Friday, February 5, 2016


Web Open Font Format

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Web Open Font Format
Filename extension.woff
Internet media typeapplication/font-woff[1]
Magic number
77 4F 46 46 ("wOFF" inASCII)
77 4F 46 32 ("wOF2" inASCII)
Developed byW3C
Type of formatFont file
Container forSFNT fonts
WebsiteWOFF File Format
The Web Open Font Format (WOFF) is a font format for use in web pages. It was developed during 2009[2] and is now a World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Recommendation.[3]
WOFF is essentially OpenType or TrueType with compression and additional metadata. The goal is to support font distribution from a server to a client over a network with bandwidth constraints.

Submission as a standard[edit]

Following the submission of WOFF by the Mozilla FoundationOpera Software and Microsoft on April 8, 2010,[4][5] the W3C commented that it expects WOFF to soon become the "single, interoperable [font] format" supported by all browsers.[6] The W3C published WOFF as a working draft on July 27, 2010,[7][8] and it became a W3C Recommendation on 13 December 2012.
WOFF 2.0, a proposed update to the existing WOFF 1.0 with improved compression is currently being evaluated.[9] WOFF 2.0 uses Brotli as the byte-level compression format.


WOFF is essentially a wrapper that contains SFNT-based fonts (TrueType or OpenType) that have been compressed using a WOFF encoding tool to enable them to be embedded in a Web page.[2] The format uses zlib compression (specifically, the compress2 function),[2] typically resulting in a file size reduction from TTF of over 40%.[10] Like OpenType fonts, WOFF supports both PostScript and TrueType outlines for the glyphs.[11]

Vendor support[edit]

The format has received the backing of many of the main font foundries[12] and has been supported by all major browsers:
Some browsers enforce a same-origin policy, preventing WOFF fonts from being used across different domains. This restriction is part of the draft CSS 3 Fonts module,[23] where it applies to all font formats and can be overridden by the server providing the font.
Some servers may require the manual addition of WOFF's MIME type to serve the files correctly;[24] the proper MIME type is application/font-woff,[1] not application/x-font-woff, although font/woff is also commonly seen.
WOFF 2.0, based on the Brotli compression algorithm and other improvements over WOFF 1.0 giving more than 30 % reduction in file size, is supported in Chrome (since version 36[25]), Opera (since version 26[26]) and Firefox (since version 35[27]).

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White Fang

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article is about the novel. For films and other uses, see White Fang (disambiguation).
White Fang
First edition cover
AuthorJack London
CountryUnited States
SeriesJack London
Publication date
May 1906
Media typePrint (Serial, Hardback & Paperback)
Pages298 pp (2001 Scholastic paperback)
Preceded byThe Call of the Wild
White Fang is a novel by American author Jack London (1876–1916) — and the name of the book's eponymous character, a wildwolfdog. First serialized in Outing magazine, it was published in 1906. The story takes place in Yukon Territory, Canada, during the 1890s Klondike Gold Rush and details White Fang's journey to domestication. It is a companion novel (and a thematic mirror) to London's best-known work, The Call of the Wild, which is about a kidnapped, domesticated dog embracing his wild ancestry to survive and thrive in the wild.
Much of White Fang is written from the viewpoint of the titular canine character, enabling London to explore how animals view their world and how they view humans. White Fang examines the violent world of wild animals and the equally violent world of humans. The book also explores complex themes including morality and redemption.
White Fang has been adapted for the screen numerous times, including a 1991 film starring Ethan Hawke.

Plot summary[edit]

The story begins before the three-quarters wolf-dog hybrid is born, with two men and their sled dog team on a journey to deliver acoffin to a remote town named Fort McGurry in the higher area of the Yukon Territory, Canada. The men, Bill and Henry, are stalked by a large pack of starving wolves over the course of several days. Finally, after all of their dogs and Bill have been eaten, four more teams find Henry trying to escape from the wolves; the wolf pack scatters when they hear the large group of people coming.
The story then follows the pack, which has been robbed of its last prey. When the pack finally brings down a moose, the famine is ended; they eventually split up, and the story now follows a she-wolf and her mate, One Eye. The she-wolf gives birth to a litter of five cubs by the Mackenzie River, and all but one die from hunger. One Eye is killed by a lynx while trying to rob her den for food for the she-wolf and her cub; his mate later discovers his remains near the lynx's den. The surviving cub and the she-wolf are left to fend for themselves. Shortly afterward (possibly as revenge), the she-wolf kills all the lynx's kittens to feed her cub, prompting the lynx to track her down, and a vicious fight breaks out. The she-wolf eventually kills the lynx but suffers severe injury; the lynx carcass is devoured over a period of seven days as the she-wolf recovers from her injuries.
The cub comes across five Native Americans one day, and the she-wolf comes to his rescue. One man, Grey Beaver, recognizes the she-wolf as Kiche, his brother's wolfdog, who left during a famine. Grey Beaver's brother is dead, so he takes Kiche and her cub and christens the cub White Fang. White Fang has a harsh life in the Indian camp; the current puppy pack, seeing him as a wolf, immediately attacks him. The Indians save him, but the pups never accept him, and the leader, Lip-lip, singles him out for persecution. White Fang grows to become a savage, callous, morose, solitary, and deadly fighter, "the enemy of his kind".
It is at this time that White Fang is separated from his mother who is sold off to another Indian Camp. He realizes how hard life in the wild is when he runs away from camp and earns the respect of Gray Beaver when he saves his son Mit-Sah from a gang of bullies. When a famine occurs, he runs away into the woods and reunites with his mother Kiche, only for her to chase him away for she has a new litter of Cubs (as they meet again and again, the cubs all die). He also encounters Lip-Lip whom he fights and kills before returning to the camp.
When White Fang is five years old, he is taken to Fort Yukon so that Grey Beaver can trade with the gold-hunters. There, he is bought with several bottles of whiskey by a dog-fighter, Beauty Smith, who gets Grey Beaver addicted to alcohol. White Fang defeats all opponents pitted against him, including several wolves and a lynx, until a bulldog called Cherokee is brought in to fight him. Cherokee has the upper hand in the fight when he grips the skin and fur of White Fang's neck and begins to throttle him. White Fang nearly suffocates but is rescued when a rich, young gold hunter, Weedon Scott, stops the fight and forcefully buys White Fang from Beauty Smith.
Scott attempts to tame White Fang, and after a long, patient effort, he succeeds. When Scott attempts to return to California alone, White Fang pursues him, and Scott decides to take the dog with him back home. In Sierra Vista, White Fang must adjust to the laws of the estate. At the end of the book, a murderous criminal, Jim Hall, tries to kill Scott's father, Judge Scott, for sentencing him to prison, not knowing that Hall was "railroaded". White Fang kills Hall and is nearly killed himself but survives. As a result, the women of Scott's estate name him "The Blessed Wolf." The story ends with White Fang relaxing in the sun with the puppies he has fathered with the sheep-dog Collie.


  • White Fang is the book's main character. He is three-quarters wolf and one-quarter dog. He is born wild but becomes more dog-like after Grey Beaver domesticates him. He grows up fierce and unloved, constantly bullied by other dogs, like Lip-Lip, and becomes a fighting dog after Beauty Smith buys him. He eventually becomes more loving and friendly after he is bought and tamed by Weedon Scott. He saves Judge Scott’s life by killing Jim Hall and eventually has six pups with Collie.
  • Weedon Scott is White Fang's third master and the first to show affection towards him. He saves White Fang from the bulldog Cherokee and forcefully buys him from Beauty Smith. He tries to tame White Fang and slowly gains his trust, then finally his love. He takes White Fang to live with him in California.
  • Grey Beaver is White Fang's first master. He is harsh and shows no affection for his dog, but White Fang still displays loyalty toward him out of respect for his superiority. Grey Beaver only sells White Fang after becoming addicted to alcohol.
  • Kiche is White Fang's mother; she is known as the "she-wolf" at the beginning of the novel. She is half wolf, half dog and used to be Grey Beaver’s brother’s dog, but escaped during a famine. When she returns to the Native Americans, she gets sent away from White Fang and only sees him once more in the novel, where she chases him off to protect her new pups.
  • Lip-Lip is a canine pup who also lives in the Native American village. He brutally bullies White Fang throughout his puppyhood and encourages the other dogs to attack him. White Fang kills him after he flees into the woods during a famine
  • Beauty Smith is White Fang's second master. He is an ugly man who gets Grey Beaver addicted to alcohol so that he can buy White Fang. He trains White Fang to become a fighting dog. He tries to steal White Fang back after Scott forcefully buys him, but White Fang brutally attacks him.
  • One Eye is White Fang's father. He is full wolf and kills his rivals to mate with Kiche. He is killed by a lynx when he tries to rob her den for food during a famine.
  • Jim Hall is a criminal who escapes from prison after Judge Scott unjustly sentences him. He attempts to murder Judge Scott, but White Fang attacks and kills him.
  • Judge Scott is Weedon Scott's father. He does not trust White Fang completely until he saves his life from Jim Hall.
  • Collie is a sheepdog on Scott’s farm. She does not trust White Fang at first, but he works his way into her confidence, and they become mates.
  • Henry is a musher who appears in the first part of the novel with Bill. He is the only one who escapes being eaten by the wolves.
  • Bill is a musher who appears in the first part of the novel with Henry. The wolves eat him when he attempts to go after the pack with a gun.
  • Mit-sah is Grey Beaver's son. He runs White Fang and the other puppies on a sled.
  • Matt is Scott's musher. He feeds White Fang and works him on the sled during the day.
  • Cherokee is a bulldog that faces White Fang during one of the fights Beauty Smith hosts. He is the only dog to ever get close to killing White Fang until Weedon Scott saves him

Major themes[edit]

Critics have identified many underlying themes in the novel. Tom Feller describes the story as "an allegory of humanity’s progression from nature to civilization."[1] He also expresses that "the [story's] implication is that the metamorphosis of both the individual and society will require violence at some point."[1] Paul Deane states that "[in the novel,] society demands a conformity that undermines individualism."[2] London himself took influence from Herbert Spencer's words: "survival of the fittest", as well as Friedrich Nietzsche's idea of a "superman" (or "superdog", in this instance) and of "the worship of power".[1]


The novel is partly an autobiographical allegory based on London’s conversion from teenage hoodlum to married, middle-class writer.[1] In writing it, he was influenced by the ideas of Herbert SpencerKarl Marx, and Friedrich Nietzsche.[1] Conditions in the US also influenced the story.[1]

Publication history[edit]

Since the novel has been published it has been translated into over 89 different languages and released as a three-volume Braille edition.[3]


Upon its release, White Fang was an immediate success worldwide.[4] The novel became popular, especially among younger readers.[5] Robert Greenwood called White Fang"one of London’s most interesting and ambitious works."[3] Virginia Crane claims that the novel is "generally regarded as artistically inferior to its companion piece [The Call of the Wild], but [that it] helped establish London as a popular American literary figure."[5]
Shortly after the book's publication, London became a target in what would later be called the nature fakers controversy, a literary debate highlighting the conflict between science and sentiment in popular nature writing. President Theodore Roosevelt, who first spoke out against the "sham naturalists" in 1907, specifically named London as one of the so-called "nature fakers". Citing an example from White Fang, Roosevelt referred to the fight between the bulldog and the wolfdog "the very sublimity of absurdity."[6] London only responded to the criticism after the controversy had ended. He wrote in an 1908 essay entitled "The Other Animals":
I have been guilty of writing two animal—two books about dogs. The writing of these two stories, on my part, was in truth a protest against the "humanizing" of animals, of which it seemed to me several "animal writers" had been profoundly guilty. Time and again, and many times, in my narratives, I wrote, speaking of my dog-heroes: "He did not think these things; he merely did them," etc. And I did this repeatedly, to the clogging of my narrative and in violation of my artistic canons; and I did it in order to hammer into the average human understanding that these dog-heroes of mine were not directed by abstract reasoning, but by instinct, sensation, and emotion, and by simple reasoning. Also, I endeavored to make my stories in line with the facts of evolution; I hewed them to the mark set by scientific research, and awoke, one day, to find myself bundled neck and crop into the camp of the nature-fakers.[7]


The novel has been adapted into a motion picture and sequel, animated specials, as well as audiobook format.[4] A TV series, White Fang, was filmed in Arrowtown, New Zealand in 1993.

The Lion King

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article is about Disney's 1994 film. For the franchise as a whole, see The Lion King (franchise). For other uses, see The Lion King (disambiguation).
The Lion King
In an African savannah, several animals stare at a lion atop a tall rock. A lion's head can be seen in the clouds above. Atop the image is the text "Walt Disney Pictures presents The Lion King".
Theatrical release poster by John Alvin[1]
Directed by
Produced byDon Hahn
Written by
Story by
Music byHans Zimmer
Edited byIvan Bilancio
Distributed byBuena Vista Pictures
Release dates
  • June 15, 1994
Running time
88 minutes[2]
CountryUnited States
Budget$45 million[3]
Box office$987.5 million[3]
The Lion King is a 1994 American animated epic musical film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and released by Walt Disney Pictures. It is the 32nd animated feature in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series. The story takes place in a kingdom oflions in Africa, and was influenced by William Shakespeare's Hamlet. The film was produced during a period known as the Disney RenaissanceThe Lion King was directed by Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff, produced by Don Hahn, and has a screenplay credited to Irene MecchiJonathan Roberts and Linda Woolverton. Its original songs were written by composer Elton John and lyricist Tim Rice, and original scores were written by Hans Zimmer. The film features an ensemble voice cast that includes Matthew Broderick,James Earl JonesJeremy IronsJonathan Taylor ThomasMoira KellyNathan LaneErnie SabellaRowan AtkinsonRobert GuillaumeMadge SinclairWhoopi GoldbergCheech Marin, and Jim Cummings.
The Lion King tells the story of Simba, a young lion who is to succeed his father, Mufasa, as king; however, after Simba's uncle Scar murders Mufasa, Simba is manipulated into thinking he was responsible and flees into exile in shame and despair. Upon maturation living with two wastrels, Simba is given some valuable perspective from his childhood friend, Nala, and his shaman, Rafiki, before returning to challenge Scar to end his tyranny.
Development of The Lion King began in 1988 during a meeting between Jeffrey KatzenbergRoy E. Disney and Peter Schneiderwhile promoting Oliver & Company in Europe. Thomas Disch wrote a film treatment, and Woolverton developed the first scripts while George Scribner was signed on as director, being later joined by Allers. Production began in 1991 concurrently withPocahontas, which wound up attracting most of Disney's top animators. Some time after the staff traveled to Hell's Gate National Park in Kenya to research on the film's setting and animals, Scribner left production disagreeing with the decision to turn the film into a musical, and was replaced by Minkoff. When Hahn joined the project, he was dissatisfied with the script and the story was promptly rewritten. Nearly 20 minutes of animation sequences took place at Disney-MGM Studios in Florida. Computer animationwas also used in several scenes, most notably in the wildebeest stampede sequence.
The Lion King was released on June 15, 1994, to a positive reaction from critics, who praised the film for its music, story and animation; it finished its run as the highest-grossing release of 1994. Following a 3D re-release in 2011, with earnings of over US $987 million worldwide as of 2011, the film is the highest-grossing hand-drawn animated film in history, the highest-grossing 2D animated film in the United States, the fourth highest-grossing animated film of all time, and the 24th-highest-grossing feature film of all time. The Lion King garnered two Academy Awards for its achievement in music and the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy. The film has led to many derived works, such as a Broadway adaptation; two direct-to-video follow-ups—the sequel The Lion King II: Simba's Pride (1998) and the prequel/parallel The Lion King 1½ (2004)—and two television series, Timon and Pumbaa and the TV series The Lion Guard.


In the Pride Lands of Africa, a lion rules over the animals as king. The birth of King Mufasa and Queen Sarabi's son Simba creates envy and resentment in Mufasa's younger brother, Scar, who knows his nephew now replaces him as heir to the throne. After Simba has grown into a young cub, Mufasa gives him a tour of the Pride Lands, teaching him the responsibilities of being a king and the circle of life. Later that day, Scar tricks Simba and his best friend Nala into exploring a forbidden elephant graveyard, despite the protests of Mufasa's hornbill majordomo Zazu. At the graveyard, three spotted hyenas named Shenzi, Banzai and Ed attack the cubs before Mufasa, alerted by Zazu, rescues them and forgives Simba for his actions. That night, the hyenas, who are allied with Scar, plot with him to kill Mufasa and Simba.
The next day Scar lures Simba to a gorge and tells him to wait there while he gets Mufasa. On Scar's orders, the hyenas stampede a large herd of wildebeest into the gorge. Mufasa rescues Simba, but as Mufasa tries to climb up the gorge's walls, Scar throws him back into the stampede, where he is trampled to death. After Simba finds Mufasa's body, Scar convinces him he was responsible for his father's death and advises Simba to flee the kingdom. As Simba leaves, Scar orders Shenzi, Banzai and Ed to kill the cub, but Simba escapes. That night, Scar announces to the pride that both Mufasa and Simba were killed in the stampede and steps forward as the new king, allowing a pack of hyenas to live in the Pride Lands.
After running far away, Simba collapses from exhaustion in a desert. Timon and Pumbaa, a meerkat and a warthog, find him and nurse him back to health. Simba subsequently grows up with them in the jungle, living a carefree life with his friends under the motto "hakuna matata" ("no worries" in Swahili). When he is a young adult, Simba rescues Timon and Pumbaa from a hungry lioness, who turns out to be Nala. She and Simba reconcile and fall in love. Nala urges Simba to return home, telling him the Pride Lands have become a wasteland with not enough food and water. Feeling guilty over his father's death, Simba refuses and storms off, leaving Nala disappointed and angry. As Simba exits the jungle, he encounters Mufasa's mandrill friend and advisor, Rafiki. Rafiki tells Simba that Mufasa is "alive" and takes him to a pond. There Simba is visited by the ghost of Mufasa in the sky, who tells him he must take his rightful place as the king of the Pride Lands. Simba realizes he can no longer run from his past and goes home. Nala, Timon, and Pumbaa join him, and agree to help him fight.
At the Pride Lands, Simba sees Scar hit Sarabi and confronts him, but Scar taunts Simba over his "part" in Mufasa's death. However, when Scar pushes Simba to the edge of Pride Rock, he reveals that he killed Mufasa. Enraged, Simba roars back up and forces Scar to reveal the truth to the pride. Timon, Pumbaa, Rafiki, Zazu, and the lionesses fend off the hyenas while Scar, attempting to escape, is cornered by Simba at the top of Pride Rock. Scar begs Simba for mercy, insisting that he is family and placing the blame on the hyenas. Simba no longer believes Scar, but spares his life on the grounds of forever leaving the Pride Lands. Scar appears to comply, but then attacks his nephew. After a fierce fight, Simba throws his uncle off Pride Rock. Scar survives the fall, but is attacked and eaten alive by the hyenas, who overheard his attempt to betray them.
With Scar and the hyenas gone, Simba ascends to the top of Pride Rock and takes over the kingdom as the rain falls again. Sometime later, with Pride Rock restored to its former glory, Simba looks down happily at his kingdom with Nala, Timon, and Pumbaa by his side; Rafiki presents Simba and Nala's newborn cub to the inhabitants of the Pride Lands, and the "circle of life" continues.

Voice cast

A promotional image of the characters from the film. From left to right: Shenzi, Scar, Ed, Banzai, Rafiki, Young Simba, Mufasa, Young Nala, Sarabi, Zazu, Sarafina, Timon, and Pumbaa
  • Matthew Broderick as Simba, son of Mufasa and Sarabi, who grows up to become King of the Pride Lands. Joseph Williams provided adult Simba's singing voice. Mark Henn and Ruben A. Aquino respectively served as the supervising animators for young and adult Simba.[4]
  • James Earl Jones as Mufasa, Simba's father, King of the Pride Lands as the film begins. Tony Fucile served as the supervising animator for Mufasa.[4]
  • Jeremy Irons as Scar, Mufasa's younger brother and Simba's uncle, who usurps the throne. Andreas Deja served as the supervising animator for Scar.[4]
  • Moira Kelly as Nala, Simba's best friend and later his wife. Sally Dworsky provided her singing voice. Aaron Blaise andAnthony de Rosa respectively served as the supervising animators for young and adult Nala.[4]
    • Niketa Calame provided the voice of young Nala while Laura Williams provided her singing voice.[4]
  • Nathan Lane as Timon, a wise-cracking and self-absorbed yet somewhat loyal meerkat who becomes one of Simba's best friends and adoptive parents. Michael Surrey served as his supervising animator.[4]
  • Ernie Sabella as Pumbaa, a naive warthog who suffers from flatulence and is Timon's best friend and also becomes one of Simba's best friends and adoptive parents. Tony Bancroft served as his supervising animator.[4]
  • Robert Guillaume as Rafiki, a wise old mandrill (although, while counseling Simba, he jokes that "you are a baboon, and I am not") who serves as shaman of the Pride Lands and presents newborn cubs of the King and Queen to the animals of the Pride Lands. James Baxter served as the supervising animator for Rafiki.[4]
  • Rowan Atkinson as Zazu, a hornbill who serves as the king's majordomo (or "Mufasa's little stooge", as Shenzi calls him). Ellen Woodbury served as the supervising animator for Zazu.[4]
  • Madge Sinclair as Sarabi, Mufasa's mate, Simba's mother, and the leader of the lioness hunting party. Russ Edmonds served as the supervising animator for Sarabi.[4]
  • The three hyenas who serve Scar were animated by Alex Kupershmidt and David Burgess.[4]
    • Whoopi Goldberg as Shenzi, the sassy and short-tempered female leader of the trio.
    • Cheech Marin as Banzai, an aggressive and hot-headed hyena prone to complaining and acting on impulse.
    • Jim Cummings as Ed, a dim-witted hyena who does not talk, only communicating through laughter. Cummings also voiced a gopher that talks with Zazu and replaced Irons as Scar in certain lines of "Be Prepared" after Irons blew his voice.[5]
  • Zoe Leader as Sarafina, Nala's mother, who is shown briefly talking to Simba's mother, Sarabi.



The idea for The Lion King was conceived in late 1988 during a conversation between Jeffrey KatzenbergRoy E. Disney and Peter Schneider on a plane to Europe to promoteOliver & Company. During the conversation, the topic of a story set in Africa came up, and Katzenberg immediately jumped at the idea.[6] The idea was then developed by Walt Disney Feature Animation's vice president for creative affairs Charlie Fink.[7] Katzenberg decided to add elements involving coming of age and death, and ideas from personal life experiences, such as some of his trials in his bumpy road in politics, saying about the film, "It is a little bit about myself."[8] In November of that year Thomas Disch (author of The Brave Little Toaster) wrote a treatment entitled King of the Kalahari,[9] and afterwards Linda Woolverton spent a year writing drafts of the script, which was titled King of the Beasts and then King of the Jungle.[7] The original version of the film was very different from the final film. The plot was centered in a battle being between lions and baboons with Scar being the leader of the baboons, Rafiki being a cheetah,[8] and Timon and Pumbaa being Simba's childhood friends.[10] Simba would also not leave the kingdom, but become a "lazy, slovenly, horrible character" due to manipulations from Scar, so Simba could be overthrown after coming of age. By 1990, producer Thomas Schumacher, who had just completed The Rescuers Down Under, decided to attach himself to the project "because lions are cool".[7] Schumacher likened the script for King of the Jungle to "an animated National Geographic special".[11]
Oliver & Company director George Scribner was the initial director of the film,[12] being later joined by Roger Allers, who was the lead story man on Beauty and the Beast in October 1991.[6] Allers brought with him Brenda Chapman, who would become the head of story.[7] Afterwards, several of the lead crew members, including Allers, Scribner, Hahn, Chapman, and production designer Chris Sanders, took a trip to Hell's Gate National Park in Kenya, in order to study and gain an appreciation of the environment for the film.[13] After six months of story development work Scribner decided to leave the project, as he clashed with Allers and the producers on their decision to turn the film into a musical, as Scribner's intention was of making a documentary-like film more focused on natural aspects.[6][14] Rob Minkoff replaced Scribner,[13] and producer Don Hahn joined the production as Schumacher became only an executive producer due to Disney promoting him to Vice President of Development for Feature Animation.[11] Hahn found the script unfocused and lacking a clear theme, and after establishing the main theme as "leaving childhood and facing up to the realities of the world", asked for a final retool. Allers, Minkoff, Chapman and Hahn then rewrote the story across two weeks of meetings with directors Kirk Wise and Gary Trousdale, who had just finished Beauty and the Beast.[13]The script also had its title changed from King of the Jungle to The Lion King, as the setting was not the jungle but the savannah.[6]
The Lion King was the first Disney animated feature to be an original story, rather than being based on an already-existing work. The filmmakers have said that the story of The Lion King was inspired by the lives of Joseph and Moses from the Bible and William Shakespeare's Hamlet.[15] During the summer of 1992, the team was joined by screenwriterIrene Mecchi, with a second screenwriter, Jonathan Roberts, joining a few months later. Mecchi and Roberts took charge of the revision process, fixing unresolved emotional issues in the script and adding comic business for Pumbaa, Timon and the hyenas.[4] Lyricist Tim Rice worked closely with the writing team, flying to California at least once a month, as his songs needed to work in the narrative continuity. Rice's lyrics – which were reworked up to the production's end – were even pinned to the storyboards during development.[13] Rewrites were frequent, with animator Andreas Deja saying that completed scenes would be delivered only for the response to be that parts needed to be reanimated due to dialog changes.[7]


The voice actors were chosen for how they fit and could add to the characters – for instance, James Earl Jones was cast because the directors found his voice "powerful" and similar to a lion's roar.[16] Jones commented that during the years of production, Mufasa "became more and more of a dopey dad instead of [a] grand king".[17]
Nathan Lane originally auditioned for Zazu, and Ernie Sabella, for one of the hyenas. Upon meeting each other at the recording studio, the actors, who at the time both co-starred in Guys and Dolls, were asked to record together as hyenas. The directors laughed at their performance and decided to cast them as Timon and Pumbaa.[16][18] For the hyenas, the original intention was to reunite Cheech & Chong, but while Cheech Marin accepted to play Banzai, Tommy Chong was unavailable. Thus his role was changed into a female hyena, Shenzi, who was voiced by Whoopi Goldberg.[10]
Matthew Broderick was cast as adult Simba early during production, and during the three years of voice acting only recorded with another actor once, and only discovered Moira Kelly voiced Nala at the premiere.[19] Jeremy Irons had at first refused the role due to not being comfortable going from the dramatic performance as Claus von Bülow in Reversal of Fortune to a comedic role. But once he came in, Irons' performance even inspired the writers to incorporate more of his acting as von Bülow — even adding one of that character's lines, "You have no idea" - and animator Andreas Deja to watch both Reversal of Fortune and Damage to pick up Irons' facial traits and tics.[17][20]


"The Lion King was considered a little movie because we were going to take some risks. The pitch for the story was a lion cub gets framed for murder by his uncle set to the music of Elton John. People said, 'What? Good luck with that.' But for some reason, the people who ended up on the movie were highly passionate about it and motivated."
Don Hahn[18]
The development of The Lion King started concurrently with Pocahontas, which most of the animators of Walt Disney Feature Animation decided to work on instead, believing it would be the more prestigious and successful of the two.[15] The story artists also did not have much faith in the project, with Chapman declaring she was reluctant to accept the job "because the story wasn't very good",[7] and writer Burny Mattinson saying to co-workerJoe Ranft about the film that "I don't know who is going to want to watch that one."[14] Most of the leading animators were either doing their first major work supervising a character, or had much interest in animating an animal.[8] Thirteen of these supervising animators, both in California and Florida, were responsible for establishing the personalities and setting the tone for the film's main characters. The animation leads for the main characters included Mark Henn on young Simba, Ruben A. Aquino on adult Simba, Andreas Deja on Scar, Aaron Blaise on young Nala, Anthony DeRosa on adult Nala, and Tony Fucile on Mufasa.[4] Nearly 20 minutes of the film, including the "I Just Can't Wait to Be King" sequence,[10] were animated at the Disney-MGM Studios facility. Ultimately, more than 600 artists, animators and technicians contributed to The Lion King over the course of its production.[12] Weeks before the film was to be released, production was affected by the1994 Northridge earthquake, which shut off the studio and required the animators to finish their work from home.[21]
The character animators studied real-life animals for reference, as was done for the 1942 Disney film BambiJim Fowler, renowned wildlife expert, visited the studios on several occasions with an assortment of lions and other savannah inhabitants to discuss behavior and help the animators give their drawings an authentic feel.[13] The animators also studied various animal movements in natural settings at the Miami MetroZoo under guidance from wildlife expert Ron Magill.[22] The Pride Lands are modeled on the Kenyan national park visited by the crew. Varied focal lengths and lenses were employed to differ from the habitual portrayal of Africa in documentaries – which employ telephoto lensesto shoot the wildlife from a distance. The epic feel drew inspiration from concept studies by artist Hans Bacher – which, following Scribner's request for realism, tried to depict effects such as lens flare – and the works of painters Charles Marion RussellFrederic Remington and Maxfield Parrish.[13][23] Since the characters were not anthropomorphized, all the animators had to learn to draw four-legged animals, and the story and character development was done through usage of longer shots following the characters.[10]
The use of computers helped the filmmakers present their vision in new ways. For the "wildebeest stampede" sequence, several distinct wildebeest characters were created in a 3D computer program, multiplied into hundreds, cel shaded to look like drawn animation, and given randomized paths down a mountainside to simulate the real, unpredictable movement of a herd.[24] Five specially trained animators and technicians spent more than two years creating the two-and-a-half minute stampede sequence.[4] Other usages of computer animation were done through CAPS, which helped simulate camera movements such as tracking shots, and was employed on the coloring, lighting and particle effects.[10]


Lyricist Tim Rice, who was working with composer Alan Menken on songs for Aladdin, was invited to write the songs, and accepted on the condition of finding a composing partner. As Menken was unavailable, the producers accepted Rice's suggestion of Elton John,[16] after Rice's invitation of ABBA fell through due to Benny Andersson being busy with the musical Kristina från Duvemåla.[8] John expressed an interest in writing "ultra-pop songs that kids would like; then adults can go and see those movies and get just as much pleasure out of them", mentioning a possible influence of The Jungle Book, where he felt the "music was so funny and appealed to kids and adults".[25]
John and Rice wrote five original songs for this film ("Circle of Life", "I Just Can't Wait to Be King", "Be Prepared", "Hakuna Matata" and "Can You Feel the Love Tonight") with the singer's performance of "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" playing over the end credits.[26] The IMAX and DVD releases added another song, "The Morning Report", which was based on a song discarded during development that eventually got featured in the live musical version of The Lion King.[27] The film's score was composed by Hans Zimmer, who was hired based on his work in two films in African settings, The Power of One and A World Apart,[13] and supplemented the score with traditional African music and choir elements arranged by Lebo M.[26] Zimmer's partners Mark Mancina and Jay Rifkin helped with arrangements and song production.[28]
The film's original motion picture soundtrack was released by Walt Disney Records on July 13, 1994. It was the fourth-best-selling album of the year on the Billboard 200 and the top-selling soundtrack.[29] It is the only soundtrack for an animated film to be certified Diamond (10× platinum) by the Recording Industry Association of America. Zimmer's complete instrumental score for the film was never originally given a full release by Disney, until the soundtrack's commemorative 20th anniversary re-release in 2014.[30] The Lion King also inspired the 1995 release Rhythm of the Pride Lands, with eight songs by Zimmer, Mancina, and Lebo M.[31]
The use of the song "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" in a scene with Timon and Pumbaa has led to disputes between Disney and the family of South African Solomon Linda, who composed the song (originally titled "Mbube") in 1939. In July 2004, the family filed suit, seeking $1.6 million in royalties from Disney. In February 2006, Linda's heirs reached a legal settlement with Abilene Music, who held the worldwide rights and had licensed the song to Disney for an undisclosed amount of money.[32]


For The Lion King's first film trailer, Disney opted to feature a single scene, the entire opening sequence with the song "Circle of Life". Buena Vista Pictures Distribution presidentDick Cook said the decision was made for such an approach because "we were all so taken by the beauty and majesty of this piece that we felt like it was probably one of the best four minutes of film that we've seen", and Don Hahn added that "Circle of Life" worked as a trailer as it "came off so strong, and so good, and ended with such a bang". The trailer was released in November 1993, accompanying The Three Musketeers in theaters, as only a third of The Lion King had been completed.[33][34] Audience reaction was enthusiastic, causing Hahn to have some initial concerns as he became afraid of not living up to the expectations raised by the preview.[33] Prior to the film's release, Disney did 11 test screenings.[35]
Upon release, The Lion King was accompanied by an extensive marketing campaign which included tie-ins with Burger KingMattelKodakNestlé and Payless ShoeSource, and various merchandise,[36] accounting 186 licensed products.[37][38] In 1994, Disney earned approximately $1 billion with products based on the film,[39] with $214 million for Lion King toys during Christmas 1994 alone.[40]

Home media

The Lion King was first released on VHS and laserdisc in the United States on March 3, 1995, under Disney's "Masterpiece Collection" video series. In addition, Deluxe Editions of both formats were released. The VHS Deluxe Edition included the film, an exclusive lithograph of Rafiki and Simba (in some editions), a commemorative "Circle of Life" epigraph, six concept art lithographs, another tape with the half-hour TV show The Making of The Lion King, and a certificate of authenticity. The CAV laserdisc Deluxe Edition also contained the film, six concept art lithographs and The Making of The Lion King, and added storyboards, character design artwork, concept art, rough animation, and a directors' commentary that the VHS edition did not have, on a total of four double sided discs. The VHS tape quickly became the best-selling videotape of all time: 4.5 million tapes were sold on the first day[41] and ultimately sales totaled more than 30 million[42] before these home video versions went into moratorium in 1997.[43]
On October 7, 2003, the film was re-released on VHS and released on DVD for the first time, titled The Lion King: Platinum Edition, as part of Disney's Platinum Edition line of animated classic DVDs. The DVD release featured two versions of the film on the first disc, a remastered version created for the 2002 IMAX release and an edited version of the IMAX release purporting to be the original 1994 theatrical version.[44] A second disc, with bonus features, was also included in the DVD release. The film's soundtrack was provided both in its original Dolby 5.1 track and in a new Disney Enhanced Home Theater Mix, making this one of the first Disney DVDs so equipped.[45] By means of seamless branching, the film could be viewed either with or without a newly created scene – a short conversation in the film replaced with a complete song ("The Morning Report"). A Special Collector's Gift Set was also released, containing the DVD set, five exclusive lithographed character portraits (new sketches created and signed by the original character animators), and an introductory book entitled The Journey.[43] The Platinum Edition of The Lion King featured changes made to the film during its IMAX re-release, including re-drawn crocodiles in the "I Just Can't Wait to Be King" sequence as well as other alterations.[44] More than two million copies of the Platinum Edition DVD and VHS units were sold on the first day of release.[41] A DVD boxed set of the three The Lion King films (in two-disc Special Edition formats) was released on December 6, 2004. In January 2005, the film, along with the sequels, went back into moratorium.[46]
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment released the Diamond Edition of The Lion King on October 4, 2011.[47] This marks the time that the film has been released in high-definition Blu-ray and on Blu-ray 3D.[47][48] The initial release was produced in three different packages: a two-disc version with Blu-ray and DVD; a four-disc version with Blu-ray, DVD, Blu-ray 3D, and digital copy; and an eight-disc box set that also includes the sequels The Lion King 2: Simba's Pride and The Lion King 1½.[47][48] A standalone single-disc DVD release also followed on November 15, 2011.[47] The Diamond Edition topped the Blu-ray charts with over 1.5 million copies sold.[49] The film sold 3.83 million Blu-ray units in total, leading to a $101.14 million income.[50]


Box office

The Lion King earned $422,783,777 in North America and an $564,700,000 in other territories for a worldwide total of $987,483,777.[3] It is currently the 25th highest-grossing film,[51] the fourth-highest-grossing animated film of all time worldwide and the second highest-grossing film of Walt Disney Animation Studios (behind Frozen).[52] The film was also the highest-grossing motion picture of 1994 worldwide.[53] After its initial run, having earned $768.6 million,[54] it ranked as the second-highest grossing film of all time worldwide, behind Jurassic Park .[55] It held the record for the highest-grossing animated feature film (in North America, outside North America, and worldwide) until it was surpassed by the computer animated Finding Nemo (2003), Shrek 2 (2004), Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (2009), and Toy Story 3 (2010) prior to the 2011 re-release. With the earnings of the 3D run, The Lion King surpassed all the aforementioned films but Toy Story 3 to rank as the second-highest-grossing animated film worldwide — later downgraded to third after 2013's Frozen and to fourth after 2015's Minions - and the highest-grossing hand-drawn animation.[56] It is also the biggest animated movie of the last 50 years in terms of estimated attendance.[57]

Original theatrical run

The Lion King had a limited release in North America on June 15, 1994, playing in only two theaters, El Capitan Theater in Los Angeles and Radio City Music Hall in New York City.[58] It still earned $1,586,753 across the weekend of June 17–19, standing at the tenth place of the box office ranking.[59] The average of $793,377 per theater stands as the largest ever achieved during a weekend.[60] The wide release followed on June 24, 1994, in 2,550 screens. The digital surround sound of the film led many of those theaters to implement Dolby Laboratories' newest sound systems.[61] The Lion King grossed $40.9 million – which at the time was the fourth biggest opening weekend earning ever and the highest sum for a Disney film  – to top the weekend box office.[12] It also earned a rare "A+" rating from CinemaScore.[62] By the end of its theatrical run, in spring 1995, it had earned $312,855,561,[3] being the second-highest-grossing 1994 film in North America behind Forrest Gump.[63] Outside North America, it earned $455.8 million during its initial run, for a worldwide total of $768.6 million.[54]


IMAX and large-format
The film was re-issued on December 25, 2002 for IMAX and large-format theaters. Don Hahn explained that eight years after The Lion King got its original release, "there was a whole new generation of kids who haven't really seen it, particularly on the big screen." Given the film had already been digitally archived during production, the restoration process was easier, while also providing many scenes with enhancements that covered up original deficiencies.[35][64] An enhanced sound mix was also provided, to as Hahn explained, "make the audience feel like they're in the middle of the movie."[35] On its first weekend, The Lion King made $2.7 million from 66 locations, a $27,664 per theater average. This run ended with $15,686,215 on May 30, 2003.[65]
3D conversion
In 2011, The Lion King was converted to 3D for a two-week limited theatrical re-issue and subsequent 3D Blu-ray release.[47][66] The film opened at the number one spot on Friday, September 16, 2011 with $8.9 million[67] and finished the weekend with $30.2 million, ranking number one at the box office. This made The Lion King the first re-issue release to earn the number-one slot at the American weekend box office since the re-issue of Return of the Jedi in March 1997.[56] The film also achieved the fourth-highest September opening weekend of all time.[68] It held off very well on its second weekend, again earning first place at the box office with a 27% decline to $21.9 million.[69] Most box-office observers had expected the film to fall about 50% in its second weekend and were also expecting Moneyball to be at first place.[70]
After its initial box-office success, many theaters decided to continue to show the film for more than two weeks, even though its 3D Blu-ray release was scheduled for two-and-a-half weeks after its theatrical release.[69] In North America, the 3D re-release ended its run in theaters on January 12, 2012 with a gross $94,242,001. Outside North America, it earned $83,400,000.[71] The successful 3D re-release of The Lion King made Disney and Pixar plan 3D theatrical re-releases of Beauty and the BeastFinding NemoMonsters, Inc., and The Little Mermaid during 2012 and 2013.[72] However, none of the re-releases of the first three films achieved the enormous success of The Lion King 3D and theatrical re-release of the The Little Mermaid was ultimately cancelled.[73] In 2012, Ray Subers of Box Office Mojo wrote that the reason why the 3D version of The Lion Kingsucceeded was because, "the notion of a 3D re-release was still fresh and exciting, and The Lion King (3D) felt timely given the movie's imminent Blu-ray release. Audiences have been hit with three 3D re-releases in the year since, meaning the novelty value has definitely worn off."[74]

Critical response

The Lion King was released to critical acclaim. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a rating of 91%, based on 113 reviews, with an average rating of 8.3/10. It also ranked 56th on their "Top 100 Animation Movies".[75] The site's critical consensus reads, "Emotionally stirring, richly drawn, and beautifully animated, The Lion King stands tall within Disney's pantheon of classic family films."[76] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 83 out of 100, based on 14 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".[77] CinemaScore reported that audiences gave the film a rare "A+" grade.
Roger Ebert gave it 3 1/2 out of 4-stars and called the film "a superbly drawn animated feature" and, in his print review wrote, "The saga of Simba, which in its deeply buried origins owes something to Greek tragedy and certainly to Hamlet, is a learning experience as well as an entertainment."[78] On the television program Siskel & Ebert, the film was praised but received a mixed reaction when compared to previous Disney films. Ebert and his partner Gene Siskel both gave the film a "Thumbs Up" but Siskel said that it was not as good as earlier films such as Beauty and the Beast and was "a good film, not a great one".[79] Hal Hinson of The Washington Post called it "an impressive, almost daunting achievement" and felt that the film was "spectacular in a manner that has nearly become commonplace with Disney's feature-length animations", but was less enthusiastic toward the end of his review saying, "Shakespearean in tone, epic in scope, it seems more appropriate for grown-ups than for kids. If truth be told, even for adults it is downright strange."[80]
Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly praised the film, writing that it "has the resonance to stand not just as a terrific cartoon but as an emotionally pungent movie".[81]Rolling Stone film critic Peter Travers praised the film and felt that it was "a hugely entertaining blend of music, fun and eye-popping thrills, though it doesn't lack for heart".[82]James Berardinelli from ReelViews praised the film saying, "With each new animated release, Disney seems to be expanding its already-broad horizons a little more. The Lion King is the most mature (in more than one sense) of these films, and there clearly has been a conscious effort to please adults as much as children. Happily, for those of us who generally stay far away from 'cartoons', they have succeeded."[83]
Some reviewers still had problems with the film's narrative. The staff of TV Guide wrote that while The Lion King was technically proficient and entertaining, it "offers a less memorable song score than did the previous hits, and a hasty, unsatisfying dramatic resolution."[84] The New Yorker's Terrence Rafferty considered that despite the good animation, the story felt like "manipulat[ing] our responses at will", as "Between traumas, the movie serves up soothingly banal musical numbers and silly, rambunctious comedy".[85]


The Lion King received four Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations. The film would go on to win two Golden Globes; for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy andBest Original Score,[86] as well as two Academy Awards, for Best Original Score (Hans Zimmer) and Best Original Song with "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" by Elton John andTim Rice.[87] The songs "Circle of Life" and "Hakuna Matata" were also nominated.[87] "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" also won the Grammy Award for Best Male Vocal Performance.[88] The Lion King also won Annie Awards for Best Animated Feature, Best Achievement in Voice Acting (for Jeremy Irons) and Best Individual Achievement for Story Contribution in the Field of Animation.[89]
At the Saturn Awards, the film was nominated in two categories, Best Fantasy Film and Best Performance by a Younger Actor although it did not win in either category.[90] The film also received two nominations at the British Academy Film Awards, for Best Sound as well as the Anthony Asquith Award for Film Music although it lost in both categories toSpeed and Backbeat respectively.[91] The film received two BMI Film & TV Awards for Film Music and Most Performed Song with "Can You Feel the Love Tonight."[92] At the 1995 MTV Movie Awards the film received nominations for Best Villain and Best Song, though it lost in both categories.[93] The Lion King won the Kids' Choice Award for Favorite Movie at the 1995 Kids' Choice Awards.[94]
In 2008, The Lion King was ranked as the 319th greatest film ever made by Empire magazine,[95] and in June 2011, TIME named it one of "The 25 All-TIME Best Animated Films".[96] In June 2008, the American Film Institute listed The Lion King as the fourth best film in the animation genre in its AFI's 10 Top 10 list,[97] having previously put "Hakuna Matata" as 99th on its AFI's 100 Years...100 Songs ranking.[98]


Certain elements of the film were considered to bear a resemblance to a 1960s Japanese anime television show, Jungle Emperor (known as Kimba the White Lion in the United States), with characters having similar analogues, and various individual scenes being similar in composition to the show. Matthew Broderick believed initially that he was in fact working on an American version of Kimba, since he was familiar with the Japanese original.[99] However The Lion King director, Roger Allers, claimed he was unfamiliar with the show:
The whole time I worked on The Lion King the name of that show never came up. At least I never heard it. I had never seen the show and really only became aware of it as Lion King was being completed, and someone showed me images of it. I worked with George Scribner and Linda Woolverton to develop the story in the early days but then left to help out on Aladdin. If one of them were familiar with Kimba they didn’t say. Of course, it’s possible... Many story ideas developed and changed along the way, always just to make our story stronger. I could certainly understand Kimba’s creators feeling angry if they felt we had stolen ideas from them. If I had been inspired by Kimba I would certainly acknowledge my inspiration. All I can offer is my respect to those artists and say that their creation has its loyal admirers and its assured place in animation history.[100]
Co-director Rob Minkoff also claimed he was unfamiliar with it "I know for a fact that ["Kimba"] has never been discussed as long as I've been on the project... In my experience, if Disney becomes aware of anything like that, they say you will not do it. People are claiming copyright infringement all the time." He also stated that whenever a story is based in Africa, it is "not unusual to have characters like a baboon, a bird or hyenas."[101] Yoshihiro Shimizu, of Tezuka Productions, which created Kimba the White Lion, has refuted rumours that the studio was paid hush money by Disney but explains that they rejected urges from within the industry to sue because, "we're a small, weak company. It wouldn't be worth it anyway ... Disney's lawyers are among the top twenty in the world!"[102]
Simba lays down on a cliff, while the airborne dust next to him resembles the shape "SFX".
The alleged "SEX" frame.
Protests were raised against one scene where it appears as if the word "SEX" might have been embedded into the dust flying in the sky when Simba flops down,[103] which conservative activist Donald Wildmon asserted was a subliminal message intended to promote sexual promiscuity. One of the animators, Tom Sito, has stated that the letters spell "SFX" (a common abbreviation for "special effects"), not with an "E" instead of the "F", and were intended as an innocent "signature" created by the effects animation team.[104]
Hyena biologists protested against the animal's portrayal: one hyena researcher sued Disney studios for defamation of character,[105] and another—who had organized the animators' visit to the University of California's Field Station for Behavioural Research, where they would observe and sketch captive hyenas—[106] included boycotting The Lion King among the ways it would help preserve hyenas in the wild.[107] The hyenas have also been interpreted to represent an anti-immigrant allegory, where the hyenas would be black and Latino ethnic communities.[108][109][110][111]


Sequels and spin-offs

The first Lion King-related animated projects involved the characters of Timon and Pumbaa. First the duo starred in the animated short "Stand by Me", featuring Timon singingthe eponymous song, which was released in 1995 accompanying the theatrical release of Tom and Huck. Then the duo received their own animated show, The Lion King's Timon and Pumbaa, which ran for three seasons and 85 episodes between 1995 and 1999. Ernie Sabella continued to voice Pumbaa, while Timon was voiced by Quinton Flynnand Kevin Schon in addition to Nathan Lane himself.[112]
Disney released two direct-to-video films related to The Lion King. The first was sequel The Lion King II: Simba's Pride, issued in 1998 on VHS. The film centers around Simba and Nala's daughter, Kiara, who falls in love with Kovu, a male lion who was raised in a pride of Scar's followers, the Outsiders.[113] 2004 saw the release of another Lion King film on DVD, The Lion King 1½. It is a prequel in showing how Timon and Pumbaa met each other, and also a parallel in that it also depicts what the characters were retconned to have done during the events of the original movie.[114]
In June 2014, it was announced that a new TV series based on the film would be released called The Lion Guard, featuring Kion, the second-born cub of Simba. It was first broadcast on Disney Junior as a television film in November 2015 before episodes broadcast in January 2016.[115] The television film is called The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar[116]

Video games

Along with the film release, three different video games based on The Lion King were released by Virgin Interactive in December 1994. The main title was developed byWestwood Studios, and published for PC and Amiga computers and the consoles SNES and Sega Mega Drive/Genesis. Dark Technologies created the Game Boy version, while Syrox Developments handled the Master System and Game Gear version.[117] The film and sequel Simba's Pride later inspired another game, Torus GamesThe Lion King: Simba's Mighty Adventure (2000) for the Game Boy Color and PlayStation.[118] Timon and Pumbaa also appeared in Timon & Pumbaa's Jungle Games, a 1995 PC game collection of puzzle games by 7th Level, later ported to the SNES by Tiertex.[119]
The Square Enix series Kingdom Hearts features Simba as a recurring summon,[120][121] as well as a playable in the Lion King world, known as Pride Lands, in Kingdom Hearts II. There the plotline is loosely related to the later part of the original film, with all of the main characters except Zazu and Sarabi.[122] The Lion King also provides one of the worlds featured in the 2011 action-adventure game Disney Universe,[123] and Simba was featured in the Nintendo DS title Disney Friends (2008).[124]

Stage adaptations

Main article: The Lion King (musical)
The façade of Minskoff Theatre at Broadway, with banners promoting the Lion King musical.
Advertisements for the musical adaptation of The Lion King at Minskoff Theatre.
Walt Disney Theatrical produced a musical stage adaptation of the same name, which premiered in Minneapolis, Minnesota in July 1997, and later opened on Broadway in October 1997 at the New Amsterdam TheatreThe Lion King musical was directed by Julie Taymor and featured songs from both the movie and Rhythm of the Pride Lands, along with three new compositions by Elton John and Tim Rice. Mark Mancina did the musical arrangements and new orchestral tracks.[125] The musical became one of the most successful in Broadway history, winning six Tony Awardsincluding Best Musical, and despite moving to the Minskoff Theatre in 2006, is still running to this day in New York, becoming the third longest-running show and highest grossing Broadway production in history. The show's financial success led to adaptations all over the world.[11][126][127]
The Lion King inspired two attractions retelling the story of the film at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. The first, "The Legend of the Lion King", featured a recreation of the film through life size puppets of its characters, and ran from 1994 to 2002 at Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World.[128]Another that is still running is the live-action 30-minute musical revue of the movie, "Festival of the Lion King", which incorporates the musical numbers into gymnastic routines with live actors, along with animatronic puppets of Simba and Pumba and a costumed actor as Timon. The attraction opened in April 1998 at Disney World's Animal Kingdom,[129] and in September 2005 in Hong Kong Disneyland's Adventureland.[130] A similar version under the name "The Legend of the Lion King" was featured in Disneyland Paris from 2004 to 2009.[131][132]


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Paulie poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJohn Roberts
Produced byMark Gordon
Gary Levinsohn
Allyson Lyon Segan
Written byLaurie Craig
StarringJay Mohr
Tony Shalhoub
Gena Rowlands
Hallie Eisenberg
Cheech Marin
Bruce Davison
Trini Alvarado
Narrated byJay Mohr
Music byJohn Debney
CinematographyTony Pierce-Roberts
Edited byBruce Cannon
Distributed byDreamWorks Pictures
Release dates
Running time
94 minutes
United States
Budget$23 million
Box office$26.9 million[1]
Paulie is a 1998 German/American adventure fantasy comedy film about a disobedient bird named Paulie, starring Tony Shalhoub,Gena RowlandsHallie Eisenberg, and Jay Mohr. Mohr performs the voice of Paulie and also plays a minor on-screen character.


The film is a picaresque tale about an intelligent talking blue-crowned conure named Paulie, and his long quest to return to his owner.
Misha Belenkoff (Tony Shalhoub), a Russian immigrant and former teacher of literature, lives in America and works as a janitor at an animal testing lab. At the lab, Belenkoff encounters Paulie and is shocked to see Paulie speaking fluent English. Subsequently, Paulie does not speak a word when Belenkoff brings others to witness the talking bird.
Belenkoff woos Paulie to tell his story by offering him pieces of mango. Paulie tells Belenkoff about his master, a little girl named Marie (Hallie Eisenberg) who was a stutterer. The story transitions to a flashback scene in which Paulie is a baby bird. As Marie learns to speak, so does Paulie, beginning with understanding the meaning of words and progressing to the construction of complex sentences. Marie's father (Warren, played by Matt Craven), a soldier, returns home from Vietnam and decides that Paulie is not helping Marie. The father's resentment of the close bond between Paulie and Marie, and their shared progress in speech development is evident.
It becomes obvious that he wants Marie to forget Paulie, when the father brings her a cat. The cat and Paulie don't get along. Once again, Warren blames Paulie for Marie's speaking problems and believes she has imagined Paulie's ability to speak. Eventually after a dramatic event in which Marie falls off the roof in an attempt to teach Paulie to fly, Warren convinces Marie's mother (Lila,Laura Harrington), to send him away.
Paulie is passed from one owner to another, eventually ending up in a pawn shop, where he spends his time insulting the customers until he is purchased by a widowed artist named Ivy (Gena Rowlands). She befriends the bird and agrees to find Marie, who has moved across the country to Los Angeles. Ivy loses her sight and Paulie decides to stay and take care of her. After Ivy dies, Paulie, having finally learned to fly, continues his journey.
In East Los Angeles, Paulie joins a group of performing conures owned by Ignacio (Cheech Marin), but later begins a life of crime after being kidnapped by Benny (Jay Mohr). In a botched jewel theft, Paulie flies down through the chimney of a house, where he is trapped inside, then abandoned.
Paulie is then brought to the institute, his current home, where employees and scientists are stunned by his intelligence. They subject him to testing, and promise that he will be reunited with Marie. When Paulie discovers that he has been lied to by way of his acquisition as institute property, he refuses to cooperate with any more tests. As a result, his wings are clipped, and he is imprisoned in the basement.
Moved by Paulie's story, Belenkoff decides to give up his menial job to release Paulie and take him to Marie. After escaping from the institute and taking a bus to her address, they find her, now a full grown, beautiful young woman (Trini Alvarado) unrecognizable to Paulie. After a moment of confusion, Paulie and Marie are happily reunited as Marie sings Paulie's favorite song and he remembers her. The film ends with the three characters happily entering the house.



Directed by John Roberts and written by Laurie Craig,[2] the film's production budget was $23 million.[3]


The movie Paulie scored a 6.2/10 rating at Rotten Tomatoes.[4] It was distributed in 24 countries and 10 different languages between 1998 and 1999.[citation needed] Box office receipts grossed $5,369,800 on the opening weekend, and $26,875,268 total.[5] It was released in 1,812 North American theaters.[3]

Awards and nominations[edit]

ALMA AwardOutstanding Actor in a Feature Film - Cheech MarinNomination
ALMA AwardOutstanding Actress in a Feature Film - Trini AlvaradoNomination
BAFTA Children's AwardBest Children's Feature FilmWon
Bronze GryphonEarly Screens - John RobertsWon
Young Artist AwardBest family feature - ComedyNomination
Young Artist AwardBest performance in a feature film - Young Actress aged ten or under - Hallie Kate EisenbergNomination
Young Artist AwardBest performance by a young actress in a comedy film - Hallie Kate EisenbergNomination

300 (film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Theatrical release poster of 300
Theatrical release poster
Directed byZack Snyder
Produced by
Screenplay by
  • Zack Snyder
  • Kurt Johnstad
  • Michael B. Gordon
Based on300
by Frank Miller
Lynn Varley
Music byTyler Bates
CinematographyLarry Fong
Edited byWilliam Hoy
Legendary Pictures
Virtual Studios
Atmosphere Pictures
Hollywood Gang Productions
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
Release dates
Running time
117 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$65 million[2]
Box office$456.1 million[3]
300 is a 2007 American epic fantasy war film based on the 1998 comic series of the same name by Frank Miller and Lynn Varley. Both are fictionalized retellings of the Battle of Thermopylae within the Persian Wars. The film was directed by Zack Snyder, while Miller served as executive producer and consultant. It was filmed mostly with a super-imposition chroma key technique, to help replicate the imagery of the original comic book.
The plot revolves around King Leonidas (Gerard Butler), who leads 300 Spartans into battle against the Persian "god-King" Xerxes(Rodrigo Santoro) and his invading army of more than 300,000 soldiers. As the battle rages, Queen Gorgo (Lena Headey) attempts to rally support in Sparta for her husband. The story is framed by a voice-over narrative by the Spartan soldier Dilios (David Wenham). Through this narrative technique, various fantastical creatures are introduced, placing 300 within the genre of historical fantasy.
300 was released in both conventional and IMAX theaters in the United States on March 9, 2007, and on DVDBlu-ray Disc, and HD DVD on July 31, 2007. The film received mixed reviews, receiving acclaim for its original visuals and style, but criticism for favoring visuals over characterization and its depiction of the ancient Persians in Iran, a characterization which some had deemed racist; however, the film was a box office success, grossing over $450 million, with the film's opening being the 24th largest in box officehistory at the time. A sequel, 300: Rise of an Empire, which is based on Miller's unpublished graphic novel prequel Xerxes, was released on March 7, 2014.


In 481 BC, one year after the famed Battle of Thermopylae, Dilios, a hoplite in the Spartan Army, begins his story by depicting the life of Leonidas I from childhood to kingship via Spartan doctrine. Dilios's story continues and Persian messengers arrive at the gates of Sparta demanding "earth and water" as a token of submission to King Xerxes; the Spartans reply by killing and kicking the messengers into a well. Leonidas then visits the Ephors, proposing a strategy to drive back the numerically superior Persians through the Hot Gates; his plan involves building a wall in order to funnel the Persians into a narrow pass between the rocks and the sea. The Ephors consult the Oracle, who decrees that Sparta will not go to war during the Carneia. As Leonidas angrily departs, a messenger from Xerxes appears, rewarding the Ephors for their covert support.
Although the Ephors have denied him permission to mobilize Sparta's army, Leonidas gathers three hundred of his best soldiers in the guise of his personal bodyguard; they are joined along the way by Arcadians. At Thermopylae, they construct the wall made up of stones and slain Persian scouts as mortar, angering the Persian Emissary. Stelios, an elite Spartan soldier, orders him to go back to the Persian lines and warn Xerxes after cutting off his whipping arm. Meanwhile, Leonidas encounters Ephialtes, a deformed Spartan whose parents fled Sparta to spare him certain infanticide. Ephialtes asks to redeem his father's name by joining Leonidas' army, warning him of a secret (goat) path the Persians could use to outflank and surround the Spartans. Though sympathetic, Leonidas rejects him since his deformity physically prevents him from properly holding his shield; this could compromise the phalanx formation. Ephialtes is enraged.
The battle begins soon after the Spartans' refusal to lay down their weapons. Using the Hot Gates to their advantage, plus their superior fighting skills, the Spartans repel wave upon wave of the advancing Persian army. During a lull in the battle, Xerxes personally approaches Leonidas to persuade him to surrender, offering him wealth and power in exchange for his allegiance; Leonidas declines and mocks Xerxes for the inferior quality of his fanatical warriors. In response, Xerxes sends in his elite guard, the Immortals later that night. Despite some Spartans being killed, they heroically defeat the Immortals (with slight help from the Arcadians). On the second day, Xerxes sends in new waves of armies from Asia and other Persian city-states, including war elephants, to crush the Spartans once and for all, but to no avail. Meanwhile, Ephialtes defects to Xerxes to whom he reveals the secret path in exchange for wealth, luxury, and (especially) a uniform. The Arcadians retreat upon learning of Ephialtes' betrayal, but the Spartans stay. Leonidas orders an injured but reluctant Dilios to return to Sparta and tell them of what has happened, a "tale of victory".
In Sparta, Queen Gorgo tries to persuade the Spartan Council to send reinforcements to aid the 300. Theron, a corrupt politician, claims that he "owns" the Council and threatens the Queen, who reluctantly submits to his sexual demands in return for his help. When Theron disgraces her in front of the Council, Gorgo kills him out of rage, revealing within his robe a bag of Xerxes' gold. Marking his betrayal, the Council unanimously agrees to send reinforcements. On the third day, the Persians, led by Ephialtes, traverse the secret path, encircling the Spartans. Xerxes' general again demands their surrender. Leonidas seemingly kneels in submission, allowing Stelios to leap over him and kill the general. A furious Xerxes orders his troops to attack. Leonidas rises and throws his spear at Xerxes; barely missing him, the spear cuts across and wounds his face, proving the God-King's mortality. Leonidas and the remaining Spartans fight to the last man until they finally succumb to an arrow barrage.
Dilios, now back at Sparta, concludes his tale before the Council. Inspired by their King's sacrifice, the Persians will now face a larger Greek army 40,000 strong, led by 10,000 Spartans. After one final speech commemorating the 300, Dilios, now head of the Spartan Army, leads them into battle against the Persians across the fields of Plataea, ending the film.



Above: the film version of a panel from the graphic novel (below).
Producer Gianni Nunnari was not the only person planning a film about the Battle of Thermopylae; director Michael Mann already planned a film of the battle based on the book Gates of Fire. Nunnari discovered Frank Miller's graphic novel 300, which impressed him enough to acquire the film rights.[5][6] 300 was jointly produced by Nunnari and Mark Canton, and Michael B. Gordon wrote the script.[7] Director Zack Snyder was hired in June 2004[8] as he had attempted to make a film based on Miller's novel before making his debut with the remake of Dawn of the Dead.[9] Snyder then had screenwriter Kurt Johnstad rewrite Gordon's script for production[8] and Frank Miller was retained as consultant and executive producer.[10]
The film is a shot-for-shot adaptation of the comic book, similar to the film adaptation of Sin City.[11] Snyder photocopied panels from the comic book, from which he planned the preceding and succeeding shots. "It was a fun process for me... to have a frame as a goal to get to," he said.[12] Like the comic book, the adaptation also used the character Dilios as a narrator. Snyder used this narrative technique to show the audience that the surreal "Frank Miller world" of 300 was told from a subjective perspective. By using Dilios' gift of storytelling, he was able to introduce fantasy elements into the film, explaining that "Dilios is a guy who knows how not to wreck a good story with truth."[13] Snyder also added the sub-plot in which Queen Gorgo attempts to rally support for her husband.[14]

Above: A scene during filming. Below: The finished scene.
Two months of pre-production were required to create hundreds of shields, spears, and swords, some of which were recycled from Troy and Alexander. Creatures were designed by Jordu Schell,[15] and an animatronic wolf and thirteen animatronic horses were created. The actors trained alongside the stuntmen, and even Snyder joined in. Upwards of 600 costumes were created for the film, as well as extensive prosthetics for various characters and the corpses of Persian soldiers.Shaun Smith and Mark Rappaport worked hand in hand with Snyder in pre-production to design the look of the individual characters, and to produce the prosthetic makeup effects, props, weapons and dummy bodies required for the production.[16]
300 entered active production on October 17, 2005, in Montreal,[17] and was shot over the course of sixty days[16] in chronological order[14] with a budget of $60 million.[18] Employing the digital backlot technique, Snyder shot at the now-defunct Icestorm Studios in Montreal using bluescreens. Butler said that while he did not feel constrained by Snyder's direction, fidelity to the comic imposed certain limitations on his performance. Wenham said there were times when Snyder wanted to precisely capture iconic moments from the comic book, and other times when he gave actors freedom "to explore within the world and the confines that had been set."[19]Headey said of her experience with the bluescreens, "It's very odd, and emotionally, there's nothing to connect to apart from another actor."[20] Only one scene, in which horses travel across the countryside, was shot outdoors.[21] The film was an intensely physical production, and Butler pulled an arm tendon and developed foot drop.[22]
Post-production was handled by Montreal's Meteor Studios and Hybride Technologies filled in the bluescreen footage with more than 1,500 visual effects shots. Visual effects supervisorChris Watts, and production designerJim Bissell, created a process dubbed "The Crush,"[16] which allowed the Meteor artists to manipulate the colors by increasing the contrast of light and dark. Certain sequences were desaturated and tinted to establish different moods. Ghislain St-Pierre, who led the team of artists, described the effect: "Everything looks realistic, but it has a kind of a gritty illustrative feel."[16][23] Various computer programs, including MayaRenderMan and RealFlow, were used to create the "spraying blood."[24] The post-production lasted for a year and was handled by a total of ten special effects companies.[25]


In July 2005, composer Tyler Bates begun work on the film, describing the score as having "beautiful themes on the top and large choir," but "tempered with some extreme heaviness." The composer had scored for a test scene that the director wanted to show to Warner Bros. to illustrate the path of the project. Bates said that the score had "a lot of weight and intensity in the low end of the percussion" that Snyder found agreeable to the film.[26] The score was recorded at Abbey Road Studios and features the vocals of Azam Ali.[27] A standard edition and a special edition of the soundtrack containing 25 tracks was released on March 6, 2007, with the special edition containing a 16-page booklet and three two-sided trading cards.[28]
The score has caused some controversy in the film composer community, garnering criticism for its striking similarity to several other recent soundtracks, including James Hornerand Gabriel Yared's work for the film Troy. The heaviest borrowings are said to be from Elliot Goldenthal's 1999 score for Titus. "Remember Us," from 300, is identical in parts to the "Finale" from Titus, and "Returns a King" is similar to the cue "Victorius Titus."[29][30][31] (see copyright issues.) On August 3, 2007, Warner Bros. Pictures acknowledged in an official statement:
... a number of the music cues for the score of 300 were, without our knowledge or participation, derived from music composed by Academy Award winning composer Elliot Goldenthal for the motion picture Titus. Warner Bros. Pictures has great respect for Elliot, our longtime collaborator, and is pleased to have amicably resolved this matter.[32]

Promotion and release[edit]

Actress Lena Headey facing right in a silver dress at the London premiere of the film in March 2007
Lena Headey at the London premiere, 2007
The official 300 website was launched by Warner Bros. in December 2005. The "conceptual art" and Zack Snyder's production blog were the initial attractions of the site.[33] Later, the website added video journals describing production details, including comic-to-screen shots and the creatures of 300. In January 2007, the studio launched a MySpace page for the film.[34] The Art Institutes created a micro-site to promote the film.[35]
At Comic-Con International in July 2006, the 300 panel aired a promotional teaser of the film, which was positively received.[36] Despite stringent security, the trailer was subsequently leaked on the Internet.[37] Warner Bros. released the official trailer for 300 on October 4, 2006,[38] and later on it made its debut on where it received considerable exposure. The background music used in the trailers was "Just Like You Imagined" by Nine Inch Nails. A second 300 trailer, which was attached to Apocalypto, was released in theaters on December 8, 2006,[39] and online the day before.[40] On January 22, 2007, an exclusive trailer for the film was broadcast during prime time television.[41] The trailers have been credited with igniting interest in the film and contributing to its box-office success.[42]
In April 2006, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment announced its intention to make a PlayStation Portable game, 300: March to Glory, based on the film. Collision Studios worked with Warner Bros. to capture the style of the film in the video game, which was released simultaneously with the film in the United States.[43] The National Entertainment Collectibles Association produced a series of action figures based on the film,[44] as well as replicas of weapons and armor.[45]
Warner Bros. promoted 300 by sponsoring the Ultimate Fighting Championship's light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell, who made personal appearances and participated in other promotional activities.[46] The studio also joined with the National Hockey League to produce a 30-second TV spot promoting the film in tandem with the Stanley Cup playoffs.[47]
In August 2006, Warner Bros. announced 300's release date as March 16, 2007,[48] but in October the release was moved forward to March 9, 2007.[38] 300 was released onDVDBlu-ray Disc, and HD DVD on July 31, 2007, in Region 1 territories, in single-disc and two-disc editions. 300 was released in single-disc and steelcase two-disc editions on DVD, BD and HD DVD in Region 2 territories beginning August 2007. On July 21, 2009, Warner Bros. released a new Blu-ray Disc entitled 300: The Complete Experience to coincide with the Blu-ray Disc release of Watchmen. This new Blu-ray Disc is encased in a 40-page Digibook and includes all the extras from the original release as well as some new ones. These features include a Picture-in-Picture feature entitled The Complete 300: A Comprehensive Immersion, which enables the viewer to view the film in three different perspectives. This release also includes a digital copy.[49]
On July 9, 2007, the American cable channel TNT bought the rights to broadcast the film from Warner Bros.[50] TNT started airing the film in September 2009. Sources say that the network paid between $17 million[51] and just under $20 million[50] for the broadcasting rights. TNT agreed to a three-year deal instead of the more typical five-year deal.[51]


Box office[edit]

300 was released in North America on March 9, 2007, in both conventional and IMAX theaters.[52] It grossed $28,106,731 on its opening day and ended its North American opening weekend with $70,885,301,[53] breaking the record held by Ice Age: The Meltdown for the biggest opening weekend in the month of March and for a Spring release. Since then 300's Spring release record was broken by Fast and Furious and 300's March record was broken by Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland.[54][55] 300's opening weekend gross is the 24th highest in box office history, coming slightly below The Lost World: Jurassic Park but higher than Transformers.[56] It was the third biggest opening for an R-rated film ever, behind The Matrix Reloaded ($91.8 million) and The Passion of the Christ ($83.8 million).[57] The film also set a record for IMAX cinemas with a $3.6 million opening weekend.[58] The film grossed $456,068,181 worldwide.
300 opened two days earlier, on March 7, 2007, in Sparta, and across Greece on March 8.[59][60] Studio executives were surprised by the showing, which was twice what they had expected.[61] They credited the film's stylized violence, the strong female role of Queen Gorgo which attracted a large number of women, and a MySpace advertising blitz.[62]Producer Mark Canton said, "MySpace had an enormous impact but it has transcended the limitations of the Internet or the graphic novel. Once you make a great movie, word can spread very quickly."[62]


Critical reception[edit]

Since its world premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival on February 14, 2007, in front of 1,700 audience members, 300 has received generally mixed reviews. While it received a standing ovation at the public premiere,[63] it was panned at a press screening hours earlier, where many attendees left during the showing and those who remained booed at the end.[64] Critics are divided on the film.[65] Rotten Tomatoes reports that 60% of critics gave the film a positive review, based upon a sample of 225, with an averagescore of 6.1 out of 10.[66] Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, gave the film an average score of 51 based on 35 reviews.[65]
Some of the most unfavorable reviews came from major American newspapersA.O. Scott of The New York Times describes 300 as "about as violent as Apocalypto and twice as stupid," while criticizing its color scheme and suggesting that its plot includes racist undertones; Scott also poked fun at the buffed bodies of the actors portraying the Spartans, declaring that the Persian characters are "pioneers in the art of face-piercing", but that the Spartans had access to "superior health clubs and electrolysis facilities".[67] Kenneth Turan writes in the Los Angeles Times that "unless you love violence as much as a Spartan, Quentin Tarantino or a video-game-playing teenage boy, you will not be endlessly fascinated."[68] Roger Ebert, in his review, gave the film a two-star rating, writing, "300 has one-dimensional caricatures who talk like professional wrestlers plugging their next feud."[69] Some critics employed at Greek newspapers have been particularly critical, such as film critic Robby Eksiel, who said that moviegoers would be dazzled by the "digital action" but irritated by the "pompous interpretations and one-dimensional characters."[60][70]
Variety's Todd McCarthy describes the film as "visually arresting" although "bombastic"[71] while Kirk Honeycutt, writing in The Hollywood Reporter, praises the "beauty of itstopography, colors and forms."[72] Writing in the Chicago Sun TimesRichard Roeper acclaims 300 as "the Citizen Kane of cinematic graphic novels."[73] Empire gave the film 3/5 having a verdict of "Visually stunning, thoroughly belligerent and as shallow as a pygmy's paddling pool, this is a whole heap of style tinged with just a smidgen of substance." 300was also warmly received by websites focusing on comics and video gamesComic Book Resources' Mark Cronan found the film compelling, leaving him "with a feeling of power, from having been witness to something grand."[74] IGN's Todd Gilchrist acclaimed Zack Snyder as a cinematic visionary and "a possible redeemer of modern moviemaking."[75]


At the MTV Movie Awards 2007300 was nominated for Best Movie, Best Performance for Gerard Butler, Best Breakthrough Performance for Lena Headey, Best Villain for Rodrigo Santoro, and Best Fight for Leonidas battling "the Über Immortal",[76] but only won the award for Best Fight. 300 won both the Best Dramatic Film and Best Action Film honors in the 2006–2007 Golden Icon Awards presented by Travolta Family Entertainment.[77] In December 2007, 300 won IGN's Movie of the Year 2007,[78] along with Best Comic Book Adaptation[79] and King Leonidas as Favorite Character.[80] The movie received 10 nominations for the 2008 Saturn Awards, winning the awards for Best Directorand Best Action/Adventure/Thriller Film.[81] In 2009, National Review magazine ranked 300 number 5 on its 25 Best Conservative Movies of the Last 25 Years list.[82]

Historical accuracy[edit]

Since few records about the actual martial arts used by the Spartans survive aside from accounts of formations and tactics, the fight choreography led by stunt coordinator and fight choreographer Damon Caro, was a synthesis of different weapon arts with Filipino martial arts as the base.[83] This can be seen in the blade work and the signature use of the off hand by Arnis/Kali/Eskrima in the offensive use of the shields. The Spartans' use of the narrow terrain, in those particular circumstances, is a military tactic known as "defeat in detail".
Paul Cartledge, Professor of Greek History at Cambridge University, advised the filmmakers on the pronunciation of Greek names, and said they "made good use" of his published work on Sparta. He praises the film for its portrayal of "the Spartans' heroic code", and of "the key role played by women in backing up, indeed reinforcing, the male martial code of heroic honour", while expressing reservations about its "'West' (goodies) vs 'East' (baddies) polarization".[84] Cartledge writes that he enjoyed the film, although he found Leonidas' description of the Athenians as "boy lovers" ironic, since the Spartans themselves incorporated institutional pederasty into their educational system.[85]
Ephraim Lytle, assistant professor of Hellenistic History at the University of Toronto, said 300 selectively idealizes Spartan society in a "problematic and disturbing" fashion, as well as portraying the "hundred nations of the Persians" as monsters and non-Spartan Greeks as weak. He suggests that the film's moral universe would have seemed "as bizarre to ancient Greeks as it does to modern historians".[86]
Victor Davis HansonNational Review columnist and former professor of Classical history at California State University, Fresno, who wrote the foreword to a 2007 re-issue of the graphic novel, said the film demonstrates a specific affinity with the original material of Herodotus in that it captures the martial ethos of ancient Sparta and represents Thermopylae as a "clash of civilizations". He remarks that SimonidesAeschylus, and Herodotus viewed Thermopylae as a battle against "Eastern centralism and collective serfdom", which opposed "the idea of the free citizen of an autonomous polis".[87] He also said the film portrays the battle in a "surreal" manner, and that the intent was to "entertain and shock first, and instruct second".[88]
Touraj Daryaee, now Baskerville Professor of Iranian History and the Persian World at the University of California, Irvine, criticized the film's use of classical sources, writing:
Some passages from the Classical authors AeschylusDiodorusHerodotus and Plutarch are split over the movie to give it an authentic flavor. Aeschylus becomes a major source when the battle with the "monstrous human herd" of the Persians is narrated in the film. Diodorus' statement about Greek valor to preserve their liberty is inserted in the film, but his mention of Persian valor is omitted. Herodotus' fanciful numbers are used to populate the Persian army, and Plutarch's discussion of Greek women, specifically Spartan women, is inserted wrongly in the dialogue between the "misogynist" Persian ambassador and the Spartan king. Classical sources are certainly used, but exactly in all the wrong places, or quite naively. The Athenians were fighting a sea battle during this.[89]
Robert McHenry, former editor-in-chief of Encyclopædia Britannica and author of How to Know said the film "is an almost ineffably silly movie. Stills from the film could easily be used to promote Buns of Steel, or AbMaster, or ThighMaster. It's about the romanticizing of the Spartan 'ideal', a process that began even in ancient times, was promoted by the Romans, and has survived over time while less and less resembling the actual historical Sparta."[90]
The director of 300Zack Snyder, stated in an MTV interview that "the events are 90 percent accurate. It's just in the visualization that it's crazy.... I've shown this movie to world-class historians who have said it's amazing. They can't believe it's as accurate as it is." Nevertheless, he also said the film is "an opera, not a documentary. That's what I say when people say it's historically inaccurate".[91] He was also quoted in a BBC News story as saying that the film is, at its core "a fantasy film". He also describes the film's narrator, Dilios, as "a guy who knows how not to wreck a good story with truth".[13]
In an interview 300 writer Frank Miller said, "The inaccuracies, almost all of them, are intentional. I took those chest plates and leather skirts off of them for a reason. I wanted these guys to move and I wanted 'em to look good. I knocked their helmets off a fair amount, partly so you can recognize who the characters are. Spartans, in full regalia, were almost indistinguishable except at a very close angle. Another liberty I took was, they all had plumes, but I only gave a plume to Leonidas, to make him stand out and identify him as a king. I was looking for more an evocation than a history lesson. The best result I can hope for is that if the movie excites someone, they'll go explore the histories themselves. Because the histories are endlessly fascinating."[92]
Dr. Kaveh Farrokh in a paper entitled "The 300 Movie: Separating Fact from Fiction" [93] notes that the film falsely portrays "the Greco-Persian Wars in binary terms: the democratic, good, rational 'Us' versus the tyrannical, evil and irrational, 'other' of the ever-nebulous (if not exotic) 'Persia'". He reminds the reader about three commonly accepted historical pieces of evidence that demonstrate the fundamental and essential contribution of the Achaemenid Empire to the creation of democracy and human rights. "The founder of the Achaemenid Empire, Cyrus the Great, was the world's first world emperor to openly declare and guarantee the sanctity of human rights and individual freedom", "Cyrus was a follower of the teachings of Zoroaster, the founder of one of the world's oldest monotheistic religions" , and to put his own words in action "When Cyrus defeated King Nabonidus of Babylon, he officially declared the freedom of the Jews from their Babylonian captivity. This was the first time in history that a world power had guaranteed the survival of the Jewish people, religion, customs and culture."


Before the release of 300, Warner Bros. expressed concerns about the political aspects of the film's theme. Snyder relates that there was "a huge sensitivity about East versus West with the studio."[94] Media speculation about a possible parallel between the Greco-Persian conflict and current events began in an interview with Snyder that was conducted before the Berlin Film Festival.[95] The interviewer remarked that "everyone is sure to be translating this [film] into contemporary politics." Snyder replied that, while he was aware that people would read the film through the lens of current events, no parallels between the film and the modern world were intended.[96]
Outside the current political parallels, some critics have raised more general questions about the film's ideological orientation. The New York Post'Kyle Smith wrote that the film would have pleased "Adolf's boys,"[97] and Slate'Dana Stevens compares the film to The Eternal Jew, "as a textbook example of how race-baiting fantasy and nationalist myth can serve as an incitement to total war."[98] Roger Moore, a critic for the Orlando Sentinel, relates 300 to Susan Sontag's definition of "fascist art."[99] Alleanza Nazionale, anItalian neoconservative political party formed from the collapse of the neo-fascist party MSI, has used imagery from the work within candidate propaganda posters titled: "Defend your values, your civilization, your district".[100]
Newsday critic Gene Seymour, on the other hand, stated that such reactions are misguided, writing that "the movie's just too darned silly to withstand any ideological theorizing."[101] Snyder himself dismissed ideological readings, suggesting that reviewers who critique "a graphic novel movie about a bunch of guys...stomping the snot out of each other" using words like "'neocon,' 'homophobic,' 'homoerotic' or 'racist'" are "missing the point."[102] Snyder, however, also admitted to fashioning an effeminate villain specifically to play into the homophobia of young straight males.[103] Slovenian critic Slavoj Žižek pointed out that the story represents "a poor, small country (Greece) invaded by the army of a much large[r] state (Persia)," suggesting that the identification of the Spartans with a modern superpower is flawed.[104]
The 300 writer Frank Miller said: "The Spartans were a paradoxical people. They were the biggest slave owners in Greece. But at the same time, Spartan women had an unusual level of rights. It's a paradox that they were a bunch of people who in many ways were fascist, but they were the bulwark against the fall of democracy. The closest comparison you can draw in terms of our own military today is to think of the red-caped Spartans as being like our special-ops forces. They're these almost superhuman characters with a tremendous warrior ethic, who were unquestionably the best fighters in Greece. I didn't want to render Sparta in overly accurate terms, because ultimately I do want you to root for the Spartans. I couldn't show them being quite as cruel as they were. I made them as cruel as I thought a modern audience could stand."[92]


Ephraim Lytle, assistant professor of Hellenistic history at the University of Toronto, commented: "Ephialtes, who betrays the Greeks, is likewise changed from a local Malian of sound body into a Spartan outcast, a grotesquely disfigured troll who by Spartan custom should have been left exposed as an infant to die. Leonidas points out that his hunched back means Ephialtes cannot lift his shield high enough to fight in the phalanx. This is a transparent defence of Spartan eugenics, and convenient given that infanticide could as easily have been precipitated by an ill-omened birthmark."[86]
Michael M. Chemers, author of "'With Your Shield, or on It': Disability Representation in 300" in the Disability Studies Quarterly, said that the film's portrayal of the hunchback and his story "is not mere ableism: this is anti-disability."[105]
Frank Miller – commenting on areas where he lessened the Spartan cruelty for narrative purposes – said: "I have King Leonidas very gently tell Ephialtes, the hunchback, that they can't use him [as a soldier], because of his deformity. It would be much more classically Spartan if Leonidas laughed and kicked him off the cliff."[92]

Depictions of Persians and Iran's reaction[edit]

Some interpreted the portrayal ofKing Xerxes (right) as homosexual. Snyder said of Xerxes: "What's more scary to a 20-year-old boy than a giant god-king who wants to have his way with you?"[103]
From its opening, 300 also attracted controversy over its portrayal of Persians. Officials of the Iranian government[106] denounced the film.[107][108][109] Some scenes in the film portray demon-like and other fictional creatures as part of the Persian army, and the fictionalized portrayal of Persian King Xerxes I has been criticized as effeminate.[110][111] Critics suggested that this was meant to stand in stark contrast to the sheer masculinity of the Spartan army.[112] Steven Rea argued that the film's Persians were a vehicle for an anachronistic cross-section of Western stereotypes of Asian and African cultures.[113]
The film's portrayal of ancient Persians caused a particularly strong reaction in Iran.[114] Azadeh Moaveni of Time reported that Tehranwas "outraged" following the film's release. Moaveni identified two factors which may have contributed to the intense reaction: its release on the eve of Nowruz, the Persian New Year, and the common Iranian view of the Achaemenid Empire as "a particularly noble page in their history."[107][108][115] Various Iranian officials condemned the film.[116][117][118][119] The Iranian Academy of the Arts submitted a formal complaint against the film to UNESCO, labelling it an attack on the historical identity of Iran.[120][121] The Iranian mission to the U.N. protested the film in a press release,[122] and Iranian embassies protested its screening in France,[123] Thailand,[124] Turkey,[125] andUzbekistan.[126] The film was banned within Iran as "hurtful American propaganda".[127]

In popular culture[edit]

A parody of the film.
300 has been spoofed in various media, spawning the "This is Sparta!" internet meme,[128] with parodies also appearing in film and television.
  • These include the short United 300, which won the Movie Spoof Award at the 2007 MTV Movie Awards and a visual parody of Night at the Museum.
  • Skits based upon the film have appeared on Saturday Night Live[129] and Robot Chicken, the latter of which mimicked the visual style of 300 in a parody set during the American Revolutionary War, titled "1776";[130] and in another episode there were several segments in which Leonidas shouts, "This is...(something)!" and kicks a nearby object.[131]
  • 20th Century Fox released Meet the Spartans, a spoof of 300 directed by Jason Friedberg and Aaron SeltzerUniversal Pictures was planning a similar parody, titled National Lampoon's 301: The Legend of Awesomest Maximus Wallace Leonidas.[132]
  • 300 was parodied in an episode of South Park named "D-Yikes!".[133]
  • In the game Deadliest Warrior: The Game, there is an achievement called "That was Sparta!" that is obtained by killing 300 Spartans.
  • In the video game Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands, there is a Heroic Challenge called "This is Persia", which is completed by causing an enemy to fall to their death down a bottomless pit.
  • In the game God of War: Ghost of Sparta, a secret move called the Might of Sparta can be unlocked. This move is a powerful kick which resembles the "THIS IS SPARTA!" kick used in 300 that can deal immense damage to enemies and break their shields without using special attacks.
  • On February 21, 2010, the German heavy metal band Heaven Shall Burn played a show at Szene in Vienna, Austria called "Defending Sparta"; the band dressed as Spartans on stage and ticket sales for the show were limited to 300.[134]
  • 300, particularly its pithy quotations, has been "adopted" by the student body of Michigan State University (whose nickname is the Spartans), with chants of "Spartans, what is your profession?" becoming common at sporting events starting after the film's release, and Michigan State basketball head coach Tom Izzo dressed as Leonidas at one student event.[135][136]
  • King Leonidas's costume and spear, as depicted by Gerard Butler in the film, is featured in God of War: Ascension's multiplayer. It was an exclusive pre-order bonus for those who bought the game from GameStop.
  • 305 is a 2008 mockumentary parodying 300 and done in the style of The Office.
  • South Korean variety show Running Man member Kim Jong-kook is known for his sudden appearances that are often accompanied by the soundbite "Sparta!" taken from the movie, earning the nickname "Sparta-kooks".
  • Leonidas was pitted against Master Chief (Halo) in an episode of the YouTube series Epic Rap Battles of History.
  • In the online multiplayer game, League of Legends, a spartan-inspired playable character named "Pantheon" includes voiceover lines which reference 300. These include, "Getting kicked into a well is the least of your worries" and one in which the character states his profession to be a baker, rather than a warrior, as in 300.
  • Mad Magazine did their parody "BOO!" in its September 2007 issue #481, written by Desmond Devlin and illustrated by Mort Drucker.[137]
  • Nate Ebner, a football player with the New England Patriots in the National Football League and formerly with the Ohio State Buckeyes, was nicknamed "Leonidas," after the Greek warrior-king hero of Sparta acted by Gerard Butler in the movie 300, because of his intense workout regimen, and his beard.[138]

Differences between the film and the historical accounts[edit]

While Leonidas was depicted as the main king of Sparta in the film, he was actually one of two Spartan kings in the historical accounts. Stelios, the young Spartan soldier who fights bravely alongside Leonidas during the three-day battle at Thermopylae is inspired by Leonidas' lieutenant Dieneces.
The prophecy of the Oracle at Delphi is worded differently in the film than the historical prophesy. According to Herodotus, the prophecy of the oracle states that either all of Sparta will fall into the hands of the Persian Empire or the entire city must mourn for the death of one of its kings. In the film, the prophecy states that despite the fact that Sparta and all of Greece would fall, the Spartans must honor the Carnea festival.
The 300 Spartans and the Arcadians are not the only Greek troops that Leonidas leads into the Thermopylae pass. According to Herodotus and other historians, Leonidas led a small force of not only his 300 Spartan hoplites, but also 7,000 Greek soldiers from other city-states, including ThespiaThebesArcadiaPhocia, and Corinth.
While the vast Persian army contained light and heavy infantry, archers, and cavalry, Xerses did not have magicians or great war beasts like war elephants and armored rhinosfighting in his forces. Also, while the film states that the Persian army numbered in the millions, many historians disagree. Herodotus placed the number of Persian troops, including Persian, SargatianParthian, and Scythian horsemen, Libyan war chariots, and mounted Arab camel troops as high as 2.6 million, while modern-day historians place the actual size of the Persian army at around 300,000-500,000 in total strength.
The Immortals are described differently in Herodotus' account than in the film. According to Herodotus, the Immortals carried wicker shields, short swords, and spears as weapons. They wore colorful tunics over light shirts of scale mail, and over their heads was a wrapped cloth that covered their faces but was thin enough for them to see through. In the film, the Immortals resembled Japanese samurai warriors with katars as their weapons and silver face masks over their grimacing faces.
In the film, Leonidas and his three hundred Spartan troops remain behind to guard the pass, while the rest of the Greek troops retreated after receiving word that the Persians were about to outflank them from the rear. But in the true historical accounts, including Herodotus' Histories, Leonidas remained in the pass with a small force composing of the 300 Spartans, 700 Thespians, 400 Thebans, and 900 Spartan helots.
The first two days of battle in the Thermopylae pass are described differently in the film than in the historical accounts. On the first day of battle, Xerxes ordered 5,000 archers fire arrows at the Greeks before he dispatched a force of 10,000 Medes and Cissians to attack the Greek lines. The Greeks inflicted heavy casualties on the Persians and suffered minor losses of their own. On the second day of battle, Xerxes dispatched his heavy infantry and personal bodyguard, the 10,000 Immortals against the Spartans and their allies, but they too suffered heavy losses and inflicted almost no damage on the Greek defenses.
On the third day of the battle, Herodotus wrote that Leonidas and his small Greek force of 1,000-2,000 hoplites advanced into the wider part of the Thermopylae pass to kill as many Persians as possible. Later on in the battle, the Immortals under their general Hydarnes smashed into the rear of the Greek defenses and caused the Greek phalanx to fall apart. All of the Greek spears were broken, and the Spartans and Thespians fought with swords, knives, and their fists. Leonidas fell at some point early in the battle, shot down by Persian bowmen, and the Greeks drove back the Persians four times before they could recover their dead king's body. Leonidas' lieutenant Dioneces and a few surviving Spartans then took their king's body and retreated to a small hilltop, where the Persian archers finished them off with a single volley of arrows.