Lion King 3D Behind the Scenes

Lion King 3D Behind the Scenes

Back in 1994, Lion King made history when it roared into our lives. I still recall seeing it for the first time and many times after. It’s just wonderful to see that my kids, 17 years later watch and enjoy such a great Disney classic. What’s not to love though? Love, tragedy, humor – all entwined in the characters of the lion king. It’s the circle of life.

Fans rejoice once again, as Disney’s Lion King 3D is making it’s way into theatres soon {on September 16th}. Last month I attended the World Premiere of Lion King 3D, in Los Angeles. During this time I got a fabulous Lion King 3D Behind the Scenes look at the history and making of this epic animated film.

I got a chance to meet some key players behind the Lion King film. One is none other than producer, Don Hahn and Naketa Calame, who is the voice behind adorable young Nala. Though that was many years ago, you can still hear Nala’s voice in Naketa. Ever more striking is how lovely of a person she is, in my opinion, the perfect person to have played the character. Don and Naketa both spoke about doubts that lion King would ever be anything but a ‘B’ grade movie during its early stages {ha!}. We viewed a special feature on the history of the animated film and how it came to be. This is such an amazing story, one which I could have never imagined. You will get to see this same special feature yourself, on the Lion King Diamond Edition DVD & Blu-ray which will be released on October 4th.

Next, we got to see exactly how 3D movies are made, which is an incredible process to learn of. Robert Neuman and a team of 60 spent 4 months taking the original 2D animation from the archives, and transformed it into a modern 3D movie. Focusing on depth and emotion of each scene, percentages are given to each shade and character to make it ‘pop’. And, the more characters and action in that second of film, the more complicated it is to transform. If you recall the part of the movie when the wildebeests come charging by the hundreds at Simba – that would have taken forever!!

We also talked with animators from the Lion King, Mark Henn {Simba} and Tony Bancroft {Pumbaa}. They talked about their favorite characters, why they made them look as they do – and past animations for other Disney films. For instance, Mark Henn also animated Princesses Ariel, Belle, Jasmine and Tiana {to just name a few}. Tony Bancroft is the man behind the looks of Cogsworth {Beauty and the Beast} and Iago {Aladdin}. Listening to them was inspiring, yet all the while they sketched Simba and Pumbaa drawings for us all. They are such nice gentlemen, with great humor. You can tell they are such great friends, and speak very highly of each other and each others’ work.

We also got to have dinner and talk with Moira Kelly, who did the voice of Adult Nala. I recall her from many movies in the past, and it was just wonderful to meet her. I loved that we mostly talked about our kids, she’s such a sweetheart!

And then theres the Premiere and After party for Lion King 3D! That was such an incredible experience, the first time I have ever walked down a ‘red carpet’. Yet, it was such a breathtaking and surreal experience, I sure hope it’s not the last!

Lion King 3D hits theatres again on September 16th, for just 2 weeks. As that date draws near, watch for more posts and how you can get your kids excited for the big release!


  1. I noticed Naketa’s voice right away as well,, I find she still sounds just like young Nala 🙂

    So glad I was able to share this great experience with you! It was amazing.

    1. oh ha!!!!
      That’s one of my twins commenting to my post.
      She even pressed ‘submit’, I’m impressed!!

  2. I’m so excited about this movie, I’ve already gone to the Disney Store to pre-order the 4-disc set for October!

  3. Pingback: Disney’s Lion King 3D Premiere {a video} | My Organized Chaos
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