“The Lion King” a quarter of a century ago because of his Zimmer

The emotional score has gotten him jobs, his only Oscar and secured him a place in the hearts of children and adults. But he wasn’t sure he wanted to come back when Jon Favreau approached him to revisit the soundtrack for his technologically advanced reimagining of the animated film, which opened nationwide Thursday night.

“I’m always the one saying no to everything,” Zimmer, 61, said. “I suppose I’m the reluctant bride.”

He only agreed to do “The Lion King” a quarter of a century ago because of his daughter. She was 6 at the time, and his movies at that point weren’t exactly child-friendly.

“I couldn’t take her to a Tony Scott bloodbath,” Zimmer said.

He had one stipulation: That it wasn’t going to be a musical.

“I said I don’t want to do a musical, I hate musicals,” Zimmer said. “And they said, we’ll guarantee you this will not become a musical ever.” How it ended up that way is, “another story.”

But it’s not the only way “The Lion King” diverged from his expectations. What he thought was going to be a “nice cartoon” turned into something much darker. The story about a young prince who loses his father hit a nerve for Zimmer, who also lost his father at a young age.