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Empire State Building to Shine Yellow on December 4th in Honor of the 15th Anniversary of “The Lion King” on Broadway



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (Monday, December 3, 2012) – In celebration of
the fifteenth anniversary of Broadway’s landmark musical event THE LION KING,
cast members Alton Fitzgerald White, Chondra La-Tease Profit and Lindiwe Dlamini
will “flip the switch” and light the world-famous Empire State Building’s tower
lights with the signature color of the production. The lights will shine yellow
in honor of the anniversary on Tuesday, December 4, 2012

About The Lion King

Among the most successful titles in entertainment history, with a cumulative
gross in excess of $5 billion, the title has already earned more than the
biggest hit films in movie history: more than the Lord of the Rings
trilogy combined, more than the six Star Wars films combined, and more
than Avatar and Titanic, the #1 and #2 highest-grossing films in
movie history, combined

With eight productions currently playing around the world, it will make its
South American and Portuguese language debut when it begins performances in Sao
Paolo, Brazil in February 2013. With that production, The Lion
‘s 21 productions will have played in 98 cities in 16 countries on
every continent except Antarctica

The Broadway production has played through three Presidential
administrations, four mayoral elections, eight New York City team championships
and the opening and closing of 536 Broadway shows.

The show’s director, costume designer and mask co-designer Julie Taymor
continues to play an integral part in the show’s ongoing success. The first
woman to win a Tony® Award for Direction of a Musical, Taymor has in
recent years supervised new productions of the show in Las Vegas, Madrid and the
UK tour and just completed casting the Brazilian production in Sao Paolo.

As it enters its 16th year, The Lion King remains
ascendant, continuing to reign as a cultural phenomenon and one of the most
popular stage musicals in the world. Since its Broadway premiere on November
13, 1997, 20 global productions have been seen by more than 66 million people
and, cumulatively, run a staggering 96 years. Produced by Disney Theatrical
Productions (under the direction of Thomas Schumacher), The Lion
is the fifth longest-running musical in Broadway history and only
the second show in history to generate five productions worldwide running 10 or
more years. Translated into seven different languages (Japanese, German,
Korean, French, Dutch, Mandarin, Spanish and Portuguese), The Lion
can currently be seen on Broadway and on tour across North America,
in Tokyo and on tour in Japan, in London’s West End and on tour throughout the
UK, and in Hamburg and Madrid.

The Lion King won six 1998 Tony® Awards: Best
Musical, Best Scenic Design (Richard Hudson), Best Costume Design (Julie
Taymor), Best Lighting Design (Donald Holder), Best Choreography (Garth Fagan)
and Best Direction of a Musical. The Lion King has also earned
more than 70 major arts awards including the 1998 NY Drama Critics Circle Award
for Best Musical, the 1999 Grammy® for Best Musical Show Album, the 1999 Evening
Standard Award for Theatrical Event of the Year and the 1999 Laurence Olivier
Awards for Best Choreography and Best Costume Design.

The Broadway score features Elton John and Tim Rice’s music from The Lion
animated film along with three new songs by John and Rice; additional
musical material by South African Lebo M, Mark Mancina, Jay Rifkin, Julie Taymor
and Hans Zimmer; and music from “Rhythm of the Pride Lands,” an album inspired
by the original music in the film, written by Lebo M, Mark Mancina and Hans
Zimmer. The resulting sound of The Lion King is a fusion of
Western popular music and the distinctive sounds and rhythms of Africa, ranging
from the Academy Award®-winning song “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” to the
haunting ballad “Shadowland.”

The book has been adapted by Roger Allers, who co-directed The Lion
animated feature, and Irene Mecchi, who co-wrote the film’s
screenplay. Other members of the creative team include: Michael Curry, who
designed the masks and puppets with Taymor, Steve Canyon Kennedy (sound design),
Michael Ward (hair and makeup design), John Stefaniuk (associate director),
Marey Griffith (associate choreographer), Clement Ishmael (music supervisor) and
Doc Zorthian (production supervisor). Anne Quart serves as associate

The Broadway cast of The Lion King features Patrick R.
as Scar, Alton Fitzgerald White as Mufasa and Tshidi
as Rafiki. Jeff Binder portrays Zazu, Ben Jeffrey is
Pumbaa and Fred Berman is Timon. Mufasa’s son, Simba, is played by
Andile Gumbi and Chantel Riley is Nala.

The hyenas are played by James Brown-Orleans (Banzai), Bonita J.
(Shenzi) and Enrique Segura (Ed). The role of Young Simba
is alternated between Derek Johnson and CALEB McLaughlin and the
role of Young Nala is alternated between Bobbi Bordley and Alonie

The pre-Broadway engagement of The Lion King had its world
premiere on July 13, 1997 in Minneapolis at the historic Orpheum Theatre. The
pre-Broadway engagement ran for eight weeks, closing on August 31, 1997. The
show officially opened on Broadway on November 13, 1997 and moved to its current
home in the Minskoff Theatre on June 13, 2006.

For tickets, show information and performance schedule, call Ticketmaster’s
Disney on Broadway hotline at 866-870-2717 or visit

Jim Hill is an entertainment writer who has specialized in covering The Walt Disney Company for nearly 40 years now. Over that time, he has interviewed hundreds of animators, actors, and Imagineers -- many of whom have shared behind-the-scenes stories with Mr. Hill about how the Mouse House really works. In addition to the 4000+ articles Jim has written for the Web, he also co-hosts a trio of popular podcasts: “Disney Dish with Len Testa,” “Fine Tooning with Drew Taylor” and “Marvel US Disney with Aaron Adams.” Mr. Hill makes his home in Southern New Hampshire with his lovely wife Nancy and two obnoxious cats, Ginger & Betty.

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News & Press Releases

Disney Will Bring D23: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event to Anaheim, California in August 2024



Expanded Disney Fan Experience Will Feature New and Exciting Events Across Multiple Locations, Including a D23 Takeover of the Happiest Place On Earth, Evening Entertainment at the Honda Center, D23 Day at Angel Stadium, and Much More

Fan Favorites Including Exhibits, Panels, Shows, and Shopping Will Dazzle Disney Enthusiasts at the Anaheim Convention Center

D23: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event is a one-of-a-kind fan experience like never before with spectacular shows, new venues, and multiple days of entertainment that will bring together the best of Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and more!

Highlightswill include:

  • Sunday, August 4: D23 Day at Angel Stadium, where D23 fans are invited to attend the Los Angeles Angels vs. New York Mets game. 
  • Thursday, August 8: D23 kickoff celebration at Disneyland Resort.
  • Friday, August 9 – Sunday, August 11: Shopping, exhibits, panels, and presentations will take place at the Anaheim Convention Center during the day, with the fun extending into the evening at the Honda Center, the bigger home to marquee shows.

Tickets for D23: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event will go on sale in Spring 2024, with ticketing options to be announced later for access to the Anaheim Convention Center and the Honda Center. Admission for D23 Day at Angel Stadium and the D23 kickoff celebration at Disneyland Resort will be available as separate ticketed events. Additional details for D23: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event will be announced in early 2024.

You can get updates by staying connected to D23 via social media (@DisneyD23 on FacebookInstagramX),, and our weekly D23 FanFare email (sign up for free as a D23 General Member at

About D23

The name “D23” pays homage to the exciting journey that began in 1923 when Walt Disney opened his first studio in Hollywood. D23 is the first official club for fans in Disney’s nearly 100-year history. It gives its members a greater connection to the entire world of Disney by placing them in the middle of the magic year-round through its quarterly publication, Disney twenty-three; the latest news and stories on; member-exclusive offers and discounts; the popular D23 Inside Disney podcast; and special experiences for D23 Members throughout the year.

Fans can join D23 at Gold Membership ($99.99/year), Gold Duo Membership ($129.99/year), and General Membership (complimentary) levels at To keep up with all the latest D23 news and events, follow DisneyD23 on Facebook, Instagram, X, TikTok, and YouTube.

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News & Press Releases

Star Wars Spoof: Space Robots in Outer Space Ep X: Battle for the Halcyon: The Last Starcruiser



Sure, Star Wars is cool and all. But let’s not forget about that other multi-part sci-fi cinematic spectacular, “Space Robots in Outer Space.” In fact, Hank Lonely (Hollywood’s ultimate hyphenate — actor / producer / director / writer / guy who makes sure the Porto Potties are kept squeaky-clean) just announced that there’ll soon be a 10th installment of this … Well, not exactly beloved. How about we say “admired from afar” instead? … series coming to a theater near you. In fact, here’s the highly anticipated teaser trailer for that project. Which is supposed to be titled “Space Robots in Outer Space X — Battle for the Halycon: The Last Starcruiser.”

Okay. Now the real story … In honor of Star Wars Day (i.e., May 4th. As in “May the Fourth Be With You”), Len Testa and I are sharing something that we produced with the help of all the nice folks who joined us last month aboard the Halycon.

We turned the Galactic Starcruiser as well as Black Spire Outpost into the backdrop for an affectionate send-up of all things Stars Wars. We hope that you (more importantly, the legal team at Lucasfilm) take this faux trailer in the spirit with which it was intended. Special thanks to Aaron Adams for so skillfully stitching all of this footage together. Also thanks to the team at Storybook Destinations, Touring Plans and the talented cast & crew aboard the “Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser” for making this “Disney Dish” fan event so memorable.

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News & Press Releases

Disney’s New Trailer Reveals How Ralph & Vanellope Get to the Internet in “Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2”



Wreck-It Ralph 2

When “Wreck-It Ralph” opened on Nov. 2, 2012, it turned in the highest opening weekend ever for a Walt Disney Animation Studios film at the time of release. Now Disney is hoping Ralph will not only break the Internet but the 2018 Thanksgiving boxoffice records as well.

The film re-teams the original director, producer and co-writer behind “Wreck-It Ralph.”  The screenplay is currently being written by Phil Johnston and Pamela Ribon. Director Rich Moore, producer Clark Spencer, and co-writer Phil Johnston partnered with fellow director Byron Howard and co-writer/co-director Jared Bush to create the Academy Award®-winning blockbuster feature “Zootopia.”

ROYAL REUNION – In “Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck It Ralph 2,” Vanellope von Schweetz-along with her best friend Ralph-ventures into the uncharted world of the internet. When she finds herself surrounded by Disney princesses, she’s surprised to learn that she actually has a lot in common with them. The scene, highlighted in a new trailer for the film (below), features several of the original princess voices, including Auli’i Cravalho (“Moana”), Kristen Bell (Anna in “Frozen”), Idina Menzel (Elsa in “Frozen”), Kelly MacDonald (Merida in “Brave”), Mandy Moore (Rapunzel in “Tangled”), Anika Noni Rose (Tiana in “The Princess and the Frog”), Ming-Na Wen (“Mulan”), Irene Bedard (“Pocahontas”), Linda Larkin (Jasmine in “Aladdin”), Paige O’Hara (Belle in “Beauty and the Beast”) and Jodi Benson (Ariel in “The Little Mermaid”). Featuring Sarah Silverman as the voice of Vanellope, “Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck It Ralph 2” opens in theaters nationwide Nov. 21, 2018. 





U.S. Release Date:  Nov. 21, 2018

Voice cast: John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Taraji P. Henson, Jack McBrayer, Jane Lynch, Alan Tudyk

Directors: Rich Moore, Phil Johnston

Producer: Clark Spencer

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