'Lion King' returns to theaters for two-week run

Posted: September 16, 2011

LOS ANGELES - Walt Disney's 1994 animated blockbuster "The Lion King" certainly hasn't been an endangered species for the studio. Not with an international gross of $788.2 million. Though it hasn't been out on DVD or VHS since 2004, Disney reports it is the most successful title in home-entertainment history.

Now the lions Simba (Matthew Broderick), Mufasa (James Earl Jones) and Scar (Jeremy Irons) and the comedic buddies Pumbaa the warthog (Ernie Sabella) and Timon the hyper meerkat (Nathan Lane) are back for a two-week run in theaters in a new 3-D version. (On Oct. 4, Disney will release the 3-D Blu-ray and regular Blu-ray.)

Ironically, "The Lion King" was considered the "B" project at the studio. Everyone was paying more attention to "Pocahontas," which would come out in 1995. George Scribner, the director of the 1988 hit "Oliver & Company," was attached to the film.

"Lion King" was considered a little movie because, said producer Don Hahn, "we were going to take some risks. The pitch for the story was a lion cub gets framed for murder by his uncle set to the music of Elton John. People said, 'What? Good luck with that.' But for some reason, the people who ended up on the movie were highly passionate about it and motivated."

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