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Disney and The Lion King

The Lion King Broadway CD Reviews
The Film
Timon and Pumbaa
Shenzi Banzi and Ed
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Roy Oliver Disney (Brother of Walt Disney)
Lillian Disney
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The Lion King III Simba's Heir Ver. 1.4 (Story)
Crossing the Desert (Story)
The Lion King IV Dark Ruler Ver. 1.4 (Story)
The Lion King V : The Final Clash Ver 1.4 (Story)
The Lion King VI Human Encounter Ver. 1.4 (Story)
Scar's Revenge (Story)
The Best On Broadway (Story)
Redemption (Story)
How Shenzi and Banzai Met (Story)
Relations (Story)
The Scarring of Taka (Story)
Zira and Timon (Story)
Fond Memories (Story)
Scar's Revenge (Story) Rene Gorydon
Roy E Disney
The Walt Disney Company
Walt Disney
Jason Raize
The Lion King Broadway CD Reviews
The Lion King Fan Reviews
The Lion King Critics Reviews
Lion King Broadway Reviews
The Lion King Movie Pictures

An Oscar win might suggest a score that would need a miracle to be bettered--but this colorful stage adaptation of Disney's The Lion King does so with flair. Composers Mark Mancina and Lebo M worked closely together to fuse the movie's many disparate elements. Where there was a veritable army exercising creative influences for the animated tale, this brings it all under the wings of a like-minded few. This is genuinely apparent as one track flows into the next. The African rhythms--both vocal and in instrumentation--come across as authentic and original all at once. No doubt this is largely through Mancina's passion for peculiar instruments and the possibilities suggested from nightly live performances. "Grasslands Chant" is a good place to hear this. The hit favorites are here of course, but both "Circle of Life" and "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" are pleasingly unrecognizable with chorus and shifting beats. Better still is the likelihood they will now be eclipsed by some of the new numbers. Mancina's own "He Lives in You" being a strong contender. With a sound mix as crisp as you'd hope to find, this is rousing stuff.

Better than the film score, November 27, 2005
A Kid's Review
The Lion King Broadway Cast recording is way better than the film score!!!!!!!!!!!!! This CD is so amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The people who put all their hard work into this CD are amazing!!!!!!!!!!! Heather Headley is great as Nala. John Vickery is awesome as Scar he sounds just like Jeremy Irons!!!!!!!!!!!!!. Samuel E Wright is also great as Mufasa. Jason Raize is awesome as Adult Simba. He has a great voice!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This CD is amazing. Buy this CD Now!!!!!!

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:

OMG THIS SOUNDTRACK RoCkEd!!!!, January 5, 2006
A Kid's Review
I was never really a big fan of the Lion King but...omg this is the best soundtrack ever! i listen to it everywhere! in the car, at school in the shower...i could go on and on! The play is amazing and the music is just awesome! I cant help but sing along. Some songs make me get up and start dancing...and others make me cry...but then i quickly get cheered up by the changing tunes. To ANYONE i would HIGHLY recomend this soundtrack to you!!!

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:

Great Broadway- A Musical Not Just For The Kiddies!, November 29, 2005
Reviewer: ilovemydog "Kimmie- A" (TX, USA) - See all my reviews
I had the fortune of seeing the musical onstage and it truly was an AMAZING- expierience I will always personally treasure. The sets are amazing and the costumes make the show visually pleasing. Disney did it again! Disney turned a show that normally kids would enjoy and turned it into a show that any adult would like to see after a good night on town. The newly added songs only ENHANCE- the old songs. Fitting in perfectly- you feel as though there they whole time.

The music is extraordinary and the new songs simply breathtaking- making adults relate more to a show kids will enjoy seeing with their parents."They Live In You" and "Endless Night" are my personal favorites making me inspect myself and the loved ones I have lost. Disney has made these new songs... add a certain depth that the movie did not have. Given you a somewhat darker version of the movie.

It's easy to see- why the show won so many Tony's... in the disney tradition of theater the show plays perfectly only enhancing the storyline and making it more appealing to kids and adults. This show will always ROAR on Broadway still holding a lot of Broadway accolades that will be hard for any show to beat. This is a perfect musical for anyone who is having a bad day or has lost someone they love can relate- I found the show inspiring, stiring, and powerful and listen to the CD brings back those same emotions. The whole emphsasis of this Lion King- is that no matter who've lost- they live on in you.

Transcendent, resplendent, regal Lion King, November 6, 2005
Reviewer: C. Morehouse "(admirer of African culture & busy dad)" (Shepherdstown, WV United States) - See all my reviews
I finally saw the production this summer with my 6-year old. Having seen all the cartoons, and generally disliking the formulaic plots and wisecracking sidekicks that Disney favors, I had no idea what a surprise was in store.

With the more vividly African elements in the music, costuming, and scenery, but especially thanks to the human actors' performances, I saw it as if for the first time. Somehow, for me, the show highlighted some very serious themes that never stood out as much for me in the cartoons. The themes of courage, redemption, responsibility, faith, and just vs unjust rule are profound--and absolutely adult. They pack a wallop, too--they brought me to tears more than once. Like the best literature, Lion King works on many levels at once, and can help parents explain the more serious themes to their kids.

Also, the respect paid to African music and culture is sincere, refreshing--and rare. The cartoon is never far from mind, but the ancestors are given voice by the music, and Rafiki is not a caricature--rather, Rafiki's spiritual core is a catalyst for Simba's acceptance of responsibility.

No wonder this was seen as groundbreaking--it's absolutely transformative. Thank you, Disney, Sir Elton, Ms. Taymor, and all the collaborators over the years. A simple animal fable--the most universal form of fiction--has become an enduring work of art.

Still a great show almost 10 years later , August 28, 2005
Reviewer: Stephen Verhaeren (Palos Park, IL USA) - See all my reviews
It maybe heard around to believe that in 2 years, that it would be 10 years that the Lion King made its debut on broadway, and still a big hit after all these years. The Lion King played here in during a 9 month run that was sold out, and just this past summer the Lion King made its return to Chicago, and the same theatre it last perfonmed at when it was in Chicago, and it had the same director (Julie Taymor) when it first played on broadway, but i am saddned to say that this is the last week that the Lion King is in its last week here in Chicago, but it moves on, I saw it when it first played Chicago, but it may still return in a couple of years. Also in 2003, Disney released the Lion King as a part of ther Special Pladium Edition, and even added Morning Report in. Even if the movie is 88 minutes long, the play is 2 hours and 45 minutes, with the 15 intermission. SO they added songs that wasn't in the movie, the songs are

1. Circle of Life
2. Grassland Chant
3. The Morning Report
4. The Lioness Hunt
5. I Just Can't Wait to be King
6. Chow Down
7. They Live in You
8. Be Prepared
9. The Stampede
10. Rafiki Mourns
11. Hakuna Matata
12. One by One
13. The Madness of King Scar
14. Shadowland
15. The Lion Sleeps Tonight
16. Endless Night
17. Can You Feel the Love Tonight
18. He Lives in You (Reprise)
19. Simba Confronts Scar
20. Circle of Life (Reprise)

The booklet gives you the lyrics, and the names of the voices that you will hear on this cd. So whtehr the show is playing your town or state, this should be a treat to listen to you, and even if you haven't seen it on broadway, it might be an great time to see the show, normally their 2 kids from the roles of Young Sioimba and Nala, so you had to wonder how they decided to come in to record the songs that Young Simba Or Nala, well she not seen as much, and she only is apart of I Can't Wait to Be King. And if you like this, I bet their are some other good orginal broadway cast recordings that you would have to listen to, no matter how long they have been out

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful:

Can't Wait to be King, July 6, 2005
Reviewer: Duane Montague "creativeartist" (Renton, WA United States) - See all my reviews
It's a story that rips off everything from HAMLET to one of Japan's favorite animated films. The original score was basically a redo of music from a different film (Hans Zimmer and Lebo M. previously collaborated on THE POWER OF ONE). The songs were by a great singer/songwriter who hadn't ever written a musical, and a lyricist who appeared to have had his best days behind him. And yet, when THE LION KING opened in theaters in 1994, it blew everyone away.

When Disney announced it would hire famed puppet theater director Julie Taymor to adapt the show for Broadway, a collective intake of breath could be heard around the world. Theater enthusiasts felt Taymor was selling out. Disneyphiles worried that the beloved story would be bloated beyond recognition. And the kids? Well, they just couldn't figure out how Simba would get off the screen and onto the stage.

The rest, as they say, is history. Disney's THE LION KING broke all records on Broadway (until THE PRODUCERS, years later), won a record number of Tonys and continues to play to packed houses both on tour and on the Great White Way.

What makes it work? An amazing collaboration between Taymor, Zimmer, Lebo M., John, Rice, and a few others. Where it lacks percussive power due to the nature of a theater orchestra, it makes up in emotional resonance and an increased emphasis on the deep feelings invoked by the story.

The familiar songs from the film are present, although Rafiki is no longer Robert Guillame's wily old baboon. Rafiki is now an extremely wise (though she occasionaly plays the fool) female baboon with some of the best lines, and certainly several of the best vocal moments in the entire show.

The cast is uniformly excellent, with surprising contributions from Samuel Wright (better known as Sebastian the Crab from THE LITTLE MERMAID) as Mufasa. Jason Raize, Heather Hadley, Max Cassella, and the rest of the cast bring the film characters to life (on stage through a combination of puppets, masks, etc.).

What sets the show apart, however, is the "new" stuff included in the songlist. Most of the "new" songs are adaptions of instrumental selections from the score ("Under the Stars" from the film becomes "Endless Night," "This Land," is now Nala's beautiful "Lea Halalelah") or songs written by Lebo M. and Mark Mancina for Disney's follow-up album to the original soundtrack, RETURN TO PRIDE ROCK. The best of these is "He Lives in You," which is heard first as sung by Mufasa, and later by the entire company.

Scar, the hyenas, and Zazu each get their own song (Scar's is a clever way of explaining quickly why Scar gets a little loopy in the story, while the hyenas have a rocking tune about chewing little lion cubs up). Zazu's was so popular it was animated and added to the SPECIAL EDITION of THE LION KING first released in Imax theaters and later on DVD.

The additional songs celebrating African culture and heritage (Rafiki's chants, the Lioness Hunt song, and "One by One") all take the story from contemporary Hollywood studio to traditional African story. It's a huge shift that works because of the awesomeness of the performers.

This is not the animated film soundtrack--it is a deeper listening experience that takes the discerning listener (child or adult) to places that most shows can't (or won't).

It's an idea that should not have worked...but to all our benefits (Disneyphiles, theater lovers, and young at heart), we are definitly thankful it did.

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