Mike Burns, Co-Founder of CanMuseum.com, must be singing “Hakuna Matata” after writing this beverage can review
About a month ago I showed you an outstanding 5-can set of Disney’s Aladdin cans from Fanta Germany released in 1994. This week, I’d like to show you an equally impressive 5-can set from Fanta Germany put out the following year, in 1995, to promote Disney’s The Lion King.
The Lion King was Disney’s 32nd animated film. It was released nationwide in the United States on June 15, 1994 and made its way over to Germany on November 17, 1994. The story is the tale of a father and son in a lion kingdom in Africa. It is said to have been inspired by stories of Moses and Joseph from the Bible and Hamlet by William Shakespeare. Some voice actors in The Lion King included James Earl Jones, Matthew Broderick, Jeremy Irons, and Jonathan Taylor Thomas. As of 2011, The Lion King is the highest-grossing hand-drawn film in history. It had two sequels, a Broadway adaptation, won two Academy awards for music (thanks to Elton John and Tim Rice), and a Golden Globe award for Best Motion Picture.
Fanta’s Lion King cans are all made from steel like the Aladdin cans. All of the cans in this set are in full color on a white background and only on the Fanta Orangenlimonade (translated: Orangeade or Orange Soda) flavor. Each can has text that reads, “Film-Sammelmotiv” (translated: Film-motif collection) followed by the number of the can in the set. The artwork on each can looks like it could have been taken from a scene in the movie.
Unlike the Aladdin cans, however, none of The Lion King cans have a unique title for each scene. All scene borders are the same in size and shape but differ in color scheme. Above the top of the scene border we see silhouettes of the characters from the film in front of an orange sky and a setting sun. Just below them at the top of the border is a logo the reads, “Disney’s DER KÖNIG DER LÖWEN” (Translated: Disney’s The Lion King). Lastly, all scenes, unfortunately, have a distracting white rectangle lying on top of them near the lower right side with the printing, “Großes Fanta Gewinnspiel! Rufen Sie an: 01805 / 331616″ (translated: Large Fanta contest! Call: 01805 / 331 606).
On the first can we see Simba, a small, newborn lion cub, being held by Sarabi, his mother, while Rafiki, a shaman-like mandril, is about to apply juice from a fruit to Simba’s brow as a ceremonial crown. This scene takes place during the song “The Circle of Life” and is just before Rafiki holds Simba up in the air on Pride Rock for the entire kingdom of animals to see. The border has an orange background on the top and bottom and a blue background on the sides with green symbols.
The second can shows Simba, now a few months older, playing in the mane of his father, Mufasa. They are in the grasslands under a starry night sky. However, strangely the sky is white and the stars are blue. The border has a red background on the top and bottom and a blue background on the sides with orange and yellow symbols.
The third can’s scene shows Scar, Mufasa’s brother and antagonist in the story with the hyenas. One of them has apparently fallen into some thorns and is now airborne in agony as the others look on in laughter. The border has an orange background on the top and bottom and a blue background on the sides with green symbols just like can #1.
Can four shows a scene in which Simba (still as a cub), meets up with Timon, an outcast meerkat, and Pumba, a warthog. Here they are all in the water as they sing, “Hakuna Matata” (No worries). The border has a red background on the top and bottom and a blue background on the sides with orange and yellow symbols like on can #2.
The last can jumps to the second half of the story with a grown-up Simba snuggling up to his love-interest, Nala. This is a scene from the song, “Can You Feel the Love Tonight”. The border has a red background on the top and bottom and a blue background on the sides with orange and yellow symbols like on can #2.
Overall, the 1995 Fanta Disney’s The Lion King Cans are a great set. I really like all of the designs as they capture key scenes during memorable songs from this animated classic. My only pet peeve is the ad for the “Large Fanta Contest” covering a portion of each piece of artwork.