FFlashback: The Lion King (1994)

Be prepared to read about the best darn Disney film ever as our retrospective turns to the stupendous The Lion King…


The One Where: Young cub Simba just can’t wait to succeed his father, the wise Mufasa, as King of the Pride Lands when he grows up. Unfortunately, his duplicitous uncle Scar has the same agenda, as she plots to destroy his family in his bid to claim the throne.

Star Turns: The Lion King has such a strong cast of characters and matching voice talent, there are almost too many star turns to mention. James Earl Jones lends his incomparable tones to Mufasa, Rowan Atkinson is perfect as Zazu, there’s Nathan Lane and Ernie Sabella as Timon and Pumbaa, the Hyenas and, last but not least, Jeremy Irons as the silkily sinister Scar.

Best Song: Oh, The Lion King soundtrack! There is literally no bad song in the pack – ‘Circle of Life’, ‘Can’t Wait To Be King’, ‘Can You Feel The Love’, ‘Be Prepared’, ‘Hakuna Matata’… However, as these are often praised, I’d like to draw your attention to Hans Zimmer’s fantastic score. I think the following piece might be the most rousing piece of music he’s ever composed.

Verdict: Bringing to a close Disney’s terrific triple whammy of three of the best animated films ever made, The Lion King is one of the best films ever made. I’ve always been of the opinion that Lion King delivers just about everything you could ever want from a movie, and even after endless viewings its brilliance is undiminished. Comedy, tragedy, meerkats in hula skirts, it’s all here in this Disney film fit for a king.

Did You Know?: Scar already kills his brother, reduces the great Pride Lands to ruin and attempts to murder his infant nephew, but he could have had another villainous arrow in his evil quiver. ‘The Madness of King Scar’ song would have seen him try and forcibly wed Nala – originally this was why she ran away from the Pride Lands and eventually found Simba. The song was re-inserted in the hit Lion King stage musical.

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