connection. The transfer will also feature an all-new enhanced home theater mix in 7.1 surround sound.
There is no explicit word on when The Lion King
or its sequels will appear in Blu-Ray, but if the DVD rollout plan of several years ago is any indication, it won't be the second in line. However, we can
be pretty well assured that Disney will be taking full advantage of all that space available on the new format to throw in all kinds of new special features, to a level that will put to shame the DVD release and even the legendary old Deluxe Laserdisc Edition.
Via Ryan R.
11/9/2007 - Empire State Building Lit to Honor Ten Years of TLKoB
According to Disney
, a year of citywide celebrations will begin on November 9, 2007 to honor the tenth anniversary of the opening of The Lion King
The first such display, kicking off the string of festivities, is a special lighting scheme for the Empire State Building.