The Lion King

Synopsis: A young lion Prince is cast out of his pride by his cruel uncle, who claims he killed his father. While the uncle rules with an iron paw, the prince grows up beyond the Savannah, living by a philosophy: No worries for the rest of your days. But when his past comes to haunt him, the young Prince must decide his fate: will he remain an outcast, or face his demons and become what he needs to be?
Production: Buena Vista
  Won 2 Oscars. Another 33 wins & 29 nominations.
 
IMDB:
8.5
Metacritic:
83
Rotten Tomatoes:
93%
G
Year:
1994
88 min
$94,240,635
Website
21,306 Views


IN DARKNESS:

A Native African VOICE calls out in SONG.

FADE IN:

Dawn. The sun slowly rises over an African plain - full, brilliant.

Native African VOICES respond in SONG. The SOLO VOICE continues, joined by the group.

CLOSE ON:

ANIMALS - alert to the sound: a RHINO, TOPEES, MEERCATS, a CHEETAH, several MARABOU STORKS. Another marabou stork enters frame. Intro SONG: "THE CIRCLE OF LIFE"

The stork takes wing.

EXT. VICTORIA FALLS

The rising sun lights the cascading water. The marabou storks fly across frame.

EXT. PLAIN WITH KILIMANJARO IN B.G.

ELEPHANTS walk along through the morning mist.

AERIAL SHOT - A RIVER

Flocks of airborne FLAMINGOS cast «shadows on the meandering waterway, below.

GAZELLES leap and run across a grassy plain.

EXT. A HILL

A MOTHER GIRAFFE crests the hill, followed by her baby, as the song lyric begins:

VOICE:

singing

FROM THE DAY WE ARRIVE ON THE PLANET

AND BLINKING STEP INTO THE SUN THERE'S MORE TO SEE THAN CAN EVER BE

MORE TO DO THAN CAN EVER BE DONE

The mother and child giraffes cross frame and reach a crest that overlooks a huge migration of animals. They lope down the hill to join them. We HOLD ON:

A TREE BRANCH where ants carrying leaves march across. RACK FOCUS to reveal:

ZEBRAS below, trotting in the same direction as the rest of the herds.

DOWN SHOT - GUINEA FOWL

waddle toward us, as dust reveals:

A HUGE ELEPHANT who crests an incline and lumbers toward us. The guinea fowl scamper ahead. One is almost stepped on by the elephant's huge hoof.

EXT. A STREAM

reflecting the morning sun. The reflection is shattered by ZEBRA who leap into the water and cross, causing an explosion of shimmering droplets. In the b.g., AN ELEPHANT with birds perched on its head and tusks gives them safe passage across the stream. PAN to see'the animals getting out of the stream and joining a SCREENFUL of animals, all walking in the same direction.

VOICE:

THERE'S FAR TOO MUCH TO TAKE IN HERE MORE TO FIND THAN EVER BE FOUND BUT THE SUN ROUTING HIGH THROUGH THE SAPPHIRE SKY KEEPS GREAT AND SMALL ON THE ENDLESS ROUND

The light changes. PAN to REVEAL:

EXT. PRIDE ROCK - CONTINUOUS

An impressive mountain: with many plateaus, levels and textures. It stands castle-like in the center of the Pride lands.

VOICE:

IT'S THE CIRCLE OF LIFE AND IT MOVES US ALL THROUGH DESPAIR AND HOPE THROUGH FAITH AND LOVE ON A PATH UNWINDING TILL WE FIND OUR PLACE IN THE CIRCLE THE CIRCLE OF LIFE

AERIAL SHOT - CONTINUOUS

WE TRACK in with a horn bill (ZAZU) who flies over the gathered animals and ANGLES up, up, up to the promontory.

He lands and bows regally to an 0. S. character. He gestures with his wing, indicating that all is ready and reverently backs away.

ANGLE - MUFASA

The rising sun lights this regal, commanding lion (MUFASA) — who acknowledges Zazu with a warn nod.

REVERSE ANGLE:

Below, the animals are collected in a natural amphitheater.

WITH MUFASA:

Surveying the situation.

WITH THE ANIMALS

Gourds and on the top of a walking stick make their way through the crowd. An old baboon (RAFIKI) who carries the walking stick, hobbles out from the crowd, toward Pride Rock. There is mystery and humor to this old fellow as he ambles forward and scales the cliff.

EXT. EDGE OF PLATEAU - ABOVE

Raflki's head pops up. He ambles to a standing position, goes right to Mufasa and gives him a hug. Mufasa beans. These guys obviously go way back. They turn and look at:

A LIONESS (SARABI) who has her newborn cub (SIMBA) nestled at her feet.

FULL SHOT:

Mufasa lovingly nuzzles Sarabi. Then he nuzzles the little cub.

MUSIC UNDER:

ANGLE - THE CUB

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Irene Mecchi

Irene Mecchi is an American writer for television, movies, newspapers, and Broadway. Originally from San Francisco, she started her work with Disney in March 1992, when she wrote Recycle Rex, an animated short film which won the 1994 Environmental Media Award. Irene has worked on Herb Caen's books, and is the co-screenwriter of Disney animated movies such as The Lion King, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and Hercules. With co-author Roger Allers, she received a 1998 Tony nomination for writing the book for The Lion King. Irene wrote the teleplay for Annie, which aired on ABC in 1999. more…

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