Written by John Delia
I don’t know if you recently had the opportunity to see The Lion King in 3D at your local theater or the original version in 1994 when it came out, but I had the opportunity to see the film in the 3D Blu-ray disc version and it’s amazing. The film will probably never be replaced as the all time animated entertainment event for me because it has all the action, drama, comedy and values that make it the best for family viewing, and now in 3D Blu-ray.
The movie follows the adventure of a young lion cub Simba who is next in line to be King of the pride. But his uncle Scar has other plans and sets up Simba to fail leading to his taking of the throne. Cast out into the wilderness Simba runs into Pumbaa and Timon who help Simba get his strength and courage back. When Simba returns to the pride a fight for leadership begins.
The songs are classics with “The Circle of Life” at the very top. It’s hard to get most of the songs out of your brain once you revisit them and I still toe tap to “Hakuna Matata”. But my heart belongs to “Can You Feel The Love Tonight”, especially watching Simba and Nala begin their journey in life.
In 3D the movie takes on another level of entertainment. This super visual mode put me right into the movie showing the characters up close and providing an amazing depth that brought the jungle to my living room. If you have the 3D television and 3D Blu-ray system it’s the most unique way to see this classic spectacular movie.
The Four Disc combo pack turns out to be the best buy for now and the future. This packaging includes the Blu-ray 3D, a regular Blu-ray disc with the feature film and the bonus features, a DVD of the film with it’s own bonus feature and a fourth Digital copy of the feature so you can download it and take it with you inside your laptop computer or other mobile device.
The Lion King has remained my favorite animated film over the years with just a few being it’s equal. But, even though it has equals, it’s still the top one on my library shelf. With the new Diamond Collection beginning, the original DVD has a new guest the 3D Version that will sit along side. This product is among the new Disney’s Blu-ray Diamond Collection a selection of the most prestigious animated classics in the Disney vault. The collection will be comprised of those treasured titles and will be released through the year 2016.
The Diamond titles represent the highest level of picture and sound, feature groundbreaking, state-of-the-art immersive bonus content, and include unprecedented levels of interactivity, personalization and customization, made possible because of Blu-ray technology. It all starts with The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast, both available October 4, 2011. Look for Lady and the Tramp DE in Spring of 2012.
Disney makes it easy to upgrade your collection to Blu-ray by just going to dineyupgrade2blu.com for instructions. You don’t have to give up your old DVD format disc and you get an $8 coupon to use for a discount on that Blu-ray title for which you send in purchase tab.
For all you ‘techie’ people let’s look inside the box and find out about the cool technical aspects of this baby.
The color, sharpness, contrast and other goodies depend on your system, but if it is high grade you can depend on the discs inside the box to be top notch. I found the 3D to be extremely well presented in its 1.178:1 aspect ratio a widescreen format that filled the whole screen with pop out quality and no black bars to distract. Imaging has been greatly improved over the 2004 release of The Lion King with this pristine high definition picture. It’s hard to beat Disney’s Blu-ray for quality of picture including the fine sharpness, contrast, color and black levels.
Featuring AC-3, Dolby Digital Surround Sound my system would have blew the doors off the room if I jacked up the levels to full bore. Instead I notched the film at a level that would fix my body in the center of all the action without destroying the ‘feel’ of the film. Sound is at least 50% of any film showing and without good levels the presentation fails. The Blu-ray 3D disc provides (English) a 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio that easily drives my speaker system.
The special bonus features on the discs are quite good and do have more than 2004’s 2 Disc Special Edition of The Lion King. On the 3D Blu-ray there’s just the film where you will experience 3D to the max. The Blu-ray disc included in the combo pack has many bonus features, but don’t get rid of your 2004 SE because it has some features this edition doesn’t.
Deleted Scenes: 4 never-before-see deleted scenes (6 min)
Bloopers: New funny ‘animated errors’ that make you laugh (1 min)
Deleted Song: I guess the film was a little too long or the scene was cut, but this special song was not in the original.
The Morning Report: After you watch the film check this bonus out as it provides a longer sort of alternate version of this scene from the film. (2 min)
Pride of the Lion King: a visit with the crew on the film (36 min)
Sing-a-long mode: The songs from the film are set up with subtitles so the kids (and yourself) will know all the words.
Interactive Blu-ray Gallery: It’s worth the look.
The DVD disc includes the bonus:
The Lion King: A Memoir- Don Hahn: Hahn takes you on a journey into the creation of the film introducing the people who helped make it happen. It’s a wonderful behind the scenes memory not to be missed. (20 min)
Disney Second Screen: The Lion Ling Edition provides a chance to sync your laptop or iPad with your Blu-ray disc to provide additional content you control as your movie plays. It can be a bit dicey to set up and a little techie to use but once you do,…Revelations!
For me The Lion King 3D Blu-ray is a no-brainer, but if you are not ever planning on purchasing a 3D system it may not be for you. However, with the Blu-ray and DVD enclosed in the 3D combo pack, if you are going to purchase the Blu-ray anyway the Combo Pack may be a better deal for any future changes in your entertainment system.