The Lion King II: Simba's Pride

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The Lion King II: Simba's Pride
SimbasPrideVHS.jpg
North American VHS cover
Directed byDarrell Rooney
Produced byJeannine Roussel
Screenplay byFlip Kobler
Cindy Marcus
StarringMatthew Broderick
Neve Campbell
Suzanne Pleshette
Jason Marsden
Robert Guillaume
Edward Hibbert
Nathan Lane
Ernie Sabella
Moira Kelly
Music byNick Glennie-Smith
Edited byPeter Lonsdale
Production
company
Distributed byWalt Disney Home Video
Release dates
  • October 27, 1998 (1998-10-27)
Running time81 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
 
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The Lion King II: Simba's Pride
SimbasPrideVHS.jpg
North American VHS cover
Directed byDarrell Rooney
Produced byJeannine Roussel
Screenplay byFlip Kobler
Cindy Marcus
StarringMatthew Broderick
Neve Campbell
Suzanne Pleshette
Jason Marsden
Robert Guillaume
Edward Hibbert
Nathan Lane
Ernie Sabella
Moira Kelly
Music byNick Glennie-Smith
Edited byPeter Lonsdale
Production
company
Distributed byWalt Disney Home Video
Release dates
  • October 27, 1998 (1998-10-27)
Running time81 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish

The Lion King II: Simba's Pride (later retitled The Lion King 2: Simba's Pride) is a 1998 American direct-to-video animated musical romantic comedy-drama film produced by Walt Disney Pictures and Walt Disney Animation Australia and released on October 27, 1998 by Walt Disney Home Video (aka Buena Vista Home Entertainment). The film is the sequel to the 1994 Disney animated film The Lion King. It was later re-released as a special edition DVD on August 31, 2004. It was also re-released again on Blu-ray alongside The Lion King and The Lion King 1½. The Blu-ray edition was "placed into the "Disney Vault" on April 30, 2013.

The film centers around Simba and Nala's daughter, Kiara, who falls in love with Kovu, a male lion who was raised in a pride of Scar's followers and Simba's enemies, the Outsiders. Desperate to be together, they must overcome the two obstacles that are keeping them apart: Kovu's mother, Zira, and Simba's prejudices against the Outsiders. It also centers around Simba's father-daughter relationship with Kiara, who has a desire for taking care of herself and being on her own, under her father's protection.

Most of the original cast reprised their roles from the first film, apart from Rowan Atkinson, who was replaced by Edward Hibbert as the voice of Zazu in this film and its follow-up/predecessor The Lion King 1½, and Madge Sinclair, who was the voice of Simba's mother Sarabi in the first film, but died in 1995 after the release of the first film. Her character was written out and does not appear.

Plot[edit]

The animals of the Pridelands gather to witness the celebration of the newborn cub, Kiara, daughter of King Simba and Queen Nala. Simba's father Mufasa proudly watches over the ceremony from the Heavens above. As she grows older, Kiara becomes annoyed with her father's overprotective parenting. Simba assigns Timon and Pumbaa to watch her. Kiara manages to escape the duo's attention and enters the "Outlands", where she meets Kovu, a cub who is Scar's heir. When Kovu retaliates to Kiara's playing, Simba confronts the young cub just as Zira, Kovu's mother, confronts the lion. Zira reminds Simba of how he exiled her and the other Outsiders also tells him Kovu was hand-chosen to be Scar's successor. After returning to the Pride Lands Simba sends Nala and the rest of the pride back to Pride Rock while he warns Kiara about the danger posed by the Outsiders. Simba then tells them that they are a part of each other.

Meanwhile in the Outlands Zira reminds Kovu that Simba killed Scar and was the one who exiled the lions who respect Scar. Kovu explains that he does not think it is so bad to have Kiara as his good friend but Zira realizes she can use Kovu's friendship with Kiara to exact revenge on Simba.

Many years later, Kiara, now a young adult, heads out for her first solo hunt. As part of Zira's plan, Kovu's siblings Nuka and Vitani, trap her in a fire, allowing Kovu to rescue her. Simba, unwilling to thank the young rogue, is forced to accept Kovu's asylum now that Kovu saved his daughter. Later that night Simba dreams about attempting to save Mufasa from falling into the stampede but is stopped by Scar who then turns into Kovu and throws Simba off the cliff into the stampede. The next day Kovu contemplates attacking Simba as he was instructed to, but he goes out to teach Kiara how to hunt instead and hardly realizes the love he has for her at this point. Kovu attempts to confess his mission to Kiara, but Rafiki shows up and leads them to the jungle where he introduces them to "Upendi" — love. Ultimately, the two lions fall in love.

Kovu's guilt drives him to confess about his mission to Kiara. Before he can do so, Simba takes him around the Pride Lands and tells him the real story of Scar, which Kovu had never heard. They fall into an ambush set up by Zira, however. Kovu has the opportunity to kill Simba, but runs away instead. Nuka, trying to prove to Zira that he can capture Simba, is killed when some of the logs crush him to death. Zira blames Kovu for his brother's death and claws him across his eye in anger and frustration. Kovu attempts to return to the Pride Lands and pleads Simba for his forgiveness, but is promptly exiled. Furious at Simba, Kiara informs him that he will never be like Mufasa before fleeing to find Kovu. The two young lions later find each other and profess their love. Kiara convinces Kovu to return with her to the Pridelands.

The Outsiders and Pridelanders clash. Zira and Simba confront each other, but Kovu and Kiara intervene and tell them to stop their hostilities. Vitani and the Outsiders side with the Pridelanders. But Zira attempts to attack Simba, only for Kiara to send her over a cliff dangling over a storm-swollen river. Kiara offers Zira her help, but she refuses and dies. Simba helps Kiara back up the cliff, and he, along with Nala, allows the Outsiders and Kovu to rejoin the Pride Lands at Pride Rock, and even accepts Kovu as his son-in-law and the future king and Kiara the future queen. Simba looks up at the sky to hear the approval of his father and he is proud of him.

Voice cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Discussion began about the possibility of a sequel to The Lion King before the first film even hit theaters.[1] In January 1995, it was reported that a Lion King sequel was to be released "in the next twelve months".[2] However, it was delayed, and then it was reported in May 1996 that it would be released in "early next year" of 1997.[3] By 1996, producer Jeannine Roussel and director Darrell Rooney signed on board to produce and direct the sequel.[4] In December 1996, Matthew Broderick was confirmed to be returning as Simba while his wife, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Jennifer Aniston were in talks to voice Aisha, Simba's daughter. Andy Dick was also confirmed to have signed on to voice Nunka, the son of Scar, who attempts to romance Aisha.[5] Ultimately, the character was renamed Kiara, and voiced by Neve Campbell.[6] Nunka was renamed Kovu, and voiced by Jason Marsden.[7] Then-Disney CEO Michael Eisner urged for Kovu's relationship to Scar to be changed during production as being Scar's son would make him Kiara's cousin. According to Rooney, the final draft gradually became a variation of Romeo and Juliet. "It's the biggest love story we have," he explained. "The difference is that you understand the position of the parents in this film in a way you never did in the Shakespeare play."[8] Because none of the original animators were involved in the production, the majority of the animation was done by Walt Disney Television Animation's studio in Sydney, Australia. However, all storyboarding and pre-production work was done at the Feature Animation studio in Burbank, California.[8] By March 1998, Disney confirmed the sequel would be released on October 27, 1998.[9]

Release[edit]

The film was first released on VHS in the United States on October 27, 1998 and on DVD as a limited issue on November 23, 1999. The DVD release featured the film in a letterboxed 1.66:1 aspect ratio, the trailer for the movie, and a music video of "Love Will Find A Way" performed by Heather Headley and Kenny Lattimore.[10] In 1998, Disney believed that The Lion King II: Simba's Pride would be so popular that it shipped 15 million copies to stores for the October 27 release date. In March 2001, it was reported that in its first three day, 3.5 million VHS copies were sold, and ultimately about thirteen million copies were sold.[11] In September 2001, it was reported that Simba's Pride had sold more than 15 million copies.[12] Overall, consumer spending on The Lion King II: Simba's Pride accumulated about $300 million — roughly the same figure of its predecessor's theatrical release at that time,[13] and continues to be one of the top-selling direct-to-video release of all time, with $464.5 million worldwide in sales and rentals.[14]

On August 31, 2004, the film was re-released on VHS and a 2-Disc Special Edition DVD. The DVD edition featured optional pop-up informational commentary, interactive games (the "Virtual Safari") featuring Timon and Pumbaa and Rafiki, five humorous "Find Out Why" shorts, an animated short based on Lebo M's "One By One", and a "Proud of Simba's Pride" featurette.[15] The Special Edition version featured changes made to the film such as Kovu in the water being inexplicably re-animated as well as other alterations.[10] A DVD boxed set of the three The Lion King films (in two-disc Special Edition formats) was released on December 6, 2004. In January 2005, the film, along with the sequels, went back into moratorium.[16]

On October 4, 2011, Simba's Pride was included in an eight-disc box set trilogy set with the other two films..[17] The Blu-ray edition for the film was released as a separate version on March 6, 2012.[18] The Blu-ray edition has three different versions, a 2-disc Blu-ray/DVD combo pack, a 1-disc edition, and a digital download. The Blu-ray edition has also been attached with a new Timon & Pumbaa short, in which the two friends gaze at the night sky as the star constellations resemble their favorite meal, insects.[18] The Blu-ray edition of The Lion King II, along with the other two films in the series, was placed into moratorium on April 30, 2013.[citation needed]

Reception[edit]

The Lion King II: Simba's Pride received mixed to positive reviews. Based on 6 reviews collected by Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 33% from critics with an average score of 5.6/10.[19]

Siskel & Ebert gave the film a "two-thumbs up" and said it was a "satisfactory sequel to one of the most popular films of all time, The Lion King". However, they also said it was best that it went to video, citing that the music was lacking and not remotely equal to the original's soundtrack.[20] TV Guide gave the film 2½ stars out of four, claiming that, despite being of slightly higher quality than Disney's previous direct-to-video animated sequels, "comes nowhere near the level of its big-screen predecessor", either musically or artistically. The review later went on to say that "Though most of the original characters and their voices are back, they all sound bored, apart from the zesty addition of Suzanne Pleshette as the scheming Zira. The overall result is OK for kids, who will enjoy the low humor provided by the comical meerkat Timon and the flatulent warthog Pumbaa, but it could have been so much better."[21] Writing for Variety, Joe Leydon commented in his review that "In marked contrast to most of the studio's small screen sequels to bigscreen animated hits, the new pic isn’t merely kids' stuff. Not unlike its predecessor, Lion King II has enough across-the-board appeal to entertain viewers of all ages."[22] Caryn James of The New York Times concluded her review with "It's the rare sequel that matches the creative flair of an original, of course. The Lion King II may be derivative, but it is also winning on its own."[7] Entertainment Weekly critic Stephen Witty, who graded the sequel a C+, wrote "Despite its drawbacks, The Lion King II could make a decent rental for undemanding under-7 fans of the original, who won't be overburdened by the psychodrama. For true believers who've already watched and rewound their copies to shreds, it might even make a good buy. And for them, hey, hakuna matata. But for the rest of us, caveat emptor might be a better motto."[23] James Plath of Movie Metropolis gave the film 6/10, saying that, "Simply put, we've seen it all before."[24] Felix Vasquez Jr. of Cinema Crazed called it "A retread of "The Fox and the Hound".[25]

Music[edit]

Songs[edit]

The songwriters were Marty Panzer, Tom Snow, Kevin Quinn, Randy Petersen, Mark Mancina, Jay Rifkin, Lebo M, Jack Feldman, Scott Warrender, and Joss Whedon.

Soundtrack[edit]

An audio CD entitled Return to Pride Rock: Songs Inspired by Disney's The Lion King II: Simba's Pride was released on September 8, 1998. Although not promoted as a soundtrack to the film, it contained all the songs from the film and some additional songs inspired by it by Lebo M.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Horn, John HIGH-PROFILE SEQUELS WILL SKIP THEATERS FOR HOME SCREENINGS Associated Press. May 23, 1994. "The studio is so confident in the sequel's success, it already is considering a direct-to-video sequel to The Lion King – which doesn't arrive in theaters until June."
  2. ^ Bloomberg News Service (January 31, 1995). "Sequel To 'Lion King' Set To Roar Into Vcrs Within The Next Year". Burbank: Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved August 15, 2014. 
  3. ^ Hettrick, Scott (May 24, 1996). "Disney to Offer Original Made For Home Videos". Entertainment News Service (Sun-Sentinel). Retrieved August 15, 2014. 
  4. ^ Roussell, Jeannine and Darrell Rooney. Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure audio commentary: DVD, Backstage Disney, 2006.
  5. ^ Fleming, Mike (December 4, 1996). "‘Blackout’ awakens at Miramax; Hammer hit". Variety. Retrieved August 15, 2014. 
  6. ^ "`Lion Queen' Going Straight To Video". New York Daily News (Sun-Sentinel). September 2, 1998. Retrieved August 15, 2014. 
  7. ^ a b James, Caryn (October 23, 1998). "VIDEO REVIEW; A 'Lion King' With Girls as Stars". The New York Times. Retrieved August 24, 2014. 
  8. ^ a b King, Susan (October 26, 1998). "'LION KING' - Roaring Only in Stores". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 15, 2014. 
  9. ^ Hartl, Joe (March 5, 1998). "Disney's The `King' Again Among Animated Releases". The Seattle Times. Retrieved August 24, 2014. 
  10. ^ a b "TLK on Home Video". lionking.org. 
  11. ^ Hettrick, Steve (March 6, 2001). "‘Tramp’ sequel scampers into vid paydirt". Variety. Retrieved August 15, 2014. 
  12. ^ Hettrick, Steve (September 18, 2001). "Disney ramps up vid-preem sequel slate". Variety. Retrieved August 15, 2014. 
  13. ^ Herrick, Scott (October 26, 2003). "There’s gold in them DVDs". Variety. Retrieved August 15, 2014. 
  14. ^ Dutka, Elaine (August 20, 2005). "Straight-to-video: Straight to the bank". Los Angeles Times (Chicago Tribune). Retrieved August 15, 2014. 
  15. ^ Chitwood, Scott. "The Lion King 2: Simba's Pride". Coming Soon. Retrieved August 15, 2014. 
  16. ^ "Out of Print Disney DVDs". UltimateDisney.com. Retrieved August 15, 2014. 
  17. ^ "Audiences to Experience Disney's "The Lion King" Like Never Before". PR News Wire. May 26, 2011. Retrieved May 26, 2011. 
  18. ^ a b Lui, Ed (December 20, 2011). "Lion King 1 1/2" and "Lion King 2" Coming to Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital on March 6, 2012". Toon Zone. Retrieved December 22, 2011. 
  19. ^ "The Lion King 2 - Simba's Pride (1998)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved August 15, 2014. 
  20. ^ "The Lion King II: Simba's Pride – Siskel & Ebert". 
  21. ^ "The Lion King II: Simba's Pride Review". Movies.tvguide.com. Retrieved July 21, 2012. 
  22. ^ Leydon, Joe (October 19, 1998). "Review: ‘The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride’". Variety. Retrieved August 15, 2014. 
  23. ^ Witty, Stephen (October 30, 1998). "The Lion King II: Simba's Pride Review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved August 15, 2014. 
  24. ^ Plath, James (March 3, 2012). "THE LION KING 2: SIMBA'S PRIDE – Blu-ray review". Movie Metropolis. Retrieved July 21, 2012. 
  25. ^ Felix Vasquez Jr. (May 9, 2013). "The Lion King 2: Simba’s Pride (1998)". Cinema Crazed. Retrieved July 31, 2013. 

External links[edit]