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Simba roars in 3D

Hollywood studio re-releases children’s movie The Lion King in 3D in India two months before its US release date.

hollywood Updated: Jul 09, 2011 15:52 IST
Serena Menon

The 1994 Walt Disney classic is returning to the big screen in India. And all those kids who didn’t get a chance to watch Simba sing ‘Hakuna matata…’ on 70 mm can now relive memories of The Lion King in 3D.

It was after re-releasing Beauty And The Beast in 3D last year, that Walt Disney Studios realised the potential of the technology on animated properties.

3D revival
“Beauty And The Beast was a huge hit, and that encouraged us to look for other such films to bring back,” says Seshasaye Kanthamraju, executive director, marketing and distribution, Walt Disney Studios, India. “There is a whole generation that missed out on The Lion King. Given the current excitement around 3D, this was a perfect opportunity to present it.”

The film is due to release in about 120 3D screens around the country, including IMAX theatres, on July 29.

It will only hit the US market on September 16. Insisting that the move to release the film in India earlier hasn’t been to cash in on the frenzy surrounding Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2, Kanthamraju says, “The release was never planned on this basis. It’s all about finding a good time line, and we did. From our point, we have a lot of stories we’d love to provide to our viewers in as many formats as possible.” Even though the hit film has two sequels that followed it — The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride (1998) and The Lion King 1½ (2004) — Walt Disney has no plans to bring back any other older properties for now.

But they are looking forward to sweep the 3D market clean with John Carter Of Mars and their first Marvel release, The Avengers, in 2012. “We’ve always taken technology as one of our focus areas. You can see that the number of 3D titles coming from Disney is way more than any other studio,” he adds.

Directed by Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff, The Lion King was originally released 17 years ago on June 17.