Still the mightiest animated feature of them all and the undisputed "king" of the box office, Walt Disney Pictures' "The Lion King" roars to life in IMAX large format at the Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science and Technology Bristol Omni Theater in Syracuse.
Reformatted specifically for the giant screen from the film's original digital elements, this special limited engagement offers moviegoers a chance to experience the great adventure on the IMAX canvas, along with a remixed soundtrack.
From the opening showstopper "Circle Of Life," one realized that The Lion King is at home on the large-format screen. Mufasa's voice booms with auditorium-shaking authority and the bittersweet tinge of the film is heartbreaking.
"I had a chance to see the film with my children and it was incredible," said Tony Ortega, executive vice president of the Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science and Technology, the home of the Bristol Omni IMAX theater.
"It was great seeing Disney's biggest selling animated film of all time on our big screen. My children loved the big sound especially in the wildebeast stampede. I enjoyed the music and the storyline, which were bigger and better in our domed IMAX experience."
11- year-old Auburnian Adam Cadwallader experienced his first IMAX film with "The Lion King."
"It was so cool," Cadwallader said. "When an elephant walks towards the screen, you feel like you're about to get stepped on and the sound makes you feel like you're in the jungle."
"The Lion King" follows the epic adventures of a young lion cub named Simba as he struggles to accept the responsibilities of adulthood and his destined role as king of the jungle. As a carefree cub, he "just can't wait to be king," and spends his days frolicking with his pal, Nala. His father, King Mufasa, the revered ruler of Pride Rock and the lands surrounding, teaches him about the "Circle of Life," the delicate balance of nature which bonds all animals and cautions him to prepare for the day when he will be called upon to lead.
Mufasa's evil brother, Scar, schemes to do away with the king and Simba so that he can assume the throne for his own tyrannical purposes. He and his hyena henchmen, Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed, lure Simba into the path of a wildebeest stampede in which Mufasa is killed trying to save his son. Scar convinces Simba that he is responsible for his father's death and urges him to run far away from the Pride Lands and never return. A frightened and guilt-ridden Simba flees into exile where he is befriended by a wacky but warmhearted warthog named Pumbaa and his free-wheeling meerkat companion, Timon. But with the help of Rafiki, a wise shaman baboon, Simba realizes that his father's spirit lives on in him and that he must accept the responsibility of his destined role. In a climatic battle with his uncle and an army of hyenas, Simba attempts to reclaim his rightful place in the "Circle of Life".
"I think recreation of these films into IMAX format is a good move for Disney," Ortega said. "IMAX is the ultimate film experience. Disney also has plans to supersize 'Aladdin,' and I'm sure we'll pick that up too. In "The Lion King," a complete overhaul was given to the Ghost of Mufasa scene, with more layers added to the animation, giving it an eerie look, and that's just one of many changes that made 'The Lion King' so much better on IMAX."
"I think Lion King translates perfectly to the 'big screen," Ortega said. "It's beauty and majesty are magnified in the IMAX experience, allowing visitors to be immersed in the touching story and delightful characters. I think Lion King will be a favorite this holiday season."