Who would’ve thought that Disney’s 1994 animated movie The Lion King, which ran as a backburner whilst the making of Pocahontas took precedence, would be such a success? Don’t worry if you didn’t raise your hand and say “I,” because according to the commentary on the Platinum Edition DVD, neither did the majority of the animators at Disney. In fact, many declined to take part and opted to work on Pocahontas, which was seen as the more prestigious of the two and more likely to be successful.
Poca-who?, you may say. With the continuing success of The Lion King and its countless awards and achievements, it’s no wonder Pocahontas seems to be little more than an afterthought at this point.
Now, almost two decades on, The Lion King is still exceeding targets, with the musical adaptation being named the highest-earning show in Broadway history according to new figures released this week. The show has been running in New York since 1997 (and not 1988 as reported by the BBC; that is actually the year the idea came about during a conversation between the creators). The show moved to the UK in 1999 and has now racked up an astonishing $854m (about £537m) in sales. The previous titleholder, The Phantom of the Opera, is currently grossing at $853m; however Phantom is still the longest-running show in Broadway history.
The award-winning The Lion King musical is currently showing at the Lyceum Theatre near Covent Garden. Tickets start from £38 and you can be purchased here. You can also purchase discounted tickets at LastMinute.com, a company that sells the surplus available for the daily shows starting from £30.