Why was there never a theatrical tlk sequel?

Why was there never a theatrical tlk sequel?

Postby Elton John » November 26th, 2015, 1:07 pm

I know that before 'the lion king' came out the people at Disney never expected it to be a success on the level that it was. Before that there was only one theatrical disney sequel, the rescuers down under.

But now that Disney is making a Frozen 2, it makes me wonder why Disney mever made a theatrical sequel to tlk. In the two theatrical re-releases 'the lion king' went from grossing almost 800 million to almost a billion. It's clear that a theatrical sequel woud make Disney a lot of what they love and that's cold hard cash.

Simbas Pride, while being a good sequel could have been better with a bigger budget. The animation felt off at times, the musical numbers while mostly good lacked the extravagant pizazz of the original and they could have gotten back rowan atkinson to play zazu (whoever replaced him did a turrible job). Among other things.

Sigh. Well, by now if they did do a theatrical sequel where would it go? The continuity of the franchise is all over the place.
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Re: Why was there never a theatrical tlk sequel?

Postby MiKuna Matata » November 26th, 2015, 1:34 pm

I guess it's because TLK didn't meet Disney's style. In Timon and Pumbaa series, sometimes they even wanted to say Hakuna Matata is a wrong philosophy. I think Disney likes the profit that TLK got, but it's just kinda like a different flavors. Therefore, Disney just wants to keep it somewhere else out of theaters.

Or it's because it's such a classic, that they don't think they should create another theater movie to continue.
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Re: Why was there never a theatrical tlk sequel?

Postby TheLionPrince » November 26th, 2015, 4:36 pm

Funny, there was an IMDb thread about this a few weeks ago. The short answer is that because The Return of Jafar sold 11 million copies and grossed $150 million in profits, this encouraged Disney to make a direct-to-video sequel to The Lion King. An article from The Orlando Sentinel reports this:

The Orlando Sentinel wrote:Walt Disney Co., encouraged by $100 million in video sales from an Aladdin sequel, will release a direct-to-video sequel to The Lion King in the next 12 months.

Steve Feldstein, a Disney spokesman, said the company is assembling animation teams for the Lion King project and another Aladdin video sequel.

The Return of Jafar, Disney's first direct-to-video animated film, grossed about $100 million. Analyst Dave Davis of Paul Kagan Associates estimated that the Lion King sequel will gross between $110 million and $165 million and the second Aladdin sequel will gross between $50 million and $90 million. The company's revenue from home-video sales will rise from $1.2 billion to $1.4 billion in fiscal 1994 to about $1.5 billion in 1995, Davis said.

''After Jafar was successful, it was a foregone conclusion that Disney was going to remain in the (direct-to-video) business,'' he said.


Here's the long answer:
Return of Jafar was intended to be an hour-long television pilot to the Aladdin television series, but Tad Stones suggested converting it into a sequel movie. Because of the home video market boom of the 1980s and 90s, Aladdin sold 10.8 million VHS tapes during its first week, and it would be cheaper and less time consuming to produce a low-budget animated film overseas (half of Return of Jafar was animated in Japan) than a theatrical one. The experiment worked with Jafar selling about 11 million copies and grossing millions in profits. So, Disney followed the money, and played the home video market like a fiddle.

As an added note, I don't think the box office failure of The Rescuers Down Under factored that much into Disney's discouragement from producing theatrical sequels. The movie, which celebrates its 25th anniversary, didn't fail because it was a sequel, but because it was overshadowed by Home Alone and Jeffrey Katzenberg pulling the marketing funds because of it. A Lion King theatrical sequel would have sold millions based off its name alone.
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Re: Why was there never a theatrical tlk sequel?

Postby Captain Cupcake » November 27th, 2015, 1:55 pm

Additionally, while I don't think this has ever been actually stated, it can be assumed that the main animation studio often wants to push themselves onward to fresh and unique concepts.

They're at the forefront of the animation game, and always desire to innovate and tackle new settings, creatures, cultures, and so on. Moving backwards onto familiar ground probably doesn't appeal to them unless they know they can experiment and produce something worthwhile and distinct out of it. Frozen AND Wreck-It Ralph are getting true theatrical sequels because there's probably something there to build off of in a lot of imaginative ways.

That and, in Frozen's case, it's just ludicrously bankable... cough.
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Re: Why was there never a theatrical tlk sequel?

Postby BrianGriffinFan » December 12th, 2015, 7:34 am

They're making a second Frozen? Huh.

Anyways, I don't think a theatrical second LK would be possible with the theatrical animation of today. I mean, the 3D stuff just wouldn't do it. That said, I'm sure Disney would love to do a live-action remake one day.
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Re: Why was there never a theatrical tlk sequel?

Postby Sigurd » December 12th, 2015, 11:47 pm

Well, none of the other Disney sequels in the 90s (except for The Resuers Down Under) was theatrical, so I can't see why the Lion King should be an exception.
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Re: Why was there never a theatrical tlk sequel?

Postby Captain Cupcake » December 13th, 2015, 4:42 am

Simbaist wrote:Well, none of the other Disney sequels in the 90s (except for The Resuers Down Under) was theatrical, so I can't see why the Lion King should be an exception.


He was talking about TLK receiving a genuine, high-budget sequel that would've been released in theaters, not putting the TLKII we got on the big screen.
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Re: Why was there never a theatrical tlk sequel?

Postby Elton John » December 13th, 2015, 6:40 am

Yep. I'm not a one and done person, I love sequels that are good. Plot holes aside I like tlk2 but the animation quality suffered from being so low budget.

Plus i'd love to imagine (the real) elton john and tim rice returning to work on the musical numbers. I know they did for the broadway show, with some of the new songs being 'eh' but some of them I adore like grasslands chant and the madness of king scar.
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Re: Why was there never a theatrical tlk sequel?

Postby TheLionPrince » December 13th, 2015, 7:18 pm

It's a minor point to make, but Simba's Pride was released in theaters in Europe and Latin America.
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Re: Why was there never a theatrical tlk sequel?

Postby Elton John » December 13th, 2015, 7:29 pm

Okay, I mean made from the ground up as a theatrical sequel. The theatrical Disney stuff not only has bigger budgets behind it but some of the better talent at Disney working on it. I'm not going to say that every Disney theater release turns out to be gold *coughomeontherangemarsneedsmoMs* but imagine if in 1998 if we got the sequel the first movie deserved.

I mean the second tlk was fine for a direct to video thing. I just think this franchise deserves better than dtv sequels and tv series.
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