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Happy 30th Anniversary “The Lion King!”

Happy 30th Anniversary “The Lion King!”

I ROAR FOR “THE LION KING!”  I saw this film when I was 5 years old and it was pure magic.  Seeing it in theaters four times, collecting as many toys and merch as possible, and cuddling with my plush Simba was some of the highlights of my childhood.  The music, the characters, the story, the messages, it all resounds and lives in my head rent free.  It simply makes me happy. 🙂

So, OF COARSE, I had to celebrate the 30th anniversary of this mane attraction to Disney lore!  ^_^  I thought my Top 10 would be a special one; a Top 30! My Top 30 favorite “The Lion King” fun facts.  Now, this was a challenge because I personally tried to find facts that are not as well-known and all pretain to only the original film or actors/employees associated with it.  AND, I already, two years, did a detailed post about my favorite wild cat, Simba, and facts about him.  I promise I did not double-dip.

A lot of love and research on my end went into it so a comment on if you learned anything or why you love “The Lion King” would be bug-tastic!

Show your Lion King pride, all hail the way of Hakuna Matata, and be prepared to sink your teeth into this shining jewel.  We all apart of the great circle of life.

My 30 Favorite “The Lion King” Facts:

  1. The opening of “The Lion King,” with the song and scene, “The Circle of Life,” was so beloved that Disney made it the trailer to promote the film.  This was the first time a full scene was used for a Disney trailer.
  2. The opening scene took almost three years to animate due to all its elements.
  3. “The Lion King” is the highest-grossing hand-drawn animated feature of all time, 42nd highest grossed MOVIE of all time, and best sold VHS release of all time! This checks out.  I have a special memory of how I got to get The Lion King at Walmart first in my down a day before it was released on VHS.  They were setting up the massive display when my dad and I went in.  I was in awe! The lady who set it up was a manager and saw my sparkly five-year-old face I guess and allowed us special permission to purchase it a day early! I will never forget that.
  4. The two and a half minute stampede scene took over two years alone to make and had to have a new CGI program invented for it.
  5. An earthquake made the studio shut down for a while and the creators took their work for the movie home.
  6. Zazu was almost voiced by a member of The Monty Python cast OR Patrick Stuart!
  7. “WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO DO, DRESS IN DRAG AND DO THE HULA?” was an AD-LIB for Timon by the great comedy, Nathan Lane.
  8. The constellation we see in the starry sky when Simba talks to his dad’s spirit is Leo, the lion.
  9. Scar’s claws are always shown out to show he is evil.
  10. Jonathan Tyler Thomas, the voice actor for young Simba, was hit in the back during the scene where Nala pounces on him to get an authentic sounding “Oof!” sound. I always thought this sound was great, so this is dedication.
  11. Shenzi is in charge of the trio of hyenas because in real life, hyena females dominate the males.
  12. Meerkats in real life stay close to warthogs to eat the annoying fleas off their backs to use as their food source.  It helps both of them out and is fitting for our favorite duo.
  13. Nala’s mom in the film has an official name although it was never spoken: Sarafina.  It was approved by Disney for some official merch for Burger King.
  14. Tim Curry was considered for the role of the villainous Scar.
  15. Liam Neeson was considered for the role of Mufasa but turned it down.  Funnily enough, 11 years later, he voiced another powerful and respected lion for Disney in the live-action: “The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.”
  16. Sean Connery was who the creators envisioned as Mufasa.  I could see that!
  17. The legend Greggory Peck said “The Lion King” was his favorite animated film of all time and one of his top five favorite movies ever.
  18. This is the third Disney film to feature no humans (ALTHOUGH, a human HAD to be in “Bambi” to shoot his mother…sob. AND, the animals in “Robin Hood” are fully human in actions and stance, replacing humans.  So, in theory, this is the FIRST Disney film with no traces of humans or that have human-like traits to their characters!)
  19. In 2016, the film was added to the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress for its influence.
  20. ABBA was who Tim Rice, the creator of the music, wanted to sing the songs for “The Lion King.”  They said no, so he asked Elton John.
  21. The master of voices, Frank Welker (Fred from “Scooby Doo” and numerous other roles) made all the lion roars (and all unique at that) himself! He roared with a metal trash can over his mouth!
  22. Matthew Broderick was originally cast as adult Simba because Simba was supposed to be a carefree goof like his break-out character, Ferris Bueller.  This was when the plot was Scar raised Simba as his own after Mufasa ‘mysteriously’ died when he was a cub (AKA…murdered his brother still!)
  23. In its release year of 1994, “The Lion King” made around $1 billion in merch sales alone! I was a part of this number for sure, lol!
  24. Mufasa was originally supposed to not return after his death, but the creators needed a reason for Simba to return to Pride Rock.
  25. Sally Dworsky, who was the singing voice of adult Nala, also was the singing voice of Princess Fiona in the first “Shrek” movie.
  26. In some countries, instead of The Pride Lands, it is called The Land of Sun.
  27. In the original script, the final fight scene had Scar telling Simba “Good night, sweet prince,” before trying to kill him.  This is a direct quote from “Hamlet,” which the movie is based on.
  28. Timon is Jewish!
  29. Pumbaa was called a pig by both Simba and Timon in the movies but never got upset.  However, when the hyenas called him that (and it was not an insult,) he gets angry about the name and charges at them! Timon even comments, “Oh no; they called him a pig!”
  30. Pumbaa and Rafiki’s voice actors reprised their voice-over roles in the video games for Disney: “Kingdom Hearts II” in 2005.

There is some amazing-looking 30th merch too coming out! I will have to get my paws on some (the ones I can afford:)




There is A LOT more merch HERE!

I also saw an announcement they are going to release a 30th special edition Blu-ray with six disks, one for each of the three movies and a bonus disk for each as well.  Wishlist?  You bet!


Roar your might! Stay geeky!


Educator of young minds by day, super nerdy savior of justice, and cute things by night, Morgan Straughan Comnick has a love for turning the normal into something special without losing its essence. Morgan draws from real-life experiences and her ongoing imagination to spark her writing. In her spare time, she enjoys doing goofy voices, traveling to new worlds by turning pages, humming child-like songs, and forcing people to smile with her “bubbliness.” It is Morgan’s mission in life to spread the amazement of otaku/Japanese culture to the world and to stop bullying; she knows everyone shines brightly.

For more information about Morgan and her works, check out her website, which also has links to all her social medias: http://morganscomnick.com

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