The Lion King D23 Panel

One of my all time Disney favorites is back! The Lion King has arrived on digital today August 15th and will be available on Blu-Ray and DVD August 29th. With the excitement of the in-home release, what is better than a little get together with some of the key people of the beloved animation. The Lion King D23 panel included Director Rob Minkoff, animators Mark Henn and Tony Bancroft, and one of my favorite talents to listen to speak, Producer Don Hahn. The stories they shared with a few special guest were incredible. Luckily I have several clips right here to share with you.

The Lion King, the coming-of-age masterpiece, filled with humor and heart, breathtaking animation and soul-stirring Academy Award®–winning music (1994: Best Original Score and Best Original Song, “Can You Feel the Love Tonight”), joins the highly celebrated Walt Disney Signature Collection.

Audiences will fall in love all over again with the treasured classic, and a new generation of fans will laugh with Timon and Pumbaa, cry with Simba and Mufasa, burst into song, and find their place in the “Circle of Life.” The Walt Disney Signature Collection release includes over three hours of classic bonus material and exclusive, brand new features inviting viewers to sing along with the film’s award-winning music, observe recording sessions, step inside the story room, witness the evolution of a villain, and join Nathan Lane (voice of Timon) and Matthew Broderick (voice of Adult Simba) for an extended conversation regarding the legacy of “The Lion King.”

The Lion King D23 Panel

(l-r) Director Rob Minkoff, animators Mark Henn and Tony Bancroft, and Producer Don Hahn Photo credit


The filmmakers shared so many great fun facts like the film was pitched as Bambi in Africa with the title King of the Jungle. With that sounding so Tarzan-like that it was soon changed.

Whoopie Goldberg begged to be in the film and shares her story below.


Pocahontas was in production a the same time as The Lion King and with that being an established name character, it was really hard to coax animators to work on the film.

Nathan Lane and Ernie Sabella auditioned together to be hyenas. They also always recorded together. The only characters to ever have done so in a Disney animated film. In fact, “What do you want me to do, dress in drag and do the hula?”, was actually an improv line by Nathan.

The Lion King meant so much to so many, but none more than the ones that made it happen.

Come back for more coverage to come on The Lion King. Exclusive interviews with Director Rob Minkoff with Producer Don Hahn and Ernie Sabella and more!

If you are like me and wish you could watch the whole thing – well you are in luck! Here you go!

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I was invited by Disney to attend D23 to share my experience with my readers. All opinions are my own.


Trippin with Tara
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