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[Last modified: Monday, Nov. 21, 2005 - 10:46]

The third Lion King movie was released direct to video and DVD on February 3, 2004: The Lion King 1 1/2, or (outside the U.S. and Canada) The Lion King 3.

Breaking from the tradition of sequels that continue a linear narrative through time, The Lion King 1 1/2 is actually a "retelling" of the original Lion King—a "behind the scenes" version of the movie, told from the perspective of Timon and Pumbaa, the meerkat and warthog who provided the comic relief and moral support to Simba in his quest to reclaim his throne. As Disney explicitly confirms, whereas The Lion King was a recasting of the classic story of Hamlet, this sequel is analogous to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.

This means that the third canon Lion King movie is, in fact, a parody by Disney of its own work. And yet the story is told with an irreverence tempered by genuine love for the subject matter befitting any hard-core fan; while weighty events like the Presentation of Simba and the vengeful race home over the sands are given a new and sarcastic spin, the humor is genuine and inspired, and does not detract from the power of the original.

Especially helpful in ensuring the movie's success is the return of nearly the entire voice cast—except for Rowan Atkinson as Zazu (Edward Hibbert reprises the role from Simba's Pride, with—again—only one spoken line), and aside from James Earl Jones and Jeremy Irons (Mufasa and Scar play only non-speaking cameo roles), the entire rest of the original voice cast is present. The three hyenas return as the embodiments of a more nebulous antagonistic side to the story, as The Lion King 1 1/2 is a "buddy" movie where the primary conflicts arise from personality issues and character development rather than from the villainy of a character like Scar or Zira. The inspired addition of Julie Kavner (Marge Simpson) as Timon's mother and Jerry Stiller as his Uncle Max round out the voice cast quite satisfyingly.

Timon: Nathan Lane
Pumbaa: Ernie Sabella
Ma: Julie Kavner
Uncle Max: Jerry Stiller
Young Simba: Matt Weinberg
Teen/Adult Simba: Matthew Broderick
Nala: Moira Kelly
Rafiki: Robert Guillaume
Shenzi: Whoopi Goldberg
Banzai: Cheech Marin
Ed: Jim Cummings
Zazu: Edward Hibbert


Unlike with Simba's Pride, the release of The Lion King 1 1/2 was not accompanied by a huge merchandising blitz; so there was not anything like the deluge of coloring books, figurines, stickers, video games, and collectibles that came along with the first Lion King sequel. There was only a small soundtrack CD with eight tracks. This ensured that The Lion King 1 1/2 would have only modest success at the retail counter; but the the efforts put into it by the writing and animation staff, resulting in a movie that captures the elusive "feel" of the original movie better than nearly anything else in the ten-year history of the Lion King franchise, are something to be commended and appreciated by every fan who was aching for one last glimpse into the world that we couldn't get enough of back in 1994.


TLK 1 1/2 Script


Following are all the news items that preceded the release of The Lion King 1 1/2, from the first rumors up to the final confirmations and sightings.

Review:

TLK 1 1/2 Continues the Shakespearean Theme

There's a review at Animated News by Christian Ziebarth, which discusses the very intentional resemblance of TLK 1 1/2 to Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, playing off the oft-noted resemblance of TLK to Hamlet. Well worth a read.

February 4, 2004
Submitted by Jess Walzak

Pawprints:

Production Notes

Jake Lipson has posted the Production Notes from TLK 1 1/2 at UltimateDisney.com.

February 2, 2004
Submitted by Christian Ziebarth and Simba B.
UltimateDisney.com

Field Report:

TLK 1 1/2 Soundtrack Official Cover and Lyrics

Kubo Hyena has provided scans of the TLK 1 1/2 soundtrack CD (TLK 3 outside the US), as well as a transcription of the lyrics to all the songs (as best they can be determined).

Front: http://www.rsad.edu/~jgilbert/TLK3-CDCover.jpg

Back: http://www.rsad.edu/~jgilbert/TLK3-CDBack.jpg

February 2, 2004
Submitted by Kubo Hyena

Pawprints:

Soundtrack Song List Published

According to animated-news.com, the TLK 1 1/2 soundtrack will have the following track breakdown:
  1. Diggah Tunnah (appears three times in the movie: normal version, dance version [possibly in the credits], and reprise version)
  2. Grazin' in the Grass (performed by Raven)
  3. That's All I Need (this is the reworked "Warthog Rhapsody" which was originally intended for use in the first movie and showed up on "Rhythm of the Pridelands," the "sequel" to the first movie's soundtrack)
  4. Nants' Ingonyama
  5. Circle of Life
  6. Father's Footsteps (lyrics by Lebo M.; music by Hans Zimmer)
  7. I Just Can't Wait To Be King
  8. Be Prepared
  9. It's A Small World
  10. Hakuna Matata
  11. The Lion Sleeps Tonight
  12. Jungle Boogie
  13. The Good, The Bad and the Ugly
  14. Sunrise Sunset (sung by Timon and Pumbaa)
  15. Can You Feel The Love Tonight (performed by Kristle Murden)
  16. Peter Gunn Theme
  17. Homeward Bound (lyrics by Lebo M.; music by Hans Zimmer)
  18. Sabre Dance
  19. Hawaiian War Chant
  20. Simba and Nala Move In/End
That's a lotta songs for $7.

January 22, 2004
Submitted by Kirsten Gilson
Animated-News.com

Pawprints:

Ten New Promo Art/Screenshots Available

Christian Ziebarth has come into possession of ten new images released by Buena Vista Home Entertainment. Some appear to be promo art, and others are screenshots from the actual DVD. Scroll to the bottom of the page to see the ten images, some of which are also available in medium-sized, lower-bandwidth versions.

January 16, 2004
Submitted by Christian Ziebarth
Buena Vista Home Entertainment

Pawprints:

TLK 1 1/2 Soundtrack Pre-Orders Available

The soundtrack for The Lion King 1 1/2 is now available for pre-order at Best Buy, among other places, for $6.99.

The official release date is Febrary 3.

January 16, 2004
Submitted by Simba B.
Best Buy

Pawprints:

Two New Official Video Clips Online

Several people have written to point out that at the official TLK 1 1/2 site, under the "Video Clips" section, there are two new semi-trailers available: "Timon's Proposal" and "Gotta Go".

Both clips are actually quite funny, and extremely well animated-- better than Simba's Pride, as a matter of fact. This could be good after all...

There are also more video clips in the "Pumbaa's Paradise" section, under "Fun & Games".

December 3, 2003
Submitted by Jens Byl et al.
Official TLK 1 1/2 Site

Pawprints:

"Thinking of Adopting a Lion?" Movie Still Posted

Animated News has what's reportedly a screenshot from TLK 1 1/2, showing "the ever-lovable duo of Timon and Pumbaa sleeping on the job but otherwise doing their best to raise the lion cub prince Simba".



The lighting and linework make it look more like a specially drawn promo piece than a still from the movie, but it's an interesting glimpse into what the movie will look like.

December 17, 2003
Submitted by Simba B. and Christian Ziebarth
Animated News

Pawprints:

New TLK 1.5 Trailer on Pirates DVD

Chrisian Ziebarth and Jade Gryphon send word of the new teaser trailer for The Lion King 1 1/2 that appears on the DVD of Pirates of the Caribbean.
What happens is, simba, timon and pumbaa, are all sitting in what seems to be a hotspring, talking. Pumbaa decides to get out of it, and when he does-- the spring stops bubbling. Timon and Simba look at the water, look at each other, then proceed with running out of the water. xD its so funny.
Five screen captures follow:

December 3, 2003
Submitted by Christian Ziebarth and Jade Gryphon
Pirates of the Caribbean DVD

Promo:

TLK 1 1/2 Pre-order Now Available

The online Disney Store has opened its doors to pre-orders of The Lion King 1 1/2:
"Pre-order by February 9, 2004, and get our special "The Lion King 1 1/2" cotton tee (size XL only), available exclusively with Catalog or Online pre-orders! Offer expires February 9, or while supplies last. Available to own February 10, 2004."

November 26, 2003
Submitted by Simba B.
DisneyStore.com

Pawprints:

TLK 3 Region 2 in February

According to Dave Foster of DVDTimes, the Region 2 version of the next Lion King movie will be released direct-to-video in February 2004.
"Buena Vista Home Entertainment have announced the UK Region 2 DVD release of The Lion King 3: Hakuna Matata for 16th February 2004. This all-new animated adventure is being released as The Lion King 1½ in America and reunites Disney's favourite double act, Timon and Pumbaa. Going behind the scenes of the original film the comedy duo re-tell the story from their quite unique and very hysterical point of view. It's a story within a story, told as only Timon and Pumbaa can."

November 22, 2003
Submitted by Simba B.
DVDTimes

Pawprints:

Final Video/DVD Cover and Disc Art

UltimateDisney.com has posted what appear to be the final video cover and DVD art for TLK 1.5 (at least so far):

November 20, 2003
Submitted by Lindsay Mayer UltimateDisney.com

Pawprints:

"Digga Tunnah" Screenshots

Kristin Cheddar has captured a series of screen grabs from the "Digga Tunnah" song included on the TLK Special Edition DVD as a promotion for TLK 1 1/2.

Also, an AVI of the sequence is available thanks to Zorin the Lynx.

And Beth Baisch has provided a transcription of the lyrics.

October 28, 2003
Submitted by Christian Ziebarth and Kristin Cheddar
DVD Bonus Material

Video:

Bonus Movies from GBA Game

Kovu in Shanghai, China has recorded the bonus movies from the TLK 1 1/2 Game Boy Advance game. AVI format, 8MB.

October 23, 2003
Submitted by Kovu

Pawprints:

TLK 3 / TLK 1 1/2 Cover Designs

Rob Tripp sends this image of the TLK 1 1/2 cover, found at DVD Planet:



Meanwhile, Jens Byl has sighted four different cover designs at Mickey's Disney Archief (in the Netherlands):



We don't know how "official" these are, but they certainly do heighten our understanding of how this movie will be framed. "The Circle Of Life Will Never Be The Same," eh? Are they sure that's a good thing?

October 23, 2003
Submitted by Rob Tripp and Jens Byl
DVD Planet
Mickey's Disney Archief

Pawprints:

Website Screenshots

Epesi has grabbed the screens from the official TLK 1 1/2 page, so we can see them without the menus that become layered over them. The screen captures can be found here.

October 20, 2003
Submitted by Epesi

Official:

TLK 1 1/2 Site Online at Disney

No more speculation: it's official. Disney has posted their own TLK 1 1/2 site-- complete with release information, video clips, games, and that "Timon's Diary" thing that was released with the TLK DVD. And a rather cool Flash menu, too.

October 6, 2003
Submitted by Stahi
Disney Online

Pawprints:

TLK 1.5 Writing Credits Change

The IMDb page for TLK 1 1/2 has been updated to list original TLK writers Roger allers and Irene Mecchi as providers of "additional screenplay material":
Roger Allers (additional screenplay material)
Irene Mecchi (additional screenplay material)
Tom Rogers
Evan Spiliotopoulos (additional screenplay material)
Bradley Raymond is listed as the director.

October 6, 2003
Submitted by Robert Koehler
IMDb

Review:

TLK 1.5 Info at DVDtoons

There's a lot of info about the upcoming TLK 1 1/2 DVD set at DVDtoons.com. That's right, DVD set... apparently there will be two discs, with lots of goodies on both.

Release date is given as 2/10/2003, which I can only assume should be 2004.

October 6, 2003
Submitted by Simba B.
DVDtoons.com

Official:

TLK 1 1/2 Mini-Storybook in TLK SE DVD

The DVD set of The Lion King, released this week, contains a mini-storybook outlining the story of The Lion King 1 1/2.

Do you wanna really know how Simba became king in The Lion King? Well, The Lion King 1 1/2 reveals the story BEHIND the story. You'll learn all about it as you read Timon's diary, which we found under the rubble of a hyena graveyard.

Day 1
Dear Diary,
I'ts me, Timon. You know-- that mischievous meerkat with exciting news. Instead of digging tunnels from dusk to dawn to hide the pack from the hyenas, I'm moving up to hyena lookout!

Day 2
Dear Diary,
I'm in deep doo-doo with the village. Last night when I broke into song on the watch, the hyenas came a-running. It's time I leave to follow my dream and find a place with no worries...
I'm just worried I won't find such a place.

Day 3
Dear Diary,
Today I ventured off to where no meerkat has gone before... and I WANTED MY MOMMY! Then I met a wise old monkey, Rafiki, who filled me in on Hakuna Matata, which means no worries! And, it's my new way of life!

Day 4
Dear Diarrhea,
What a scare I had today! I ran into this warthog named Pumbaa. At first I thought he was going to devour me like an appetizer, but we bonded like peanut butter and jelly. I know we're going to be best buddies.

Day 5
Dear Diary,
Today was a big day in the Pride Lands. There was celebration for the birth of the king's son. All of a sudden the animals started to bow. I thought it was to honor their king. Then I got a whiff of what brought them to their knees. Guess who was responsible for the ill wind? Pumbaa, of course. So now we have to set out for greener pastures.

Day 10
Dear Diary,
We found our dream home! Waterfalls. Swimming pools. Best of all a scruptious assortment of bugs!! But that's not the big news. We rescued a little lion cub named Simba and now we are his foster parents.

Day 54
Dear Diary,
I know it's been a while, but this parenting stuff takes a lot of time—potty training, game playing, bug belching and slug slurping. We're like kids again! Life is bliss.

Day 272
Dear Diary,
There's a girl in the picture. This Nala person was going to have us for lunch—when Simba rescued us. Wouldn't you know it, they were old pals. You should see all the nuzzling and smooching. We hope it's nothing serious!

Day 363
Dead Diary,
Simba bailed on us to reclaim his kingdom. Maybe it's a good thing, but he's going to need our help.

Day 368
You'll never guess who we ran into when we were on our way to help Simba. MA and UNCLE MAX! That's the good part. The not so good part is STARVING HYENAS chased us! But we set a trap, distracted them with one heck of a hula dance, while Ma and Uncle Max dug a tunnel underneath them. KABOOM! No more hyenas! Simba took his place as king on Pride Rock—and the circle of life continues.

So if you think this sounds like a laugh a minute, you're right. Don't miss the whole hilarious story behind the story in The Lion King 1 1/2. It's a total gas, and we ain't lion!
Hmm. Sounds like a lot of fun. Also sounds like they're playing fast and loose with plot continuity; they're saying Timon met up with Rafiki before he met Pumbaa, and he learned the "hakuna matata" philosophy from him? So why does he say, "Who's the monkey?" later on in TLK? Sounds rather like how Star Wars wrote itself into a corner-- why did Owen not even recognize C-3PO when he bought him from the Jawas, if the droids had used to live on that very farm?

Blah. Too nit-picky, I know-- and I'm sure TLK 1.5 wil be so full of anachronistic gags that these kinds of observations just don't work. But still.

October 5, 2003
Submitted by Timduru and Simba B.

Glimpses:

TLK 1.5 Cover Art Spotted

Natasha Amos has found, on a German site, what appears to be the cover art for TLK 1 1/2 (which, remember, will apparently be TLK 3 everywhere but the US):



Thus far, this thumbnail version is all we've seen; a higher-resolution one is bound to surface soon.

September 21, 2003
Submitted by Natasha Amos
www.lion-king.org

Official:

Synopsis and Release Date for TLK 1 1/2

Several people, among whom Jake Lipson was the first, forwarded me the first official release information from Disney on TLK 1 1/2. The release date is given as February 10, 2004.
Hilarity reigns in this all-new movie starring Timon and his windy pal Pumbaa -- and featuring the new song "That's All I Need"! Now, in THE LION KING 1 1/2, see how things really happened -- according to their perspective -- in this rip-roaringly funny story within the story of THE LION KING. Find out the truth about some "passed" events -- such as when King Mufasa introduced his young heir to the animal kingdom. Let's just say there was something behind that dramatic moment when all the animals bowed to their new ruler! In this all-new comedy-adventure, Timon and Pumbaa reveal the true hullabaloo behind their departures from their meerkat and warthog 'hoods. Tag along as the two buddies from the brush search for their dream home, share their joys and trials as they raise young Simba using the "Hakuna Matata" philosophy, then cheer them on as they help Simba save the Serengeti and reclaim his place atop Pride Rock. Nathan Lane, Matthew Broderick, and the original voice cast return for this all-new hysterical musical tale -- and meet colorful new characters like Timon's Ma and Uncle Max! Get ready for some king-sized fun with Timon and Pumbaa, the greatest unsung heroes of the savanna. They were there . . . and they ain't LION!

September 15, 2003
Submitted by Jake Lipson
Disney DVD & Video

Glimpses:

Trailer Spotted on Jungle Book 2 DVD

Elfasi has recorded the trailer for TLK3/TLK1.5 that appears on the Jungle Book 2 DVD. It's in AVI/DiVX, in small (7.0M) and large (16.9M) versions.

September 11, 2003
Submitted by Elfasi
Jungle Book 2 DVD

Clarification:

TLK 1 1/2 in US, TLK 3 Elsewhere

Caji notes the following:
America = The Lion King 1 1/2 this is the official title as listed and endorsed by Disney for the US run and merchandise.

Everywhere Else = The Lion King 3: Hakuna Matata Same movie, but different title, I have a picture of the cover (well Der Koenig Der Loewen 3) as this is the German release name.

Why Disney is renaming the foreign release, I have no idea. TLk 1.5 will be out in February for region 1 viewers, and for our export buddies it will be out in March.
I wonder if that's what they intended all along, or if there's as much confusion within Disney as there is out here?

September 10, 2003
Submitted by Caji

Glimpses:

TLK 1 1/2 Book Available at Wal-Mart

You can pre-order the TLK 1 1/2 children's book (24 pages) for $3.59 at Wal-Mart online.

August 29, 2003
Submitted by Thomas Soltis
Wal-Mart

Glimpses:

"Digga Tunnah" Bound for Store Shelves

According to Simba B.:

The song "Digga Tunnah", a tune rumored to be written for The Lion King 1 1/2: Hakuna Matata will be on the "Sing-Along Songs: Brother Bear On My Way" DVD.

August 20, 2003
Submitted by Simba B.
Disney Videos

Pawprints:

Timon's In-Laws Sighted!

The eagle-eyed Laura, aka "Coolraptor", provides this intriguing development:

Today I walked into a local Waldenbooks and saw this 16-month 2004 Lion King wall calendar. I've included a snapshot below. Nothing on the outside suggested it contained any material on the upcoming TLK:1.5 but I've been starved for merchandise for the past 9 years, so of course I picked it up :)
Besides the big picture for each month, there's also a little pic down in the corner...and the one for September 2004 included these two little meerkats I've never seen before (see attached scan)!!! I can only assume they're Timon's mom and Uncle Max from the upcoming sequel! Wheee!!!! Anyways, just thought you'd like to know.

August 19, 2003
Submitted by Laura, aka "Coolraptor"

Pawprints:

TLK 1 1/2 on Game Boy Advance

There appears to be an upcoming Game Boy Advance game based on The Lion King 1 1/2, according to the following three game-watcher links:

http://www.advance-power.de

http://www.compucentre.com

http://e-buy.metafore.ca

From the look of things, the game is scheduled for an October 10 release.

August 19, 2003
Submitted by Francisco Flores

Rumor:

Back to TLK3?

I couldn't find anything about this on www.lionking.org, so I just figured I'd alert you to this just in case nobody else has bothered to do so. I was just watching the recently released Scandinavian DVD version of The Jungle Book 2, and to my great surprise, among the "previews" (you know, the ones Disney always make you watch before the menu comes up) was an actual trailer for "The Lion King 3 - Hakuna Matata" (I guess this is the official title then, not TLK 1.5). New animation and everything. It consisted of footage from TLK (the _real_ TLK that is) with the silhouettes of Timon and Pumbaa popping up in front of it, talking about the movie. Then Timon picks up a remote control and fast-forwards to the part where they come in, and they get into a discussion (Pumbaa insists they have to watch the film from the beginning). Eventually Timon rewinds it and promises that they'll go all the way back to _before_ the beginning.
So it's TLK3 again, is it? Interesting.

August 9, 2003
Submitted by Arild Berg

News Buzz:

February 13 Release

Jim Hill Media says that TLK 1 1/2 will be released on Friday, February 13, 2004. Also, a Special Edition of Simba's Pride will appear on August 31, 2004.

May 15, 2003
Submitted by Simba B.
Jim Hill Media

Glimpses:

TLK 1 1/2 Children's Books Set for January Release

Simba B. has found a list of TLK children's books at Random House's site. The list includes a "Lion King 1 1/2" book whose publication date is given as January 2004.

May 14, 2003
Submitted by Simba B.
Random House

News Buzz:

Cheech and Whoopi Back on Board; New Logo

Several people have mailed me with this story from Video Premiere Awards:
Whoopi Goldberg and Cheech Marin have rejoined the voice cast from the original The Lion King for Disney's second animated DVD premiere sequel, The Lion King 1, which will be released Feb. 4.The project, which DVD Exclusive (formerly DVD Premieres) has been tracking as it has gone from being called The Lion King 3 to The Lion King 1: Hakuna Matata, has already been in the works for more than three years since sister publications VB and Variety first broke the story in 2000.
The article includes the new official logo for the movie ("Hakuna Matata" has been dropped); I've replaced the banner for this page with that new image.

May 12, 2003
Submitted by Tanabi

News Buzz:

Spring 2004 Release, and Lots More Details

A real, live news story from The Hollywood Reporter, carried on Yahoo! News, has a ton of new info on release dates and the nature of the new movie.
"Lion King 1 1/2' will be marketed to the broadest possible audience, from 'anyone who bought the original 'Lion King' plus anyone who's come into the marketplace since then,' Chapek said. Ad spending and marketing campaigns have not been defined, but they will reflect the importance of the franchise, he added.

'The Lion King 1 1/2' DVD will also provide music videos, deleted scenes, behind-the-scenes views of how the movie was made and two featurettes: 'Timon -- The Early Years,' a mockumentary tracing Timon's childhood through tongue-in-cheek interviews with family and friends; and 'Disney's Funniest Moments,' highlighting Disney animated characters from the Seven Dwarfs to Brother Bear.

Two games also will be included: a virtual safari 'backlot tour' through the Pridelands and a 'Lion King' trivia game in the format of a 'Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (news - web sites)' parody.

May 9, 2003
Submitted by Kirsten Gilson
The Hollywood Reporter

News from the Underground:

TLK1.5 Visions and Insights

I just received an e-mail from "AnonyMouse", who-- let's just say, is in what I'd consider to be a very respectable position to comment on the state of the new Lion King movie.
1. The film is called "The Lion King 1 1/2: Hakuna Matata". Yeah, it's corny, we all agree.

2. Yes, we see how Timon and Pumbaa meet. We also see the circumstances under which Timon leaves the meerkat colony. And yes, it takes place DURING the first film, explaining and affecting events that took place in the first (believe me, you'll never watch the original TLK the same way again!)

3. The song "Wharthog Rhapsody" has been extensively rewritten and renamed "Meerkat Rhapsody", as it tells Timon's story rather than Pumbaa's. The tune is still more or less the same.

4. What's with that rumor about clearing up a plot hole from TLK2? There's nothing remotely like that in this film. Also, the rumor about a fourth film is bogus. We would have heard about it - we know what our next upcoming films are months ahead of time. We've got Lilo & Stitch, Tarzan, Bambi and a few other things lined up, but there's been no mention of any other TLK stuff.

5. This is most definitely Timon's film - Pumbaa plays an important part, but the film is really as much about Timon's journey as the original TLK was about Simba's journey.

6. And it is very, very funny. No bias here: the lecia reel cracks us up every time. I didn't particularly care for TLK2, but this... THIS is the sequel I would have chosen to make. And I consider myself a true TLK fan. :)

7. At this stage it will be direct-to-video. The animation is as good as that in the ORIGINAL TLK (seriously) but DTV releases make Disney more money. :P
Sounds like very encouraging news, if this all pans out.

March 26, 2003
Submitted by AnonyMouse

Rumor:

Fall Release Date Confirmed?

Jim Hill Media has this bit of news:
Not another direct-to-video 'Lion King' sequel (Though -- that said -- I have been hearing that the Aussies did a really nice job with "Lion King III," which is due to hit store shelves sometime later this Fall), but an actual film of their very own to produce.
III or 1.5? Who knows...

March 15, 2003
Submitted by Kirsten Gilson
jimhillmedia.com

Rumor:

"Meerkat Rhapsody"?

Tanabi sends word of an addition to the IMDb page for TLK 1.5:
IMDb has announced that two directors have been hired for a "Meerkat Rhapsody" sequence. This could be the same as "Warthog Rhapsody" or not. My TLK1.5 website @ S&SM ( http://www.geocities.com/sarabi5790/onetwo.html) just refers to it as "Warthog Rhapsody/Meerkat Rhapsody", because maybe they just added a little bit to the original song to add some "meerkat" into it. I have no clue.

February 16, 2003
Submitted by Tanabi.
IMDb

Rumor:

Updates on Music and Casting

Animated-movies.com's News page has the following:
'Armstrong' notes that although earlier reports indicated that Lebo M. would be returning to do the songs for the prequel/midquel, S&SM has listed that the movie will have music by Martin Erskine and lyrics by Seth Friedman. The site also reports that a song called "Digga Tunnah" was written for the movie. According to the latest rumors, validated by IMDB, Shaun Flemming (Teacher's Pet) will replace Matt Weinberg as the voice of young Simba.

February 8, 2003
Submitted by Kirsten Gilson
animated-movies.com

Rumor:

Matt Weinberg to play Young Simba

According to the website for the film Spooky House, 12-year-old actor Matt Weinberg will be starring as Young Simba in the new Lion King movie. I guess it stands to reason that Jonathan Taylor Thomas's voice wouldn't work anymore...

December 9, 2002
Submitted by Simba B.
Spooky House official site

News Buzz:

Original TLK writers to pen TLK 1.5?

In April 2000, Walt Disney picked scribes Jeff Ahlholm and Colin Goldman to write the script for Lion King 3, a direct-to-video production. According to Variety, Tom Rogers will also be contributing to the film's script. Plans were to complete production on the pic in time to hit video stores sometime in 2001, but had to be delayed by at least 2 years. Tentatively titled Hakuna Matata then The Lion King One and a Half, this direct-to-video release will tell the story of how Timon and Pumbaa got together. Ernie Sabella (the voice of Pumbaa) revealed in June 2002 that that the writers were now the same as those from the first film [Irene Mecchi, Jonathan Roberts and Linda Woolverton] and that the original cast would be providing the voices once again. Could that mean that the movie will premiere in theaters?
This is apparently an update of the very first piece of rumormongering that we heard (have we ever heard the names Jeff Ahlholm and Colin Goldman without the word "scribes" in front of them?), but the updates-- that the original TLK writing team might now be involved, and that the whole original cast is now back (as happened in Aladdin), is certainly worth noting...

November 27, 2002
Submitted by Zei
animated-movies.com

Rumor:

Lion King Midquel To Get Theatrical Release?

According to Animagic, Disney is planning to release The Lion King 1 1/2: Hakuna Matata, as a theatrical feature instead of straight-to-video. The project is expected to start production in Australia this month.
So now they're calling it a "midquel". Fine...

If it's a theatrical release, that may mean better production quality than we had to settle for in Simba's Pride. But then again, just because something is made for the big screen doesn't mean it's automatically better quality than TV animation; just look at the Hey Arnold! movie.

October 4, 2002
Submitted by Kat Green
animated-movies.com

News Buzz:

Hakuna Matata Next for Walt Disney Animation Australia

The Sydney studio, which Disney took over in 1988, has mostly made direct-to-video sequels. Its only previous cinema release was the Peter Pan sequel Return to Neverland. Once the new Jungle Book is delivered, the studio will concentrate on The Lion King 1 1/2, which tells the Lion King story from the comical perspective of Timon the meerkat and Pumbaa the warthog. Rather than a sequel or prequel, this one is being called an "interquel".
"Interquel", huh? Okay, fair enough. Also, there's this bit, titled "Lilo & Stitch A MoneyMaker!":
Co-director Dean Dublois told SMH that the Disney blockbuster cost $80 million to produce: "With the domestic release alone, we're the first film to actually make money since The Lion King," he says. "It's a really positive message for our mission of trying to open the doors towards more quirky and unique storytelling at Disney."
Excellent.

September 21, 2002
Submitted by Kirsten Gilson
animated-movies.com

Glimpses:

"Warthog Rhapsody" Storyboard Images

http://www.simbaskingdom.org/WS/

A series of storyboard images, evidently from an edit/work print or animatic of the in-progress material. This does not appear to be the same storyboard sequence as the one that was included in the Deluxe Laserdisc Edition, originally released back in 1995.

September 19, 2002
Submitted by Kat Green

Confirmed Details:

Jim Hill Gives Us An Advance Look at The Lion King 1 1/2: Hakuna Matata!

One of the very best--and most reliable--animation reporters out there, Jim Hill dropped the following informative note to Animated Movies: "Yep, strange as it may sound, Lion King 1 1/2 : Hakuna Matata *IS* the title of the next direct-to-video sequel to The Lion King. At least for now. This new Disney Television Animation project will be set (mostly) during that time period when young Simba was away from the Pridelands. When he was living with Timon & Pumbaa. So expect this film (which will be mostly told in flashback) to reveal how Timon and Pumbaa actually got together as well as show some of the adventures that young Simba had with these two, etc. So what's the real high point of this direct-to-video project? Disney animation fans are finally going to get to see a fully animated version of "Warthog Rhapsody" (Tim Rice & Elton John's first stab at trying to write a comic song for Timon & Pumbaa). Ernie Sarbella gives an absolutely killer vocal performance as Pumbaa in this song. As does Nathan Lane as Timon. The downside of the project?... The Lion King 1 1/2 : Hakuna Matata's story is a bit on the thin side. Not as thin as--perhaps-- Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas. But still pretty slight. The upside?... Animation on this project is being done by Disney Television Animation Australia. The very best of Disney's direct-to-video operations. (Why are they the best? Well, the Australians actually *GET* the American sense of humor. So no one has to laboriously explain to the animators there how to properly time out a scene in order to get a laugh back stateside. Too bad that we can't say the same about Disney Television Animation Japan. Disney is constantly sending sequences back to that studio & its satellites to get reworked because the animators there didn't understand a storyboard and--as a result--blew the staging and/or timing of a gag in the movie)."
The image at right is also reported to be the official logo for TLK1.5, as it was part of a display booth from the Disneyana Convention Walt Disney Company Showcase at EPCOT in August.

Credit for the picture goes to "Lucky" of The Savannah forum. Thanks for the use of the image!

September 16, 2002
Submitted by Kat Green
animated-movies.com

News Buzz:

Animation Guild Signs Jungle Book, Lion King Contract

The Animation Guild, Local 839 IATSE (formerly Motion Picture Screen Cartoonists) announced that it has signed a contract with Spaff Animation to work on the upcoming Disney theatrical release Jungle Book II and the direct-to-video sequel Lion King 1 1/2. Spearheaded by accomplished Lead Animator Dave Spafford (Who Framed Roger Rabbit, The Secret of NIMH, Oliver and Company, The Fox and the Hound), Spaff has been providing animation for films and commercials for 15 years. Animation Guild President Kevin Koch waxes optimistic for local artists, noting to Animation Magazine, "Spaff Animation will be doing work on high-visibility Disney projects that have previously gone to Asia and Australia." He goes on to say, "Dave is proving that Los Angeles artists can compete in cost and quality with Disney's foreign-based animation work."
In other words, Disney is farming out the animation work on TLK1.5 to a third-party contract animation house. I don't think they've ever done this before... and frankly, it can't be good news.

August 13, 2002
Submitted by Kirsten Gilson
animated-movies.com

Wild Rumor:

TLK1.5: From the Warthog's Point of View

According to the IMDB, The Lion King 1 1/2: Hakuna Matata will be released in 2003 and directed by Bradley Raymond (Pocahontas II, The Hunchback of Notre Dame II)... nothing wrong there, until you get to the plot outline: "Timon the meerkat and Pumbaa the warthog retell the story of The Lion King, from their own unique perspective." Voice actor Ernie Sabella (Pumbaa) had reported last month that the prequel, to get a Christmas 2003 release, would tell the story of how Timon and Pumbaa met, which makes more sense. Possibly the closing scene will introduce Simba, hence the misunderstanding? Time will tell.

August 1, 2002
Submitted by Kat Green
animated-movies.com

News Buzz:

Ernie Sabella Spills the Beans

The Disney Animation Archive reveals that Ernie Sabella (the voice of Pumbaa) was recently a special guest on Disney Cruise Line's first trip in the Western Carribean. "He signed autographs and was interviewed in the theatre onboard the ship. He talked about the upcoming Lion King movie [a second direct-to-video sequel] where Timon and Pumbaa meet. He says that the writers are the same as those from the original and that the original cast will be providing the voices once again. He wanted footage to be shown but said the company didn't want to show any of the movie yet."

June 10, 2002
Submitted by Kat Green

Website:

The Lion King 1 1/2 on IMDB

IMDB, the Internet Movie Database, has a page up for the upcoming "TLK 1 1/2" movie starring Timon and Pumbaa:

http://us.imdb.com/Title?0318403

May 18, 2002

News Buzz:

The Lion King One and a Half?

Reported at animated-movies.com:
"I believe 2D is here for a while yet, though I believe we may utilise 3D animation more in 2D," Ian Harrowell commented to In Cinemas. The Disney artist admitted that his favourite animated film of all time was DreamWorks' Shrek -"I love what it says about friendship, true beauty and what a hero is"- and the project he had most fun working on remains An Extremely Goofy Movie. Ian Harrowel went on to reveal that he is currently working on "a movie starring Timon and Pumbaa, currently called Lion King One and a Half."

March 30, 2002
Submitted by Kat Green

News Buzz:

TLK3 Rumored for Christmas Release

Various news sources have obliquely referred to TLK3 as being on schedule for a release in the not-too-distant future. An article in the LA Times, in fact, describes the video as due to be out around Christmas-- though which Christmas is not clear. (Christmas 2001 would be a tight squeeze, given that it's right around the corner.)

December 4, 2001
Submitted by Eben Prentzler

Rumor:

Massive Layoffs at Disney; TLK3 axed

Word from Disney execs and their families is that Disney is responding to a severe falloff in animated movie revenue by scaling back its production teams (giving severe pay cuts and layoffs to even its most celebrated animators, such as Andreas Deja), and striking a number of projects from the drawing boards. It's been strongly suggested that TLK3 is one of those axed projects, and that we won't be seeing it anytime soon, if at all.

May 4, 2001
Submitted by Anonymous

News Buzz:

Various News Sources Mention TLK3

Lebo M. is working on TLK3, at least as of Jan. 28, 2001; and the Feb. 22, 2001 word on the street is that TLK3 is somewhere on the horizon, if not officially confirmed anywhere. At least, this is what we can glean from news stories popping up in various places on the Web:

Sunday Times (South Africa) article regarding Lebo M. and an oblique reference to TLK3
Article from Orlando Weekly discussing Disney's direct-to-video productions, mentioning TLK3 as being in the production queue

March 21, 2001
Submitted by Christoph Franck
TLK-L Mailing List

Rumor:

TLK3 at least three video releases away

Word from "the inside" (the TV Animation unit responsible for TLK2) is that TLK3 is indeed in the works, but that Peter Pan 2 is the current project, to be followed by The Jungle Book 2. After that, TLK3 is either first or second in line for production.

Of course this means no work has even begun on the project, and also that its quality will likely be relegated to that of what can only be an uninspiring series of milk-it-for-all-it's-worth sequels.

April 24, 2001
Submitted by Sergei Zubkov
TLK-L Mailing List

Quote:

Lion King could roar again
by Scott Hettrick and Charle Lyons

A second sequel to the best-selling video of all time (It's still got Titanic beat.) and a follow-up to the best-selling made-for-video title of all time, is being considered by Buena Vista Home Entertainment and parent The Walt Disney Studios.

Two first-time writers, Jeff Ahlholm and Colin Goldman, have been hired to write a script for "The Lion King III" along with in-house Disney writer Tom Rogers, under Disney animation execs Sharon Morrill and Brian Snedeker, according to Daily Variety.

April 17, 2000
Submitted by Greg Ludwick
"Video" weekly industry trade news magazine

CTV NewsNet Entertainment Report

This video clip confirms the existence of the third Lion King movie, and its status ("being written"). It also mentions a target release date of Christmas 2001.
7.1MB MPEG

April 13, 2000
Submitted by Nordic Aurora
CTV NewsNet, Canada

Quote:

'Lion King 3' Scribes

Walt Disney has picked scribes Jeff Ahlholm and Colin Goldman to write the script for Lion King 3, a direct-to-video production. According to Variety, Tom Rogers will also be contributing to the film's script. Plans are to complete production on the pic in time to hit video stores sometime next year.

April 12, 2000
Submitted by Christian Ziebarth
Cinescape Online: http://www.cinescape.com/insider/indexarchive.html

To date, there are no details on casting or plot; presumably, more information will be forthcoming once the script is written. After all, they have a whole year to bring this from concept to store shelves.


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