The year was 1994 and legendary was born in front of the audience in the form of The Lion King to the audience. We witnessed the magic of animation on a whole another level. It was not the first ever animated film but what made it special were the techniques and the strategies implemented. No other movie in history had seen such a massive response. The storyline was so good and touching that people from around the globe couldn’t help but flood tears every single time.
They always get overwhelmed by joy and sadness at the same time. Even today adults can’t keep away tissues while watching this extraordinary piece of art.
In this article, we will unfold all the secrets and background works which a lot of people do not know about. So hop on this ride while we take you on an incredible journey of unfolding the Lion King’s animation story.
A little history
It is a lesser known fact that the casting remained undecided till the very last moment. Usually for animated movies, directors make it a point to fix on the casting in the very early stages of pre-production; considering the haphazard nature of the film, it was not till the very end we saw a cast. That is something not a lot of people know.
Also, the making of this film coincided with Pocahontas. And at that time, the makers were adamant that the latter would do better than the first one. (That is a big LOL now, isn’t it?)
Know about the animation
The character animators studied real-life animals for reference. They did a rigorous and thorough analysis for movements and characteristics. This is very important to create a natural looking posture of all the characters. These animators dedicated their skills towards making the rigging and modeling process much simpler. In rigging & modeling; designers make it a point to create bone and movement structure of all the animals. That is what was done primarily.
It was strange as all the characters were pretty quickly agreed upon in the storyboard stage. That is quite unexpected for a film that did so well in the theatres it ran for more than a month as people kept demanding to watch more shows of it.
Extraordinary steps are taken
The animators also studied animal movements at the Miami Metro Zoo under guidance from wildlife expert Ron Magill. Now that is the kind of dedication one needs to make a movie so great. The characters were not anthropomorphized in this movie. That being the reason all the animators had to learn to draw four-legged animals. Later the character development got done through use of longer shots following the characters in post-production.
The famous Wildebeest Stampede scene
How can we miss the cherry on the top? One of the most iconic scenes of all times that gets discussed to this day by animators in the wildebeest stampede scene. The recent development of computers and its software helped the animators present their vision in many iconic ways. These were the features that no one has ever seen before.
For the “wildebeest stampede” scene to be sequentially put many different wildebeest characters got created in 3D and then they got multiplied into hundreds. Later with cel-shaded effect to look like drawn animation, and later got a zigzag path down a mountainside to bring forward the real, unpredictable movement of a herd. Five specially trained animators and software technicians spent more than two years creating the two-and-a-half-minute stampede.
Just imagine! More than two years just to get one scene correct. It wouldn’t be such a hassle in today’ day and age with the amazing technology that we have now.
Therefore even to learn animation is a very good option. We have so much scope in animation as well. Click here to find out more about that!