Twenty-five years after the premiere of the Walt Disney cartoon classic, "The Lion King," the story hits the movie theaters again — this time with photorealistic animation. The result is a glimpse of the digital future.
With the new photorealistic, computer-animated version of The Lion King, the Walt Disney Company hopes for another international movie hit that will cement its pole position among the major US film studios. Most recently, the superhero spectacle Avengers: Endgame flushed billions of dollars into Disney coffers. With its numerous sequels and new versions of beloved old hits, the studio has for years been regarded as the most profitable film production factory in the US.
New version 25 years later
The timing is right. Disney's animated musical mega-hit, The Lion King, was released exactly a quarter of a century ago. The 1994 classic is still one of the most successful animated films of all time, or at least of the traditional, pre-digital animation era.
Sequels were shot, television series and a computer game developed. In 2016, it was even selected for preservation in the US National Film Registry for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."
This week, The Lion King in its latest larger-than-life, photorealistic incantation is celebrating its world premiere at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles. The film releases worldwide on July 17.