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The Lion King
is the 32nd film in the Disney animated feature canon, and the highest-grossing traditionally animated feature film ever released in the United States. It was produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation, originally released to selected cities by Walt Disney Pictures and Buena Vista Distribution on June 15, 1994, and put into general release on June 24, 1994. A digitally retouched and enhanced Special Edition version of the film was released in IMAX format on December 25, 2002.
The film is about a young lion cub named Simba who learns about his place on the throne of Pride Rock and his role in the circle of life. It is frequently alleged that The Lion King was based on Osamu Tezuka's 1960s animated series Kimba the White Lion, although the filmmakers deny this.
The filmmakers do, however, acknowledge the prominent influences of both Shakespeare's play Hamlet and the 1942 Disney animated feature Bambi. Unlike previous Disney animated films, which featured only a select few famous voice actors alongside lesser-known performers, nearly all of the voice acting work for this film was done by well-known actors, including Matthew Broderick, James Earl Jones, Jeremy Irons, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Nathan Lane, Ernie Sabella, Robert Guillaume, Moira Kelly, Rowan Atkinson, Whoopi Goldberg, Cheech Marin and Jim Cummings. The Lion King is a musical film, with songs written by composer Elton John and lyricist Tim Rice, and a film score by Hans Zimmer. Many of the John/Rice tunes became Disney standards or pop hits in their own right, and Zimmer's score also drew substantial praise.
The Lion King, though a very humanistic story, remains the only Disney film to lack any trace of human existence. Robin Hood featured only anthropomorphized animals who lived like ......
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