The “Lion King” remake is breaking records which prompted Buzzfeed put together a list of interesting facts about the original, which came out 25 years ag0 (1994). And then I came across a perspective on Simba and his outlook on life that was so wildly different from anything I’ve heard I had to share it with you.
First, here are 7 fun facts about the original:
1. Sean Connery was Disney’s first choice to play Mufasa. James Earl Jones ended up with the role …both in the original AND the new version.
2. Disney originally wanted Patrick Stewart or someone from “Monty Python” for the role of Zazu, the hornbill. Rowan Atkinson ended up with it. John Oliver plays Zazu in the new movie.
3. The opening lyrics: Quote, “Nants ingonyama bagithi Baba . . . Sithi uhm ingonyama . . . ” from “Circle of Life” literally translate to “There comes a lion, father . . . Oh yes, it’s a lion.” The opening is sung in Zulu.
4. Tim Rice co-wrote the lyrics for the movie’s songs, and he originally wanted ABBA to be on the soundtrack. When ABBA declined, he asked Elton John.
5. “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?” was the first song Rice and Elton completed. It was also originally supposed to be sung only by Timon and Pumbaa. According to Ernie Sabella, who voiced Pumbaa, Elton was very unhappy that they were using the ballad as a parody, so it was reworked. (Here’s a clip of Timon and Pumbaa’s version, here. Skip to 1:28 for Elton’s reaction.)
6.”Can You Feel the Love Tonight?” was almost cut altogether because it didn’t fit the film’s father-and-son theme. It was put back in after Elton saw an early cut of the movie and made it clear that it NEEDED to be in. Elton had said the reason he agreed to work on “Lion King” was to write a Disney love song.
7. “The Lion King” is the best-selling VHS tape of all time.
And then there’s that one opinion that may have you thinking differently about the whole thing. Comedian Matt Light on Simba …Enjoy.