The Lion King Joins Disney’s Signature Collection On Blu-ray This August

by Sean Fallon

Of all the masterpieces Disney has made, only Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Beauty and the Beast, Pinocchio, and Bambi have been inducted into the Walt Disney Signature Collection series of Blu-ray video releases. The Lion King is set to become the fifth film in the series starting on August 29th. From the press release:

Audiences will fall in love all over again with the treasured classic, and a new generation of fans will laugh with Timon and Pumbaa, cry with Simba and Mufasa, burst into song, and find their place in the "Circle of Life." The Walt Disney Signature Collection release includes over three hours of classic bonus material and exclusive, brand new features inviting viewers to sing along with the film's award-winning music, observe recording sessions, step inside the story room, witness the evolution of a villain, and join Nathan Lane (voice of Timon) and Matthew Broderick (voice of Adult Simba) for an extended conversation regarding the legacy of "The Lion King."

"The Lion King" follows the adventures of Simba, a feisty lion cub who cannot wait to be king, as he searches for his destiny in the great "Circle of Life." The film earned a Golden Globe® for Best Motion Picture—Comedy or Musical and inspired a Tony Award®-winning Broadway musical that is currently the third longest-running musical in Broadway history. In 2019, a reimagined live-action film, helmed by Jon Favreau, will delight audiences with the thrilling retelling of the original tale utilizing groundbreaking technological advances—as only Disney can do.

Sadly, this release will not participate in the 4K Ultra HD wave that Disney is riding at the moment. For this release, Disney is relying on some additional bonus features to justify adding yet another copy of the film to your collection. You can check out the full list of features below and decide if they succeeded. The Lion King Signature Collection edition arrives on Digital on Aug. 15 and on Blu-ray and DVD on Aug. 29, and is currently available to pre-order from both Amazon and Target.

Special features:

• Brand New Sing-Along Version
• Audio Commentary – View the film with commentary by producer Don Hahn and co-directors Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff.
• Visualizing a Villain – Against a backdrop of live dancers and the animated "Be Prepared" sequence, artist David Garibaldi paints a masterpiece of evil.
• The Recording Sessions – Watch rare footage of the actors recording their roles, matched with the final animation. Intro by Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff.
• Nathan and Matthew: The Extended Lion King Conversation – Nathan Lane (Timon) and Matthew Broderick (Adult Simba) offer candid and hilarious insights into their Lion King experiences.
• Inside the Story Room – Co-directors Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff present archival footage of five original story pitches.

• Circle of Life – See how color creates emotion and meaning in the film's iconic opening.
• Simba & Nala – See how elements proposed in story meetings evolve into what appears onscreen.
• Simba Takes Nala Out to Play – …And, sometimes what seems funny in story meetings never makes it into the film!
• Hakuna Matata – Co-directors Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff sing, act and dance their hearts out as they pitch the "Hakuna Matata" sequence.
• Rafiki and Reflecting Pool – Co-directors Roger Allers & Rob Minkoff pitch a sequence that became the emotional heart of The Lion King to Producer Don Hahn.

Music & More – Sing along to your favorite songs from the movie!

• "Circle of Life"
• "I Just Can't Wait to Be King"
• "Be Prepared"
• "Hakuna Matata"
• "Can You Feel the Love Tonight"

Galleries

• Visual Development – Explore a gallery of striking artwork that inspired the movie's look and feel.
• Character Design – Trace the development of the film's unforgettable characters through early concept art drawings.
• Storyboards – Examine storyboards created in the development of "The Lion King."
• Layouts – Feast your eyes on layouts created in the development of "The Lion King."
• Backgrounds & Layouts – Journey through a gallery of landscape paintings that shaped the world of "The Lion King."

Classic Bonus Features (Digital Only) – These offerings from prior home entertainment releases include hours of bonus material, such as bloopers, audio commentary, deleted and alternate scenes, and in-depth journeys into the music, film, story, animals and stage show.

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