‘The Lion King’ Turns 25

This week marks 25 years since The Lion King was released by Disney in 1994, and over that time the animated film became a cultural sensation that spawned a media empire. The Onion looks back at The Lion King on its 25th anniversary.


1987:

Matthew Broderick narrowly avoids a five-year sentence for killing two people in a car accident in Northern Ireland, freeing him up to later voice Simba.

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1993:

Film touted as first Disney animated feature with an original story, based on the apparent assumption that no one has heard of William fucking Shakespeare.

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1994:

Elton John fills in as last-minute replacement for Kurt Cobain.


1994:

The Lion King video game for Super Nintendo has a whole level inside a volcano even though nothing like that happens in the movie.

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1997:

Pumbaa-inspired pet warthogs adopted years earlier dumped at shelters by the thousands.

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1998:

In the sequel The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride, Simba is captured and brought in a crate to the Minnesota Zoo.

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2004:

The Lion King ½ companion film focuses on the untold parallel story of Simba falling in with a mystical sex cult led by gurus Timon and Pumbaa.

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2014:

Live musical version surpasses Song Of The South to become the most successful Broadway adaptation of a Disney movie.

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2017:

James Earl Jones asked to re-audition for Mufasa.


2020:

Grandma buys wrong Lion King.

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