Somewhere in the ivy covered halls of The Walt Disney Company’s Burbank Headquarters is a person whose job it is to continue to add up the dollars that The Lion King animated film and all the various products and properties that have derived from that great film continues to bring in since its debut in 1994. They’re probably busier than you think.
One of the ways The Lion King stays alive is through the passion of its fans. Dozens of sites like The Lion King Source gather fans together to share their love of the film. I enjoyed the Broadway show. I still cry during the finale of The Lion King Celebration at Animal Kingdom (and not just because they stole the floats from the parade at Disneyland). In fact, I wouldn’t mind it if WDAS paid another visit to the savannah friends of The Lion King, as long as it wasn’t another cheap-quel in the Eisner mold. How about you?
If they don’t do it already, someone at Feature Animation should be keeping track of exactly how much money WDFA productions generate. Animated films are expensive to produce, but even if they don’t recover costs at the box office (cinemas keep about half of the take), just think of the revenue they generate with soundtracks, DVDs, plays, merchandise, interactive games, theme park shows and attractions, TV airings, etc.
I loved Lion King 2 and thought it would’ve done well as a theatrical release (not so much 1-1/2).
But I remember thinking if they went back to the well one more time, the animals of Pride Rock should meet man. Maybe civilization encroaching on their habitat…
Other than use of the songs, “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”, “It’s a Small World” and “I’ve Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts” I can’t think of anything in either film that definitively ties it into a real-life time period (which is good). So it could be that they meet up with encroaching British Imperials, or something like that.
The Lion King is awesome, but can you buy a dvd without that stupid morning report song? Or all the other filler on the $40 2 disc version? The original I saw in the cinemas was breathtaking without any obvious signs of penny pinching.