Hans Zimmer: The Lion King

Released: 1994
Director: Don Hahn
Cast: Matthew Broderick, James Earl Jones, Jeremy Irons

The Film: Influenced by the biblical tales of Joseph and Moses and William Shakespeare's Hamlet, 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 fooled 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 friend, Nala, and his shamen, Rafiki, before returning to challenge Scar to end his tyranny.

The score: Hans Zimmer turns drawings of lions into living, emoting creatures with his remarkable African-influenced score for the Disney classic. Hired because of his work on The Power of One and A World Apart, both of which were set in South Africa, Zimmer infused his score for The Lion King with many elements of traditional African music and choir arrangments from South African composer Lebo M, which perfectly soundtracked Simba's journey through the Pride Lands. The Lion King soundtrack has gone on to be phenomenally successful, and certainly one of the most cherished of all Disney soundtracks.