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Visiting Africa Made Me Want to Watch The Lion King Blu-Ray

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It’s sadly true. On my adventures into the broad, wondrous country known as Africa I saw lions, tigers and bears, minus the tigers and bears, and I immediately wanted to watch Disney’s The Lion King. I paid thousands of dollars and traveled halfway around the world to see the real thing, and it made me want to watch a cartoon about singing warthogs. Oh, I am just so American.

In all seriousness, it’s impressive that The Lion King hits the gazelle on the head as much as it does. As entertaining and everlasting as the film is, the movie’s theme – the circle of life – is on full display in the Serengeti and other parts of Africa (the continent, not the nation). Every part of the ecosystem, from the lions to the zebras, elephants, wildebeest, meerkats and warthogs, depends on one another. If one population gets out of balance, the whole system is F-ASTERISK-ASTERISK-C-K-E-D.

Is it bad to quasi-swear in a review of a Disney movie? It is, isn’t it?

I’m going to heck.

In other news, The Lion King, after a shockingly successful re-released in theaters, is now available on Blu-Ray, which means you can spend $25 on the movie instead of $15 to see it in 3D and can watch it as many times as you want until Blu-Ray becomes obsolete in two years’ time.

As expected from Disney, The Lion King Blu-Ray combo pack, which also comes with a DVD version of the film, is very good. Aside from classic DVD bonus features, it contains:

  • Never-before-seen deleted scenes, which were never before seen for a reason
  • Never-before-seen bloopers, which are funny or stupid depending on how willing you are to accept that these bloopers aren’t actually real (sorry to those who still believe in Santa Claus)
  • A deleted song, for people who like songs
  • An extended scene
  • Pride of The Lion King, a featurette about the production
  • The Lion King: A Memoir – Don Hahn
  • Disney Sing Along Mode, which you know is the first feature I tried out
  • An interactive Blu-Ray gallery, which like all interactive galleries is completely useless

The Blu-Ray’s value comes almost solely in Pride of The Lion King, which is a long, detailed and interesting exploration of every aspect of the film. If you’re interested in what goes into making a major animated picture, this one is well worth watching.

The Lion King is a must-have for any serious movie fan; it is a great cartoon, but it’s also a great movie, a comedic drama-adventure that still appeals to children ages five to 99. The film has never tested very well with centurions, oddly enough. The Lion King is a beautiful production that captures the majesty of Africa that goes well beyond the confines of 2D animation.

By Erik Samdahl
Related categories: DVD Releases, Family Movies, Movie Reviews

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