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‘The Lion King’ Joins Walt Disney Signature Collection in August

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First announced at D23 Expo 2017, The Lion King will be the next entry in the Walt Disney Signature Collection. It drops via digital release August 15 and on Blu-ray August 29. Its cover also describes it as “The Circle of Life Edition”.

Here’s the trailer for this prestigious volume:


Here’s the new bonus material we can expect, with descriptions from Disney:

  • Sing-Along Version
  • Visualizing a Villain – Against a backdrop of live dancers and the animated “Be Prepared” sequence, artist David Gabribaldi paints a masterpiece of evil.
  • The Recording Sessions – Watch rare footage of actors recording their roles, matched with the final animation.
  • Nathan and Matthew: The Extended Lion King Conversation – Nathan Lane (Timon) and Matthew Broderick (adult Simba) offer candid and hilarious insights into their Lion King experiences.
  • Inside the Story Room – Co-directors Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff present archival footage of five original story pitches.
    • Circle of Life – See how color creates emotion and meaning in the film’s iconic opening.
    • Simba & Nala – See how elements proposed in story meetings evolve into what appears onscreen.
    • Simba Takes Nala Out to Play – …And, sometimes what seems funny in story meetings never makes it into the film!
    • Hakuna Matata – Co-directors Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff sing, act, and dance their hearts out as they pitch the “Hakuna Matata” sequence.
    • Rafiki and the Reflecting Pool – Co-directors Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff pitch a sequence that became the emotional heart of The Lion King to producer Don Hahn.

Classic bonus features from prior releases of the film are also included. Here they are, again with descriptions from Disney:

  • Disney Song Selection – Sing along to your favorite songs from the movie!
  • Galleries
    • Visual Development – Explore a gallery of striking artwork that inspired the movie’s look and feel.
    • Character Design – Trace the development of the film’s unforgettable characters through early concept art drawings.
    • Storyboards – Examine the storyboards created in the development of The Lion King.
    • Layouts – Feast your eyes on layouts created in the development of The Lion King.
    • Backgrounds & Layouts – Journey through a gallery of landscape paintings that shaped the world of The Lion King.
  • Bloopers
  • Audio Commentary – View the film with commentary by producer Don Hahn and co-directors Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff.
  • Deleted and Alternate Scenes
  • In-depth journeys into the music, film, story, animals, and stage show.

The news of the film’s inclusion into Walt Disney Signature Collection first broke at D23’s Lion King panel, which featured filmmakers and voice talent recounting the creation of the film, initially released in 1994. (Don’t miss our recap of the panel!)


The Lion King is certainly an evergreen franchise for Disney. Its Broadway adaptation celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, with troupes in New York, on American tour, and around the globe. The Lion Guard debuted in 2016 as a new Disney Junior series starring Simba and Nala’s son, Kion. And of course, there’s the high-profile, photo-realistic remake of the film hitting theaters in 2019 and directed by Jon Favreau, who recently helmed The Jungle Book.

This installment of The Lion King will be the fifth entry in the Walt Disney Signature Collection, following Snow White and the Seven DwarfsBeauty and the BeastPinocchio, and Bambi. This will be the third entry into the series in 2017 alone, a faster pace than past Disney collections. The Lion King‘s most recent home video release was its Diamond Edition in 2011, which coincided with its massively successful 3D re-release to theaters (remember when those were a thing?).

Pre-order The Lion King

Do you plan on purchasing the Walt Disney Signature Collection’s edition of The Lion King?

Edited by: Hannah Wilkes

Update: Check out our full review of the The Lion King Walt Disney Signature Collection.

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About Blake Taylor

Blake is a scriptwriter at Elevation Church, where he develops documentary shorts and creative elements as part of the film team. He graduated Appalachian State University studying Electronic Media Production and is an alumni of the Disney College Program. Blake’s favorite films are Mary Poppins, The Lion King, and Toy Story 3. You can find him on Twitter (@blake_242) and visit his blog at blakeonline.com.