Lion King: Art of the Costume

Gareth Saxe as Scar in “The Lion King” on Broadway (Julie Taymor)

There’s no end to the popularity of The Lion King, which broke box office records on the weekend in its latest movie version. It’s a good time to appreciate the original stage show, especially the costumes, designed by Broadway producer and director Julie Taymor.

Taymor also co-designed the masks for the stage production, Broadway’s highest-grossing show of all time. It won six 1998 Tony Awards, including Best Musical and Best Direction of a Musical, making Taymor the first woman in theatrical history to receive the honour.

Julie Taymor carving a mask for The Lion King

Taymor also won a Tony Award for Costume Design.

Below, a couple of  Taymor’s original sketches.

Mufasa and Scar, below.

One of Julie Taymor’s renderings, this one for the grasslands.

Below, a grasslands scene.

This short promo is a superb flypast of key costumes.

Here’s a more in-depth (5-minute) look at the Broadway costumes, with sketches.

Julie Taymor website, here.

A feature on Taymor, here.

12 replies »

  1. I saw the stage adaptation a long time ago. The costume designs were intricate, but I really wish Disney would give credit to Tezuka’s Kimba the White Lion series which The Lion King literally wouldn’t exist without it. That and shame on them for trying to block the Jungle Emperor Leo 1997 sequel for it’s North American debut in Canada.

    Liked by 1 person

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