In light of Disney’s release of “The Lion King” remake, the old controversy hounding its originality has resurfaced.
Disney has been accused by anime fans way back 1994, that the “The Lion King” copied some portions of the story and characters of “Kimba the White Lion,” a popular 1960s animated series by the renowned Japanese artist Osamu Tezuka, based on his 1950 manga “Jungle Emperor.”
But the creative team behind “The Lion King” (1994) denied such claims, saying they were not familiar with Kimba or Tezuka.
A lot of YouTube videos have compared “The Lion King” side by side with “Kimba, The White Lion.” Watch the most popular video about the controversy and judge for yourself whether or not Disney copied elements of Tezuka’s work.
ref: Alli Kat
Matthew Broderick, the voice of Simba in the 1994 version of the film said in an interview, “I thought he meant Kimba, who was a white lion in a cartoon when I was a little kid. So I kept telling everyone I was going to play Kimba.”
Though a lot of people think it’s unthinkable that the creators of The Lion King never heard of Kimba considering the series’ popularity, Disney never acknowledged Tezuka’s work as the origin of the story.
Even when a group of artists wrote a letter to Disney for the company to pay homage to Tezuka through at least a sub-title or a few lines at the beginning of the film, nothing happened.
Disney’s inaction most likely stems from the conciliatory stance of Tezuka Productions.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Tezuka Production’s president, Takayuki Matsutani’s official position as told to Chronicle was that “Lion King is absolutely different from Jungle Emperor and is Disney’s original work.”
Disney’s remake of “The Lion King” is now showing in theaters, earning more than $500 million worldwide on its opening weekend.
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