The Lion King has now been on Broadway for 25 years, delighting generations of theater goers. To commemorate the anniversary, Disney Theatrical Productions partnered with creative production and post studio ArtClass’ Jamaal Parham and Bashan Aquart, also known as the Brooklyn-based directing duo, Jams x Bash, to collaborate on a branded short film, “Generations.”
The spot commemorates the production’s legacy, forged over a quarter century, as seen through three generations of a family. The commercial takes viewers on a time hop, intercutting from 1997 to present day, showcasing the bonds the show has forged, from teens going for the first time with their mothers to the mothers giving the experience to their daughters. At the same time, the film celebrates Broadway and the impact of live performance on audiences, particularly New Yorkers.
Shot entirely on location in New York City and featuring the current cast of the show, the film is a celebration of the power of Broadway.
Jams x Bash approached the creative, created in conjunction with ArtClass, with the idea that The Lion King is integral to their understanding of community.
“The feelings we have towards The Lion King as a whole made its way into our project,” shared directors Jams x Bash in a statement. “Over the 25 years it’s been on Broadway and in the world, it’s consistently been an experience of something really beautiful. This piece is probably the most genuine and heartfelt thing we’ve ever crafted and there’s so much about how we feel about shared experiences embedded into the short film.”
The Lion King is a top five-grossing Broadway show, running nearly 1,300 consecutive weeks and counting. Currently, 115,000 people enjoy the show in nine productions on three continents every week. There have been 27 productions over the life of the show, seen by 112 million people.
“Over the past 25 years, we have heard countless stories from audience members around the world about their experience seeing The Lion King with someone they love. From one generation to the next, the show has almost become a rite of passage for many families,” said Angelo Desimini, vice president, marketing, publicity, sales and education, Disney Theatrical Productions in a statement. “With this spot, we set out to bring these memories to life.”