South Africa

Kenya: Trip to Hell's Gate - 10 Interesting Facts About the Lion King

Photo: Disney

The Liong King poster.

By Karen Muriuki

In 1994, the American animated musical film The Lion King was produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and released by Walt Disney Pictures.

It was the 32nd Disney animated feature film, and the fifth animated film produced during a period known as the Disney Renaissance.

25 years later, the film's photorealistic remake has premiered- a one-hour- and fifty-eight-minute plot.


Here are 10 facts you may have not known about the classical film:

1. In November 1991, some of the film's animators travelled to Hell's Gate National Park in Kenya for research and inspiration for the film.

2. The famous 'Hakuna Matata' only became part of the script after the researcher's trip to Kenya.

3. A huge part of the film was finished in the artistes' homes when Disney Studios were forced to close temporarily after an earthquake in 1994.

4. Jim Fowler, a wildlife expert, brought real animals to the studio to help the film's animators study their movements.

5. It is the highest-grossing hand-drawn animated feature of all time with over $986 million box office in total.

6. The film is also the eighth highest-grossing animated feature, 42nd highest-grossing film of all time and the best-selling videotape of all time.

7. It went through a number of different titles like King of the Kalahari, King of Beats and King of the Jungle before finally being named The Lion King.

8. It took almost three years to animate the two-and-a-half-minute wildebeest stampede scene.

9. The original final fight scene had Simba lose to Scar, and Scar eventually dying in a fire.

10. A hyena researcher sued Disney for 'defamation of character' for the portrayal of the hyenas in the film.

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