Lion King 1 1/2 Continues Circle of Life

Disney revisits one of its most popular and profitable animated features by giving it a whole new slant in The Lion King 1 1/2, available today on DVD and VHS.

Simba may have been crowned king of the Jungle, but it was everybody’s favorite warthog/meerkat pairing that stole the show in the original The Lion King, released ten years ago. Directed by Bradley Raymond, this new direct-to-video follow-up isn’t so much a sequel as it is a comic retelling of the same story but from the twisted perspective of Timon and Pumbaa.

Nathan Lane and Ernie Sabella reprise their roles as Timon and Pumbaa, respectively. Also returning are Matthew Broderick as Simba, Robert Guillaume as Rafiki, Whoopi Goldberg as Shenzi and Cheech Marin as Banzai. The film also introduces new characters including Uncle Max, voiced by Jerry Stiller of Seinfeld and Teacher’s Pet fame, and Timon’s Ma, voiced by Julie Kavner, the voice of Marge Simpson.

The two-disc DVD set features deleted scenes including a musical number about Timon’s dad. Other bonus materials include a making-of featurette, a mock-umentary titled Timon: Beyond the Legend (hosted by Peter Graves), Nathan Lane’s audio outtakes, Timon & Pumbaa’s Virtual Safari 1.5, and an interactive send-up of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? Hosted by Meredith Viera. As you watch the feature, you can also hunt for secretly embedded images of Mickey Mouse and track them using your remote control.

The Lion King 1 1/2 is a Buena Vista Home Entertainment release. It retails for the suggested price of $29.99 DVD and $24.99 VHS.

Read the March Issue of Animation Magazine for a look at the making of the DVD. Also, be sure and enter our "Top Ten Things ‘Hakuna Matata’ Really Means" contest for your chance to win an official Lion King 1 1/2 whoopee cushion!