Circle of Life: Bow Down as the Original ‘The Lion King’ Turns 25

Photo: Disney 

It’s been a quarter-century since The Lion King stampeded into theaters, imprinting “Hakuna Matata” in our brains. Disney’s first animated feature based on an original story was a pop culture revelation that earned its stripes among the Mouse House’s classic family films.

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Released in 1994, it earned an initial worldwide gross of $766 million, making it the second-highest-grossing film at the time. The Lion King was a movie that Walt Disney would’ve been proud of, with a rich, tug at your heartstrings story, stunning National Geographic-like animation, and fantastic musical numbers by composer Elton John and lyricist Tim Rice, with a score by Hans Zimmer.

As goes the circle of life, Disney is releasing a live-action version of The Lion King (July 19) which is odd because, well, animals don’t really talk. Seriously, Jon Favreau’s photorealistic computer animated remake seems like a pure money grab but we’re sure a new generation of fans will be singing “Hakuna Matata” for the next 25 years.

Here’s a look back at the original The Lion King for its 25-year anniversary.

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