Lion King is DVD Mane Event

Finding Nemo may have surpassed it at the box office, but Disney’s classic The Lion King is back to rule the video charts today. Buena Vista Home Ent. has re-released the family favorite as a two-disc special-edition DVD loaded with extras.

Lion King Special Edition features two versions of the film. In addition to the cut everybody saw at the theater, there’s a version featuring a newly animated segment built around the new song Morning Report, which Sir Elton John and Tim Rice composed and recorded just for the DVD release.

Other extra features include audio commentary, rare deleted scenes, making-of featurettes, interactive games, a sing-along track, behind-the-scenes footage, a virtual safari with Timon and Pumbaa, storyboards and music videos. The supplemental disc also takes viewers backstage to see how the hit stage musical was put together.

According to Disney, the film has been painstakingly reformatted one frame at a time from original digitally stored files. A team of artists led by the original filmmaking team removed dust and dirt, and added detail to optimize the film’s first digital presentation. For audiophiles, they also incorporated a 5.1 enhanced home-theater mix.

The G-rated feature runs 90 minutes and is presented in 1:66:1 widescreen aspect ratio. It lists for $29.99 DVD and $24.99 VHS, and will be available for a limited time before it goes back into the Disney vault.