Singer who voiced Young Simba in 'The Lion King' turned down $2m in favour of royalties

Singer who voiced Young Simba in 'The Lion King' turned down $2m in favour of royalties

In life, you come to certain crossroads that can define you forever. Depending on which road you take, you can end up as the happiest human who ever lived, or an utterly miserable, regret-filled husk. It’s kind of scary if you think about it too hard. But, if you’re lucky enough to make the right decision, you’ll be laughing all the way to the bank. No one understands this better than former child star, Jason Weaver. 

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In 1994, actor Jason Weaver beat out the competition to play the singing voice of young Simba in Disney’s classic The Lion King. As part of his deal with the studio, executives made him an incredible offer - $2 million for his participation in the project. But, despite the prospect of more money than any 15-year-old could know what to do with, Weaver turned it down.

It turned out to be the best decision he ever made. 

Check out the full interview:

According to an interview Weaver gave to Vlad TV, his mother decided that it would be much better for her son if he forsook the upfront payment, in favour of royalties. As he explained it:

"Disney had a reputation for re-releasing stuff. I think at that time they had put out Sleeping Beauty and some of their old catalogue from when Walt Disney was alive. They were releasing that stuff when they were releasing the new Disney stuff, so she [Weaver's mother] was able to see the playing field and go, ‘Wait a minute, this is going to make a lot of money over time, so what happens when my son turns 40? Is he going to be able to get a check for this when they eventually re-release this."

Although it’s not clear exactly how much Weaver has been able to pocket from this crucial decision, most estimates suggest that it’s been well worth it. According to Celebrity Net Worth, the actor and singer is still worth a whopping $4 million dollars, 25 years after the release of his most famous feature.

It just goes to show, patience sometimes pays dividends.