THE DISNEY CONSERVATION FUND - Partnerships to Protectthe Magic of Nature QWhether its in the Disney theme parks, on a big or small screen, or through experiences that bring people face-to-face with animals around the world, dedicated experts work hard to convey the magic of nature and become ambassadors for the many species they work withand on behalf of. Through company-wide partnerships, every effort is made to ensure animals are represented in accurate and respectful ways. One such example of this is the research that went into the making of the 2019 live-action film Disneys The Lion King. More than two years before director Jon Favreaus groundbreaking feature film was slated to hit theaters, the filmmaking team spent weeks observing the incredible African species residing at Disneys Animal Kingdom and at Disneys Animal Kingdom Lodge to expand their up-close, real-life character inspirations. (And that was before their research trip to Africa.)The team shadowed the experts from Disneys Animals, Science and Environment (ASE) team, which allowed them to gain unique insight from the Cast Members responsible for the daily care of each animal, and to experience the social dynamics, behaviors, and personalities of each species. As the filmmakers marveled at the beauty of these animals, they captured reference photographs of the natural behaviors of the individual species to ensure accuracy in the film. Our company is dedicated to protecting all wildlife and celebrating the important role animals play in the world. The steps the Walt Disney Studios took to bring to life animals in this film as realistically as possible is just one example, says Mark Penning, vice president of Disneys Animals, Science and Environment.