There are few movies that can completely engross and entertain the entire family. The Lion King is one of these movies. The new release of The Lion King Diamond Edition on Blu-Ray takes that amazing movie released 17 years ago and elevates it to a beautiful new level. The Lion King is a story of friendship, love, and discovering who you really are. It is the story of Simba’s journey to becoming the king of Pride Rock.
Picture and Sound:
The Lion King was incredibly easy to review in terms of picture and sound. To put it simply, they were both amazing. As the first strains of music began, I was entranced. The clarity of the screen was beautiful! Combine that with the sound to create some breathtaking moments. Seeing Simba chase after Rafiki through the night to Hans Zimmer’s incredible score gave me the chills. I’m going to forego the technical details in this review as I’m not sure they are relevant. Just know that the quality is impeccable and you will not be disappointed!
The bonus features on The Lion King equaled in quality the presentation of the main feature. There were also a very nice selection included to peruse.
- Disney Second Screen – This is an amazing extra that gives you bonus features as you watch the film. This can be done from a laptop or ipad and allows you to see concept art, do interactive activities, see animation tests, and get an extra layer of depth as you watch the movie.
- Audio Commentary – This is a great commentary with producer Don Hahn and directors Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff. This can be found as you are playing the feature and not on the main bonus feature menu.
- Pride of The Lion King – This is a look back at the making of the film, the production, and its legacy. It included people like Thomas Schumacher, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Peter Schneider, Rob Minkoff, Roger Allers, Don Hahn, Hans Zimmer, and more. This was very enjoyable to watch and was also cool because it included people that in the past aren’t often seen discussing some of these things in recent years.
- The Lion King: A Memoir – Don Hahn – This was a look at The Lion King from the viewpoint of Don Hahn. This was gold. Don Hahn knows how to show and tell the story and this is no exception. When it ended I found myself wishing for more, not because it was incomplete, but because like an amazing cake… you always want more!
- Disney’s Virtual Vault – This is an interesting feature where you can look at previously released extra from The Lion King, but not on the blu-ray disc. Instead, you can access it online! Personally, I think I’d rather have this content included on the disc but I’m thankful that it was accessible at all.
- Deleted & Alternate Scenes – The directors introduce five deleted and alternate scenes.
- The Morning Report – This is the song of the same name that was previously added to the Platinum Edition DVD release of The Lion King and also can be found in the Broadway musical version.
- Bloopers & Outtakes – The whole animated crew of The Lion King participate in this animated gag reel.
- Interactive Art Gallery – This is one of those bonus features that is very easy to overlook. However, if you take the time to explore the plethora of pictures it has to offer, you will find it fascinating and at times beautiful. I really enjoy this bonus feature when I take the time to slow down and enjoy it.
- Sing-Along Mode – This offers a chance to sing along with the songs of The Lion King.
It is hard to imagine that The Lion King was originally released 17 years ago. Watching today, it is still engrossing, powerful, and absolutely beautiful. I would daresay that it is one of the best animated (if not that absolute best) features to be released on Blu-Ray disc to date. I have no criticisms to offer and definitely give it a hearty hat tip. If you buy no other Disney movie this year, The Lion King is the one you should get. You will not be disappointed.
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