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The Lion King 25th Anniversary That Wasn't



At least this is the thought that went through my mind this evening and after mention of the remake on the 'What Movies Have You Watched Recently?' thread. I must admit, I had actually looked forward to the 25th anniversary of The Lion King last year. There was hope of a chance to perhaps see the original film in the theaters again and a little bit of hope that some nice merchandise would appear to mark the occasion. (Had really hoped for a BIG Simba plush! Heehee!) Sadly, we didn't get any of that. What we got was a hollow, soulless cash grab remake that preyed on people's nostalgia. Yes it was a technical achievement and people will argue it was good, but it lacks the character, fun, and nuance of the original from what I have seen and heard. Of course, it made over 1.5 billion in the theaters when all was said and done, the only real thing that matters in the Iger era of Disney. Never mind that it got toppled by Hobbes & Shaw on it's third week! (Actually, I wonder if the remake would have done as well had there been any other solid family movies out over the summer?)

Merchandise-wise, pathetic basically describes the toys I saw. What little came out for the original movie last summer was mostly revamped Lion Guard items that were of poor quality and seemed to be only out to promote the remake coming out. Even the merchandise for the remake was fairly thin and by the holidays it was already forgotten as the new Frozen movie and TROS was rolled out. I can recall the original Lion King having solid merchandise and sales for almost a year and you could get some nice swag at the Disney store for a while after that! Definitely recall shelves stuffed with toys through the 1994 holiday season. I actually remember having a shelf of plush Lion King toys let go and collapse on me at our local KB toys that summer! No harm done and it's funny to think of now as that moment got my interest started in The Lion King.

I guess I got kinda spoiled with the Star Trek and Star Wars 25th (and even 20th!) anniversaries as they felt like actual events. I would have thought the original Lion King would have gotten a little bit more than it did being that it was the highest grossing and often held as the best traditional animated film of all time.  Disney, I give you a zero out of five stars for the handling of the 25th anniversary of one of your greatest animated films ever.

Well, this is the end of my musing for today. Thanks for reading! :)


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