The Lion King | 2

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On this episode of History of the '90s, host Kathy Kenzora looks at the story of the ultimate underdog or maybe...under cat? This is the little known story of the 1994 animated feature, The Lion King.

Despite being one of Disney’s most cherished movies of all time, the Lion King was never expected to be such a massive hit. The Lion King was considered a filler movie to tide people over until Disney released Pocahontas.

Lion King was the first Disney animated movie based on a completely original story, it had a smaller budget and lesser known directors working on the film.

Most of Disney’s “A-Team” animators chose to work on Pocahontas instead of Lion King because they worried a movie about a talking lion cub would be a flop.

Those that ended up working on it were so dedicated that when an earthquake shutdown Disney studios in 1994, animators worked from their homes to make sure the film was completed on time.

Despite these obstacles, The Lion King was a massive hit, making nearly a billion dollars at the box office and winning several awards including two Oscars. In addition, it spawned the highest grossing Broadway production of all time and of course this year’s live action reboot with Beyoncé and Childish Gambino.

The original Lion King also attracted its fair share of criticisms, including concerns that it portrayed hyenas in a negative light and some suggested it was knock off of a Japanese made American cartoon called Kimba the White Lion.

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