5 Fun Facts About the Lion King You May Not Know #D23Expo #LionKing

Hey guys! I’m back with some more inside scoop and goodness from the D23Expo last month!!! Seriously, we had so many amazing experiences I can probably write about them until the end of the year.

But today, I’m going to share our experience we had with the Lion King panel we got to see! If you’re anything like me, you love the Lion King movie as much as I do. And while we learned at the expo that they are currently working on the live action film for this, we also got to see and hear the voices of some of the original Lion King characters.

I had nearly 400 viewers on Periscope who were just as excited as I was (including a little over 100 that watched the replay). You can check out the full panel here.

Photo Credit: Joyce at womenandtheirpretties.net

“The Lion King” is one of the biggest animated films of all time with a lifetime global box office gross of $968.8 million! It has won Academy Awards® for the original song “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” (Elton John, Tim Rice) and original score (Hans Zimmer).

Additionally, in 1997, the stage production inspired by the film made its Broadway debut, subsequently winning six Tony® Awards; 19 years later, it remains one of Broadway’s biggest hits.

The Panel

Y’all: we got to sit in on a live panel with Lion King Director, Rob Minkoff, Don Hahn, Executive Producer, Mark Henn (Supervising Animator for “Young Simba”), Tony Bancroft (Supervising Animator for “Pumbaa”), Whoopi Goldberg (“Shenzi”), Ernie Sabella (“Pumbaa”) and more!

Whoopi was actually a surprise guest. They started by telling us that she wasn’t able to make it, and then all of a sudden we heard her voice from backstage and started screaming. It was awesome!

Photo Credit: Joyce at womenandtheirpretties.net

The fun facts

We got to learn a few things throughout this interview.

1. Mark Henn also animated Princesses Ariel, Belle, Tiana, Jasmine, and Pocahantas!

When it came to Simba he was excited to finally put the Princesses asisde to do something different 🙂 It was shared that he was one of the greatest animators of his generation.

2. The characters were literally all hand drawn at that time

During this live panel, we were able to see some never-before-seen footage of them pitching the lion king, as well as the animators drawing the character sketches. This was definitely old school and it was soooo amazing to see and for them to share with us.

Jim Cummings (“Ed”) Photo Credit: Joyce at womenandtheirpretties.net

3. As big of a hit as this movie was, it started from very humble beginnings

From the pitching to the production, there were a lot of hurdles and challenges that it faced early on. It happened in 1994 during the making and they had to shut the studio and movie down because of the damage done.

They shared with us some raw footage of some of their pitches complete with story boards (including Hakuna Matata – click here at the 17:50 mark)

4. The charcters who played the voices inspired the animators

I absolutely LOVED when they brought Ernie Sabella (voice of Pumbaa) out on stage. He got to share his experience working directly with his animator, Tony Brancroft.

Photo Credit: Joyce at womenandtheirpretties.net

5. The Lion King was originally considered to be a “small” movie compared to “Pocahontas” when it came out.

I definitely thought this was a fun fact when they talked abou it. It goes to show that you just never know how something will turn out. And clearly, this movie surpassed all of their initial goals.

I literally was glued all the way in to this panel at D23 Expo. It was an amazing treat to be able to hear the backstory of how this film came about, and how the voices, animators and creators all worked together.

The show closed with a powerful performance by Carmen Twillie the original voice who sang for the film. It was breathtaking. You just have to watch it for yourself.

It was absolutely phenemenal and I still can’t believe I got to be in the room!!!

Photo Credit: Joyce at womenandtheirpretties.net

While my kids are already Lion King fans, I’m so excited that everyone can fall in love again! You can now pre-order your copy of The Lion King on DVD and Blu-ray. I’ll definitely be share more about that later including all of the bonus scenes. Click here to pre-order your copy.

If you missed my previous posts, you definitely want to make sure you catch up. There was so much to love about D23Expo, and I’m sharing it all here right on the blog. Here is what you missed:

Disclosure: This trip to the Disneyland and D23 Expo was sponsored by Walt Disney World. As always, the thoughts and opinions are my own.  For more information about #D23Expo click here

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    August 29, 2017 at 9:00 AM

    […] you recall, I recently shared some behind-the-scenes info on The Lion King panel we got to experience during the D23 Expo. We […]

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