Lion King Goes High-Tech, Launching 360-Degree Video of "Circle of Life"

News   Lion King Goes High-Tech, Launching 360-Degree Video of "Circle of Life" Starting at 6:30 AM (ET) Nov. 18, fans of Broadway's The Lion King will be able to experience the opening number, "Circle of Life," the way only the actors have been able to do until now — in a 360-degree view from the middle of the action.

The number was shot using virtual-reality technology, marking the first time the technology has been used inside a Broadway theatre, though Andrew Lloyd Webber's School of Rock recently used the technology to shoot one of its numbers inside a New York City classroom.

Lloyd Webber released a statement the evening of Nov. 17 chiding Lion King for its claim. Lloyd Webber wrote, "Just as there is no debate about who were the first anthropomorphized felines on Broadway, there should be no debate about which show was the first to use 360 degree technology. Big cats shouldn't be copycats!" Lloyd Webber composed the music for Cats. The run of The Lion King recently surpassed that of Cats.

The "Circle of Life" video will debut Nov. 18 at 6:30 AM EST on Wired.com and can be viewed in the following ways:

  • To view on a desktop, open the link in the latest Chrome browser and use your mouse to click and drag to navigate your view.
  • To view on mobile or tablet, open the link in the latest YouTube app and move your device to navigate your view.
  • To view on a headset, watch on Google Cardboard with the YouTube app (Android only). Beginning at 1 PM EST Nov. 18, the video will be available on YouTube and Facebook and can be viewed in the following ways:

  • To view on a desktop, visit YouTube.com/DisneyonBroadway or Facebook.com/TheLionKing in the latest Chrome browser and use your mouse to click and drag to navigate your view.
  • To view on mobile or tablet, open the latest YouTube or Facebook app and visit the Disney On Broadway YouTube Channel or The Lion King Facebook Page. Move your device to navigate your view.
  • To view on a headset: Watch on the Samsung Gear VR with MilkVR. Watch on Google Cardboard with the YouTube app (Android only) or the Littlstar app (available on the App Store and Play Store).

Watch a featurette about the shooting of the video below:

The technology was pioneered on Broadway Oct. 14 when School of Rock released a similar clip, which has been seen by more than 1 million viewers. Watch it here.

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