HOLLYWOOD — Whoopi Goldberg and Cheech Marin have rejoined the voice cast from the original “The Lion King” for Disney’s second animated DVD premiere sequel, “The Lion King 1½: Hakuna Matata,” which will be released in February.
Project, originally titled “The Lion King 3,” has been in the works for more than three years.
A special DVD edition of “The Lion King 2: Simba’s Pride” will be released in fall 2004 loaded with extra features. That pic, which stands as far and away the all-time bestselling video premiere movie, with more than 15 million copies sold on VHS since 1998, was the first movie inducted into the DVD Exclusive Awards’ Academy of Artistic Achievement in 2001.
“LK2” was one of the first Disney animated movies released on DVD and did not come with many extras.
The DVD of “LK1.5” will feature numerous extras, such as a mockumentary tracing Timon’s childhood, a making-of featurette, a collection of funny moments in Disney animated movies, an interactive tour of the Pridelands, a trivia game, deleted scenes and musicvideos.
“LK1.5” and “LK2” will follow the Oct. 7 DVD debut of “The Lion King,” the all-time bestselling homevideo title with more than 31 million copies sold to date on VHS alone.
Since “LK1.5” takes place at the same time as the “The Lion King” but from the perspective of Timon and Pumbaa, the hyena characters of Goldberg and Marin make a return appearance, rejoining other original cast and music performers previously reported by Daily Variety sister publication DVD Exclusive (formerly DVD Premieres), including Nathan Lane (Timon).
Pic will also feature original songs by Lebo M and a song by original composers Elton John and Tim Rice that was recorded as a Timon and Pumbaa duet called “Warthog Rhapsody” but unused in the original movie. It was recently re-recorded by Lane and renamed “Meerkat Rhapsody.”
Also reprising their characters will be Matthew Broderick (Simba), Robert Guillaume (Rafiki), Moira Kelly (Nala), Ernie Sabella (Pumbaa), Edward Hibbert (Zasu in LK2) and Jim Cummings (Ed).
New to the voice cast will be Julie Kavner as Timon’s mom, Jerry Stiller as Uncle Max and Shaun Fleming as Young Simba.