Premiere of the Lion King

On October 19th. 1999 Dame Shirley Bassey attended the premiere of the musical version of The Lion King. Here is a short video and some fabulous pictures of her arriving at the premiere (special thanks to Susan).

 (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

The Lion King
 is a 1994 American animated film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and released by Walt Disney Pictures. It is the 32nd feature in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series. The story takes place in a kingdom of anthropomorphic lions in Africa, and was influenced by the Bible tales of Joseph and Moses, the Epic of Sundiata, and the William Shakespeare play Hamlet. The film was produced during a period known as the Disney Renaissance. It tells the story of Simba, a young lion who is to take his father Mufasa’s place as king. However, after Simba’s uncle Scar kills Mufasa, he must stop his uncle from conquering the Pride Lands and avenge his father.

Development of The Lion King began in 1988 during a meeting between Jeffrey Katzenberg, Roy E. Disney and Peter Schneider while promoting Oliver & Company in Europe. Thomas Disch and Woolverton wrote treatments of the film and George Scribner was signed on as director. Production began in 1991 and the staff traveled to Hell’s Gate National Park for the film’s setting and based the characters on real-life animals. When Allers joined the project, Scribner left production and was replaced by Minkoff. When Hahn joined the project, he was dissatisfied with the script and the story was promptly rewritten. In 1992, Mecchi and Roberts joined Woolverton as screenwriters. During production, most of the animators decided to work on their other project, Pocahontas, as they thought that it would be the more prestigious and successful of the two films. Nearly 20 minutes of animation sequences took place at Disney-MGM Studios in Florida. Computer animation was also used in several scenes, most notably in the wildebeest stampede scene.

The Lion King was released on June 15, 1994 to a positive reaction from critics, who praised the film for its music and story. The film is the highest-grossing hand-drawn film in history, the highest-grossing 2D animated film in the United States, and the 15th-highest-grossing feature film. The Lion King garnered two Academy Awards for its achievement in music and the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy. Its songs were written by composer Elton John and lyricist Tim Rice, with an original score by Hans Zimmer. It has earned over $ 936 million worldwide as of 2011.

A Broadway adaptation of the film opened in 1997, and won six Tony Awards, including Best Musical. Disney produced two direct-to-video films – a sequelThe Lion King II: Simba’s Pride (1998) and a prequel/parallel The Lion King 1½ (2004). The film was re-released worldwide in 3D on September 16, 2011 to further box office success.