Can you feel the love tonight? It’s powered by an overwhelming sense of nostalgia for music that was integral to our lives in 1994 — and it’s a big part of the reason why we are fired up for the return of Disney’s THE LION KING to movie theatres later this summer.
The visuals and the classic story of course are lures to get audiences into the theatres to see what Jon Favreau does with this timeless property. But what you might have forgotten — and what Guy Ritchie’s recent ALADDIN remake reminded us — is that the soundtracks for the 1990s-era Disney animated movies were must-own records that sound even better coming through the improved speakers at your local multiplex. And THE LION KING is no exception.
Were you aware that THE LION KING soundtrack remains the best-selling soundtrack album for an animated movie in the U.S., with a reported 7 million copies sold? Boasting songs written and performed by Elton John and Tim Rice, THE LION KING soundtrack made household sensations of “Circle of Life,” “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King,” and “Can You Feel the Love Tonight.” Pair them with the jaunty “Hakuna Matata” and Scar’s menacing “Be Prepared,” and you have an all-time classic mix of movie-inspired hits.
One thing struck us while seeing ALADDIN in theatres earlier this year. Whenever Guy Ritchie and his cast got to a showstopper number, from “Prince Ali” and “Friend Like Me” to “A Whole New World,” the movie got a significant boost of energy. The nostalgia factor kicked in, and hearing those classic songs through amplified modern speakers only helped audiences enjoy the new songs even more.
Now think about hearing “Circle of Life” as the heart-pumping opening number for THE LION KING, pairing the memorable song with Jon Favreau’s updated visuals.
The songs in THE LION KING aren’t just beloved, but they are also Oscar® winning. “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” by Elton John and Tim Rice won the Best Song Oscar and the Grammy Award for Male Vocal Performance. The score also took home an Oscar and a Golden Globe. That’s almost an EGOT!
The impact of THE LION KING soundtrack extends beyond the movie theatre, taking the story to Broadway’s stage and onto the music charts. The songs never left our conscience. And the ability to hear them again in a theatre setting will no doubt lure people to the multiplex for another round of the “Circle of Life.”
Make sure you have your tickets in hand when the movie opens on Friday, July 19.