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The Lion King just can't wait to be 3-D

Contributing Writer

Published: Thursday, October 6, 2011

Updated: Thursday, October 6, 2011 20:10

lionking

If anyone can sit through the opening scene of Disney's smash hit The Lion King and not get chills all over, then they are a stronger person than me.

The animated juggernaut from 1994 has spawned multiple spin-offs including a Broadway musical, a television series, and several sequels, but the original is still apparently best.

Coinciding with the release of the 3-D version of the beloved classic is the release of a 3-D Blu-Ray DVD, marking the first time any fan can own the film in both high definition and 3-D formats. The film is only in theaters for a few weeks, offering fans of the film a limited time to experience it in the new format. It also offered a new generation of kids the chance to see a classic on the big screen as opposed to their parents' flat-screen TV.

For anyone unfamiliar with the tale of The Lion King, it follows the story of Simba, a young African lion whose father Mufasa is the king.  As one Disney writer was told, the story is "Bambi in Africa meets Hamlet," which any fan of Shakespeare knows is a tragic comparison.

For those die-hard, "I watched this while I was still in diapers" fans, have no fear, the 3-D version has not ruined Simba's story. As I said, the opening sequence still makes you want to sing along (oh, just me then?), and Timon and Pumbaa still make "Hakuna Matata" sound like the coolest problem-free philosophy you've ever heard.

As a leery participant in the craze that has been 3-D, I was initially hesitant to view the conversion in theaters, but once the opening lines of "The Circle of Life" came over the loudspeakers, I was willing to be a temporary enthusiast.

The film is worth visiting again just for the Oscar-winning soundtrack, with a score composed by the legendary Hans Zimmer, and with songs written by Elton John.

The voice cast features the talents of Whoopi Goldberg, Cheech Marin, Rowan Atkinson, Nathan Lane, Matthew Broderick and James Earl Jones. It's hard not to sit through this film without feeling like you're watching something incredible.

So instead of seeing something dramatic and serious this weekend, why not opt instead to visit a childhood classic that has somehow managed to withstand the test of time and remain as fantastic as it was when you were five?

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