Disney’s THE LION KING: THE CIRCLE OF LIFE EDITION Blu-ray review – now in stores

Disney’s THE LION KING: THE CIRCLE OF LIFE EDITION Blu-ray review – now in stores

As far as the more recent animated Disney movies go, THE LION KING is definitely one of my favorites. The Hans Zimmer score, the incredible voice cast, and the brilliant animation all make it such a treat to watch. And it’s a film I find very pleasant to revisit whenever the opportunity presents itself. Disney has now released an all-new Blu-ray called “The Circle of Life Edition”, which sports some snazzy new bonus features, and looks and sounds better than ever.

Click on image to see it full-size.

The DTS 5.1 sound mix really booms as I watch this, immersing me in the story like never before, I noticed little background noises that never seemed to stand out before. And the music is exceptionally presented, evoking the feel of sitting in a performance hall rather than just watching TV. I’d need to compare the previous releases, but I honestly don’t remember the film ever sounding THIS good before. The picture is brilliant and crisp, and the colors pop is every scene. I found myself really taking in the detailed backgrounds on this new viewing, noticing tiny touches the animators and painters put in to really compliment the presentation. Watch this on the biggest screen you have, you’ll see new things too.

Click on image to see it full-size.

The bonus features are quite fun, especially Recording Sessions and Inside The Story Room segments, which delve into the process of capturing the various voices of the film, and the coming together of five very memorable sequences in the film. I mentioned the impressive voice cast earlier, which includes Madge Sinclair, Moira Kelly, Cheech Marin, Robert Guillaume, Rowan Atkinson, Jeremy Irons, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Matthew Broderick, James Earl Jones, Whoopi Goldberg, Nathan Lane, Ernie Sabella, and the great Jim Cummings. The film was co-directed by Rob Minkoff and Roger Allers. While it could be argued that most Disney animated movies have terrific voice casts and look and sound great, there’s just something truly magical about this production which really withstands the test of time.

Interesting bits of trivia about THE LION KING – the frantic stampede of the wildebeests ended up being a three-year job for the CG department at Disney to fully animate. They actually had to write a brand new computer program just for that stampede scene in order to show hundreds of computer-generated animals running yet not colliding into each other in the process. The movie also holds the honor of being the first Disney animation dubbed into Zulu for an African release. This film is just as effective and moving today as it was in 1994.  Buy your copy today.

Special Features:
The Recording Sessions – Enter the Recording Booth and Watch Never-Before-Seen Voice Recording Sessions
Inside The Story Room – Rare Archival Footage Shows the Origins of Five Iconic Scenes
Visualizing A Villain – Performance Artist David Garibaldi Creates his own Unique Interpretation of the Iconic Villain, Scar
The Lion King: Song Selection – All-new Sing-Along Version of the Movie.
“Circle of Life”
“I Just Can’t Wait To Be King”
“Be Prepared”
“Hakuna Matata”
“Can You Feel The Love Tonight”

A young lion Prince is cast out of his pride by his cruel uncle, who claims he killed his father. While the uncle rules with an iron paw, the prince grows up beyond the Savannah, living by a philosophy: No worries for the rest of your days. But when his past comes to haunt him, the young Prince must decide his fate: will he remain an outcast, or face his demons and become what he needs to be?

French Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1

Widescreen 1.78:1 Color

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About the Author

Born and raised in Dallas, Mark has been a movie critic since 1994, with reviews featured in print, radio and National TV. In 2001 he started the Entertainment section of the Herorealm website, where he contributed film reviews and celebrity interviews until 2004. After three years of service there, he started Bigfanboy.com, which has become one of the Dallas film community's leading information websites. Bigfanboy hosts several movie screenings in the Texas area, and works closely with film and TV studios and promotional partners to host exciting events and contests. The site also features a variety of rare celebrity and filmmaker interviews, and Bigfanboy.com regularly covers the film festival circuit as well. In addition to Hollywood reporting, Mark has worked for many years as an advertising and sci-fi/comic book artist. Clients have included Lucasfilm Ltd., Topps Trading Cards, The Dallas Mavericks and The Dallas Stars. From 2002 until 2015 he managed the Dallas Comic Con, Sci-Fi Expo and Fan Days events in the DFW area. He currently catalogs rare comic books and movie memorabilia for Heritage Auctions, and runs the Dallas Comic Show conventions, but remains an avid moviegoer and cinema buff.