Countdown to 'Star Wars'

Don Hahn knows big movies when he sees them

Don Hahn and Timon attend a VIP premiere screening for Disney’s “The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar.”
Don Hahn and Timon attend a VIP premiere screening for Disney’s “The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar.” Disney Channel

Don Hahn has been around a lot of huge movies. He was the producer on “The Lion King,” “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” and “The Emperor’s New Groove.”

What he’s tried to do with each film with which he’s been associated is to try to create the kind of magical feeling he had the first time he saw “Star Wars: A New Hope.”

“I went to Westwood the first week it was playing,” Hahn says during an interview at the Disney Studios. He was on hand to see the cable movie, “The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar,” that is based on his “Lion King” movie.

“I remember the opening shot – as we all do – as we see the opening titles recede away from us and then that huge honking ship came over the top. Now, audiences take that for granted but at the time, we were all ducking.”

Hahn knew “Star Wars” was the beginning of a new era in films.

As for his own work, there has been a real circle of life. James Earl Jones, the voice of Darth Vader, was the vocal talent behind Mufasa in “Lion King.”

Rick Bentley: 559-441-6355, @RickBentley1

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