In 1994, when “The Lion King” issued its first roar in cinemas, the story of Simba and his father melted the hearts of a whole generation of viewers: an outstanding soundtrack, unexpected humor and charming characters won the hearts of people around the world. This cartoon is a parable about growing up, which takes children and adults into incredibly beautiful and mysterious African landscapes and rightfully takes its place in the collection of family movie classics.
To this day, it is the highest grossing release among the animated films in the history of world cinema. The film “The Lion King” was awarded the Academy Award for Best Music and Best Song (“Can You Feel the Love Tonight”), Golden Globe Award in the same nominations, as well as for the best comedy / musical. And finally, on March 23, 2012, the Russian film premiere of the cartoon in a new, three-dimensional image took place.
And from April 24, 2012, the film will also be reissued on video media for the first time since 1994.
About 600 artists, animators and technicians worked on the film. In total, they created more than a million sketches, 1197 hand-drawn backgrounds and 119,058 individual frames. In order to soak up the beauty of Africa and convincingly convey them in animation, six members of the creative team traveled to East Africa in the early stages of production.
This journey left a deep impression on each of them and helped to find a lot of vivid, memorable images. They closely watched the lions and other animals, which helped them in further work on the characters of the characters.
They brought with them a lot of sketches, photographs and video recordings, according to which production artists Andy Gaskill and Chris Sanders created for the film “Fantasy Africa”. Unforgettable images of bright dawn, velvet night sky, dusty gorges, lush green jungles and the Serengeti plains – everything was born thanks to this trip.
Outstanding masters of their work worked on the music for “King Lion”, and the result of their efforts was one of the most complex, perfect and beautiful soundtracks in the history of the studio. Poet Tim Rice first joined the project. He also recommended Elton John as a composer. “Of course, what I wrote for this film was different from what I usually write for myself – so it was more interesting.
I also liked that this is a film about animals. In my opinion, “The Lion King” is the most fun Disney movie after “The Jungle Book”.
And maybe the most fun. ” Of the five songs written by the duo for “The Lion King”, “Circle of Life” stands out as the most fully revealing meaning of the film.
This song was written by the third, and everyone liked it so much that it became his main musical theme. There is in this the merit of a talented composer and arranger Hans Zimmer. He gave Elton John melodies a distinct African flavor.
But the ballad “You You Feel the Love Tonight” turned out to be the most difficult for writing. Although chronologically it was written first, it had to be redone many times, because in the course of working on the plot it was transferred from one place to another. But in the end, Elton John convinced the directors to give the love song to Simba and his girlfriend Nale.
Actors Joseph Williams and Sally Dvorsky sang for lovers. The original version of the song, performed by Elton, sounds on the final credits.
In 1942, while working on Bambi, Walt Disney invited leading zoologists to help animators create realistic images of animals on the screen. Similarly, the producer of the cartoon “The Lion King” Don Khan turned for help to the best specialists in animal psychology and anatomy.
Jim Fowler, a well-known traveler and veteran of the Wild Kingdom television program, led lions and other inhabitants of the jungle to the studio several times to familiarize the animators with their habits and habits. Stuart Sumida, a professor of biology from San Bernardino, was an anatomical consultant and helped animators better understand the plastics of their characters.
In the early stages of work, animators also often went to zoos — in Los Angeles, San Diego, Miami, and the Living Desert Reserve in Palm Springs.
“The Lion King” is one of the first classic Disney movies translated to the latest 3D technology. “3D helps to tell the story better,” says Robert Neuman, a stereo format specialist. “We used this format as a music composer, enhancing the emotional content of the film.”
In total, a team of 60 specialists in lighting, mock-ups, effects and computer engineering worked on the conversion. The whole process took 4 months – quite a bit, given the complexity of the video and a large number of characters. “The most interesting thing for me is that we managed to preserve all the beauty of traditional animation and add to it the magical quality of the stereo format. From this a completely new art form was born, says Neuman. “It doesn’t matter how many times the audience saw“ The Lion King ”: with our help, they will look like the first time!”
“In the new version, viewers will see“ The Lion King ”the way they have never seen it,” said Sarah Duran Singer, the post-production senior vice president of The Walt Disney Studios. – They will drown in the immense savannah, plunging headlong into magnificent landscapes. This is by no means to miss! ”