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Watch ‘The Lion King’ Come to Life in Rare Behind-the-Scenes Videos

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The Lion King gets a “Signature Edition” Blu-ray tomorrow from Disney, and to hype the release, Disney has been posting a ton of cool behind-the-scenes videos to their YouTube Channel over the last couple days and weeks. They give you a rare look at the recording process of the beloved ’90s animated classic.

The first video above gives a sort of overview of the process. This next one, called “BTS: The Voices,” syncs up the actors and the animation during a performance of “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King”:

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Disney wasn’t just recording these sessions in the hopes that some day they could include them on a Signature Edition Blu-ray. In this next video, Nathan Lane, the voice of the adorable meerkat Timon, talks about how the animators would film the recording sessions and then incorporate the actors’ mannerisms into their drawings. Timon puts his hand on his face in disgust because that’s what Lane did when he was voicing the character:

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And finally, here’s a look into the “Story Room” at Disney, where directors Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff were singing their way through the storyboarded version of “Hakuna Matata.” Note the extra verse of the song, which the directors later cut from the finished film:

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These are a great sampling of the making of The Lion King. And don’t forget the “live-action” version of The Lion King coming in July of 2019. That one, directed by Jon Favreau, will feature the voices of Chiwetel Ejiofor (Scar), Donald Glover (Simba), Billy Eichner (Timon), Seth Rogen (Pumbaa), and John Oliver (Zazu). I look forward to seeing rare archival video of their recording sessions in about 23 years.

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