Lion King – Walt Disney Records Legacy Collection Review

lionkingThough it’s been out for a couple of months now, I’m just getting around to reviewing the first installment of the Walt Disney Records Legacy Collection.  The premier album is The Lion King, no doubt to celebrate the anniversary of the landmark film.  This two CD collection, also featured on iTunes, is a great album.

At first I was a little cautious in grabbing the CD’s.  I already had the Lion King soundtrack from when it first came out in 1994, and wondered why this warranted a new purchase.  One of the things that grabbed my attention is the artwork that accompanied it.  I purchased it at Walt Disney World during the Harambe Nights event, and they offered a free print of the cover artwork with the purchase.  Sure.  Why not get it there.

Looking at the track listing, I recognized a lot of the songs, and even the demos that are on the “B-Side” disc.  It kept me thinking “Why did I get this album I practically already had?”  It wasn’t until I popped it in and listened to the tracks that I was very glad for the purchase.

I would say half of the first disc is from the original soundtrack.  The other half is every score from the movie!  It’s hard to describe how glad I am that they’ve released this!  Soundtracks do not always cover every part of a movie.  It has selections.  This is the whole film soundtrack!  As I listen to the album, it feels like I’m going through the movie section by section.  Even little parts like Timon and Pumbaa’s luau song to distract hyenas is here (missing is Zazu’s renditions of songs while in the bone prison).

What delights me in little cuts like this is that it takes me back to my childhood.  I remember trying to capture some of the songs like Timon and Pumbaa sing on a mix tape.  Of course, it was not great quality, but it entertained me for many days.  Here is the song I find as humorous as the first time I heard it, but now in great quality on a great soundtrack!

lion_king_legacy_collection_simba_timon_pumbaaThe booklet inside the case is a delightful look at the animation and song process.  An introduction from Don Hahn that discusses how the soundtrack came to be is a great glimpse at the classic film.  Artwork is featured throughout the pages and reveal early sketches of characters and scenes.  It shows how this film evolved to be the masterpiece that it is.  Another great feature of this booklet is demo notes from Hans Zimmer.  A few of the scores are discussed and why they came out the way they did.  I might be one of the few that always enjoy behind the scenes insights like this.  I want to know what was picked and why.  I like getting into the minds of these great animators and composers and finding out their process of creation.  This album is doing exactly this.

Lion-King-Scar-Lorelai-BouveThe Lion King album from The Legacy Collection is a great start at this series of CD’s!  I am surprised that Disney is releasing so much of the soundtrack in one place.  It captures so much of the film in listening pleasure.  The whole package is a wonderful accompaniment.  It’s visually stunning to look at.  It’s worth keeping around instead of just having the actual CD’s.  It makes it worth having this physical copy instead of a digital version.

With several albums on the calendar to be released, the next being Mary Poppins, I’m excited to see what each will have in store.  I’ve already seen the track listing for Mary Poppins and there are going to be some excellent lost songs redone for the album.  That alone is making me anxious to hear it all.  But, it’s listening to this very full soundtrack that gets me excited about all the others.  I’m a musicphile, and it’s probably the one thing I collect the most from Disney.  I have many soundtracks, and this was well worth getting.  For anyone who is a fan of the movie, this is an album worth grabbing.  For any Disney movie fans, this is an excellent addition to be listening to.  And, if you’re both, you will mouth will drop at just how much is packed into the music collection!

Until next time, have a marvelous day!