Book Review: The Art and Making of Disney the Lion King
The Art and Making of Disney the Lion King by Michael Goldman takes an in depth look at the creation of the 2019 adaptation of the Lion King. It showcases a large collection of concept art plus stills and other photos from the production of the film. The bulk of the narrative focuses on the locations & characters depicted in the recent movie.
The book opens with a brief history on the evolution of the technology and process used to create this film and then some of the inspiration for the locations. Chapter 2 transitions into a history of the Lion King franchise looking at the music in the original film and the Broadway adaptation. Chapter three returns to the new production and goes more in depth on the film making process that was used and the considerations of the story for the new version. The next five chapters take a deeper dive and look at the locations for the film (Pride Lands, Elephant Graveyard, Rafiki’s World, Wildebeest Gorge, Cloud Forest). Each of these chapters explores the location, its inspiration and creation. Then has profiles of the characters that were in that location. Each character features a description of the voice actor and then a designing section that gives a description and then some considerations for the character. All the major characters of the film are profiled over the course of the chapters. The narrative wraps up the discussion of the new film in chapter nine with a look at the Circle of Live and some of the music in the new film. The book concludes with a chapter devoted to Disney and nature including some info on Disney Conservation, Animal Kingdom, early Disney nature films and more.
I was sent this book to review expecting a book full of large format concept art and frame images and was pleasantly surprised to find a very descriptive and in depth narrative of the film making process, locations and characters to go with the great art work. I really enjoyed reading about the development process and the decisions that went into the creation. It sets a high bar for the home video bonus materials. I hope what makes that release is as interesting and informative as this. The art work showcases some of the development process and inspiration for the film.
Me being the tech geek that I am would have liked to have read more about the technology used in the film creation process. It does go into some decent depth on the process and use of the tech but I always want more. It does not really talk about the numbers of the processing, storage, etc.. that is required to produce a film like this. One other minor annoyance was the text on the right hand page seemed to go close to the center bind meaning you had to open the book up quite a bit to read some of it depending on how you were seated and the lighting.
The Art and Making of Disney the Lion King is a large format hard cover book that will make a solid addition to any Lion King fan’s library and a great read for anyone interested in learning more about the cutting edge production process that was used for this film.
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