Ah, the Lion King. A seminal part of our childhood. Right? RIGHT!?
From soundtrack to storyline we get electric chills with every new scene in this beautifully crafted Walt Disney Picture. We laugh, we cry, and we actively applaud at the rolling credits. We were indisputably lucky to have grown up with a film so wondrously imaginative, witty and fun, yet surprisingly dark with a subtle, soulful message of personal growth. The Lion King was a visually immersive animated benchmark for all classics that followed the Disney Renaissance era, and the first to be based on an original story. Even the music soundtrack alone, written by Tim Rice, scored by Hans Zimmer and performed by musical legend Elton John, opens up a trip down memory lane.
In honour of the animated classic’s quarter century anniversary, here’s a look over of some of the standouts in the soundtrack that sold more than seven million copies to date, and what’s to come of the new movie.
Circle of Life
Amidst Sir Elton John’s contribution to the music world, his part in songwriting The Lion King truly is a stand out. Perhaps one of the most memorable opening scenes in cinematic history, the image of little Simba being held up by Rafiki on Pride Rock, is decorated with Elton Johns ‘Circle of Life’ with lyrics by Tim Rice. The melody blasts through what seems like the entire jungle. Rightly, it was nominated at the Academy Awards for Best Original Song in 1994.
Can You Feel the Love Tonight
What has now become a rather popular choice for a wedding song began as the heart-warming anthem of Simba and Nala reuniting in our favourite childhood film. The Ballad won the best original song category at the Academy Awards. The original is featured on Elton John’s 1994 classic album ‘Rocket Man”.
We see it on t-shirts, key rings, desktop wall backgrounds, we say it to our friends, and our kids, when they need to take a moment. It is the undeniably catchy Swahili phrase meaning ‘no worries’. The track has been described as a pop, reggae-fusion and was also nominated for Best Original Song. But really.. It’s just what we sing in the shower.
I Just Can’t Wait to Be King
If you didn’t dance around to this one in the playroom trying not to knock over the VHS I’m not entirely sure where you watched it. With music by Elton John and lyrics by Tim Rice, the song is performed by Jason Weaver in his role as Simba, while American actress Laura Williams and English actor Rowan Atkinson provide backup vocals in their roles as Nala and Zazu. It pairs well with one of the brilliant childhood takeaways from the movie – “With great power comes great responsibility.”
The New Movie
The new movie, with all its shiny virtual cinematography technology, is set to release on 17 July 2019. The timing is no coincidence – it was planned to coincide with the 25 year anniversary of the film. The first teaser trailer aired November 22, 2018 and was viewed 224.6 million times in the first 24 hours. Globally, we may be just a little excited for its arrival.
World-renowned film composer Hans Zimmer will return to score the remake, Elton John is to again perform ‘Circle of Life, and ‘Can You Feel the Love Tonight’, and it’s been said Beyonce will be involved in a new song for the end credits of the film.
I think we are all curious to know how this remake of both film and soundtrack will stack up to the Lion King we know and have repeatedly adored. I suppose we will have to wait and see. ZAZU, bring me the front seats and the popcorn!! We’re in for a goodie.