The Shmooze

Meet the 3 Jews Who Made 'The Lion King' Possible

By Rachel X. Landes

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Ready to feel old? “The Lion King” turns 20 (almost legal!) today.

On June 24, 1994, one of the most successful animated features ever entered theaters. In honor of the much-loved Disney classic, we recognize the Jews who made “The Lion King” possible.

1) Matthew Broderick: Voice of Adult Simba

Probably most well known for his teenaged antics in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” Matthew is now 52 and has been married to Sarah Jessica Parker for 17 years.


2) Rob Minkoff: Director

By the time Rob started directing “The Lion King,” he had already worked on “The Little Mermaid,” and “The Brave Little Toaster.” After, he moved on to direct “The Haunted” Mansion and “Stuart Little.”


3) Jeffrey Katzenberg: Chairman of The Walt Disney Studios

Later that year, Jeffery left Disney and founded DreamWorks with Steven Spielberg and David Geffen. Since then, he’s been involved in the production of such masterpieces as “Shrek,” “Kung Fu Panda,” and “How to Train Your Dragon.”


Honorable mention: Whoopi Goldberg — Voice of Shenzi

Although not Jewish, Whoopi deserves a nod. She changed her surname to Goldberg because her mother told her that only Jews could make it in Hollywood. Most recently, you can find Whoopi as a guest character on Glee.


Happy birthday “Lion King”! Here’s to many more happy childhoods.


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