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Disney’s “The Lion King” is Headed Back to the Theater

the lion king in theater
Credit: Disney/Canva

Disney’s The Lion King is headed back to the theater, but fans needn’t worry, as the theatrical release is not another live-action remake of one of Disney’s classics.

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The Lion King (1994) | MUBI

Disney’s “The Lion King” (1994)/Credit: Walt Disney Animation

Thirty years ago, fans had yet to hear the story of a lion cub named Simba and his search for the truth about who he is and who he would become in the great Circle of Life. But in 1994, Disney’s The Lion King debuted at the box office, and fans immediately fell in love with that story, with the characters, and with the music from the animated feature film that teaches us all something about the circle of life.

Simba is the son of the king, Mufasa, and though he’s young, he’s already made big plans for his reign as the monarch at Pride Rock someday. He’s certain he’s “gonna be the main event” and tells his enemies to “beware.” And he’s sure that “kings don’t take advice from little hornbills.”

The Lion King Just can't wait to be king HD - YouTube

Lion cubs Nala and Simba with the King’s advisor, a little hornbill named Zazu/Credit: Walt Disney Animation

In fact, Simba knows just how things will be when he’s king:

No one saying, “Do this”
No one saying, “Be there”
No one saying, “Stop that”
No one saying, “See here”
Free to run around all day
Free to do it all my way

And though Simba’s father has to remind the young cub about his place in the great Circle of Life, the story of The Lion King isn’t about Simba’s arrogance but rather about his innocence.

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Scar has the best intentions . . . for himself/Credit: Walt Disney Animation

Mufasa’s brother Scar is bitter about Mufasa having an heir in Simba, as it moves him from his comfortable spot as next in line to the throne. To ensure he will be king, Scar masterminds a plan that will remove both Mufasa and his heir from the line to the monarchy, and the plan works–for several years.

The story of Disney’s The Lion King is one of self-analysis, truth-seeking, forgiveness, and redemption. It’s beautifully animated, and the music in the film is just as amazing. (It doesn’t hurt that Sir Elton John had a hand in the composing and writing.)

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Credit: Walt Disney Animation

The timeless story is one that resonates with fans of all ages, and though it’s been almost 30 years since Disney debuted the story of The Lion King, fans never tire of the narrative. It was such a hit at the box office that it earned nearly $1 billion and won two Oscars. Further, the film breathed new life into Disney’s animation division, inspiring animators and artists to produce even more animated classic films for Disney.

The Lion King is considered by many to be the pinnacle of achievements during Disney’s Renaissance period from 1989 to 1999.

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Credit: Disney/Collider

And now, in celebration of Disney’s 100th anniversary, The Lion King is headed back to the theater.

Beginning on September 29, 2023, fans can experience the story once again at select theaters around the country. The theatrical re-release is part of The Walt Disney Company’s 100th anniversary celebration, which includes the box office returns of eight of Disney’s most beloved films–two films at a time for a run of two weeks.

Earlier this year, Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003) returned to the theater, as did PIXAR’s Toy Story (1995), among others.

Fans who want to have the experience of seeing The Lion King once more in the theater–or to share the experience with someone special–have until October 12, after which the film will no longer be available at the box office.

About Becky Burkett

Becky's from the Lone Star State and has been writing since she was 10 and encountered her first Disney Park when she was 11. It was love at first Main Street Electrical Parade. Joy is blank lined journals, 0.7 mm pens, and all things Walt, Woody and Buzz, PIXAR, Imagineering, Sleeping Beauty (make it blue!), Disney Parks history and EPCOT. At Disney World, you'll find her croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. If you can dream, you really can do it!