1994: ‘The Lion King’ Roars Into Theaters
Walt Disney Picture’s 32nd animated feature, The Lion King premiered on this day in 1994. Though an original story, The Lion King was heavily influenced by William Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Music for the film was written by Elton John with lyrics by Tim Rice and Hans Zimmer wrote the film’s score. The story of young Simba who “can’t wait to be king” is given the privilege earlier than expected when his father, Mufasa dies at the hand of his bitter brother, Scar. Though a mature storyline and somewhat darker than Disney’s usual fare, the film was a huge hit becoming the highest-grossing release of 1994. The film won two Academy Awards and one Golden Globe. Since its release, two direct-to-video sequels were created, a Broadway adaptation of the film was produced and a two TV shows (Timon and Pumbaa and The Lion Guard) have been made for children. (Image: Disney)
- 1893: Roy O. Disney (co-founder of The Walt Disney Company)
- 1904: Phil Harris (actor)
- 1942: Mick Fleetwood (drummer)
- 1950: Nancy Allen (actress)
- 1979: Mindy Kaling (actress)
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