Filmmakers Had Difficulty Converting 'Lion King' to 3D

Manila Bulletin, December 7, 2011 | Go to article overview

Filmmakers Had Difficulty Converting 'Lion King' to 3D


MANILA, Philippines - It took nine long months for the animation classic "The Lion King" to get full 3D conversion, according to Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.

"When I first heard that 'The Lion King' was going to be converted into 3D, I wasn't sure it could be done," said producer Don Hahn.

"However, I was blown away by the results. It looks fantastic! All in all, it took about nine months to complete the process. We spent the first three months preparing and testing the shots, followed by six months of actual production work," Hahn added.

"The Lion King" (1994) shaped a generation of children who were growing up in the '90s. If it was boyband music for the pre-adults of the era, it was "Can You Feel The Love Tonight," "I Just Can't Wait To Be King" and "Hakuna Matata" for the younger ones. Consider that "Hakuna Matata" was a fun song performed in the animation by Simba's buddies meerkat Timon and warthog Pumbaa.

"In the early stages of production, we had a song called 'He's Got It All Worked Out' in the movie," said co-director Rob Minkoff. "We wanted a fun, bug-eating song because we wanted to convey the idea that Simba is not being a lion when he meets Timon and Pumbaa; he's giving up his lion ways and he's moving into this new life away from his home."

But an entire bug-eating number lacked appeal to the filmmaking team. "However, we couldn't convince everybody that making the entire song about eating bugs was a good idea. Soon after, the research team came back from their trip to Africa with the phrase 'Hakuna Matata,'" Minkoff said.

As the song suggests, the Swahili phrase means "no worries" befitting Timon and Pumbaa's "problem-free philosophy. …

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