Disney Parks’ Safety Video Named As Finalist for Educational Publishers’ Award

Wild About Safety: Timon and Pumbaa Safety Smart about FireThe popular DVD Wild About Safety with Timon and Pumbaa: Safety Smart about Fire! is a finalist for the Association of Educational Publishers’ (AEP) Distinguished Achievement Awards.

Get down, get out and stay out! That’s just one of the lessons Timon and Pumbaa share to help students understand what to do in a fire emergency. From smoke alarms, fire escape plans and preventative measures such as not playing with matches, Timon and Pumbaa review their Safety Smart Checklist full of valuable and life-saving fire safety information.

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‘Lion King’ Diamond Edition to Arrive on Disney 3D Blu-ray on October 4, 2011; 8-Disc Trilogy Also to be Released

'Lion King' on Disney 3d Blu-ray, Blu-ray and DVD from Walt Disney Studios Home EntertainmentAlthough bonus features have yet to be revealed, we have learned that The Lion King will be available to own on Disney Blu-ray/DVD on October 4, 2010. There will be multiple editions, including the Four-Disc Diamond Edition Blu-ray 3D / Blu-ray / DVD / Digital Copy, the Two-Disc Diamond Edition Blu-ray / DVD Combo and DVD editions, all currently available for pre-order on Amazon.com

There will also be an 8-disc ‘trilogy’ set, presumably consisting of The Lion King, The Lion King 1 1/2 and The Lion King 2: Simba’s Pride.

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Whoopi Goldberg Returns to Broadway in Disney’s The Lion King for One Night Only

On this morning’s episode of The View, Whoopi Goldberg announced she will be appearing in the Broadway production of The Lion King at the Minskoff Theatre for one night only. During the evening performance on January 14, 2010, Goldberg will make a series of surprise cameos throughout the popular musical. Her rehearsal experience is being recorded to air as a special presentation as part of The View next week.

Goldberg is no stranger to either the stage, nor The Lion King, having originated the character of Shenzi the hyena.

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Disney Theatrical’s ‘The Lion King’ Items Become Part of Smithsonian Collection (Updated)

Photo courtesy of the National Museum of American HistoryWASHINGTON, Sept. 24 — In a special ceremony today, Disney Theatrical Productions donated objects from the Tony and Olivier Award-winning musical “The Lion King” to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. Costume elements from the show’s protagonist Simba and the tribal shaman Rafiki will join objects from the musicals “Cats,” “Rent” and the “King and I” in the museum’s permanent entertainment collections.

Designed by Julie Taymor, the costume components include Simba’s stylized lion mask and headdress — co-designed by Michael Curry — and the costume, custom shoes and hat designed for Rafiki. The donated items were conceived for the original Broadway production of “The Lion King,” which opened Nov. 13, 1997.

“Taymor’s designs bring the story of Simba the lion cub, fulfilling his destiny to become king in the African Pride Lands, to life,” said Brent D. Glass, director of the museum. “This donation is a significant addition to the museum’s entertainment collection and joins materials representative of Broadway hits.”

The Simba mask-headdress is made of carbon graphite, a lightweight but durable material cast from a silicone mold, paint and polyester fibers. The Rafiki costume is made of cotton fabric, decorated with metal amulets and a horsehair collar. The hat is made of textured kente cloth, and the custom shoes are made of rubber.

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DisneyFamily.com Joins Gap in Search for New Faces of babyGap and GapKids in Casting Call Contest

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 22  — Gap’s nationwide search for babies and kids with a twinkle in their eye, charm in their smile and an expressive personality to match has officially started. Today Gap launched its fourth annual Gap Casting Call, a nationwide contest to find the next faces of babyGap and GapKids. This year, Gap is teaming up with online parenting site, Disney Family.com, offering phenomenal prizes and more chances to win with its first-ever America’s Fan Favorite and Voters’ Sweepstakes awards.

“Casting Call is one of our favorite programs and this year we want to make it bigger and better than ever,” said Pam Wallack, president of babyGap, GapKids and GapMaternity. “The contest is a unique and fun way for us to interact with our customers and their children and we are extremely excited to be partnering with Disney, a brand synonymous with not only families but also family entertainment, to enhance the program and add a little something special to this year’s Casting Call.”

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First Look: ‘Waking Sleeping Beauty’ Doc Looks at Rebirth of Disney Animation

020 Waking Sleeping Beauty, directed by Disney film producer Don Hahn and co-produced by Hahn and Peter Schneider, is an upcoming documentary that goes behind the scenes of the rebirth of Disney Animation with films such as The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and The Lion King.

Walt Disney Studios has provided us with these stills from the film which capture the essence of what went in to creating a series of films that defined an entire generation of new fans of Disney animation.

Click on any thumbnail to see the larger version or click on the PicLens link to start the slideshow.

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Celebrate Fifteen Years on Broadway with New Digital Compilation of Disney Broadway Hits

Disney on Broadway EssentialsOn Tuesday, June 9, Disney Theatrical will make a compilation of 19 tracks from the original cast recordings of all of its Broadway shows from the past fifteen years. That’s music from Beauty and the Beast, Aida, the Lion King, Tarzan, Mary Poppins and the Little Mermaid.

In addition, iTunes will have exclusive bonuses available such as a previously unreleased version of ‘Feed the Birds’ as performed by Ashley Brown, who originated the role of Mary Poppins. iTunes will also offer a video clip of a performance of ‘Step in Time’ from the show itself.

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The Lion King Las Vegas Cast Announced

Kissy Simmons as Nala Performs Shadowland at Broadway on Broadway in 2006. (c) Brad K

Kissy Simmons as Nala Performs Shadowland at Broadway on Broadway in 2006. (c) Brad K

From Broadway.com comes reports of who will be performing in The Lion King at the Mandalay Bay when previews begin May 5. The Vegas company features an international cast of performers who have starred in productions of The Lion King around the world, including New York, Taipei, South Africa, London, Los Angeles, Australia, Toronto, Shanghai, Paris and Holland. The cast includes nine South African natives, and three ensemble members from Las Vegas. Full story here.

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Lion King Las Vegas Tickets on Sale Feb 28 – Free Gifts

According to the Las Vegas Review Journal, tickets for the Lion King Las Vegas will go on sale February 28 beginning at 7 am at the Mandalay Bay Box office and until 10 am (or supplies are exhausted), ticket buyers will receive free gifts. The first 100 buyers will receive a complimentary original cast recording CD of the musical while the first buyer will also get signed copies of The Lion King: Pride Rock on Broadway and Disney Theatrical president Thomas Schumacher’s How Does the Show Go On? There will be an additional gift available to all while supplies last.

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The New King of Vegas Postpones Opening

Simba will just have to wait a couple more weeks. Originally slated to open in April, TheaterMania is reporting The Lion King Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay will now start performances on May 5 with a grand opening on May 15 due to theater construction.

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