Jason Weaver provided the singing voice for Young Simba in 1994's The Lion King, and ever since, he's been collecting royalties for his work. That almost wasn't the case, however, as the actor and singer revealed in an interview for Vlad TV that he was initially offered a $2 million flat rate from Disney with no royalties, but he turned that down.
“I remember it was like $2 million,” said Weaver. “You gotta remember, they’re coming off of Beauty and the Beast. They’re coming off of Aladdin. Disney had bread.” Since Weaver was only a minor at the time, his mother decided that it would be a bigger benefit for her son if she negotiated royalties instead. Eventually, he was able to walk off with $100,000 upfront and a share of royalties.
"Disney had a reputation for re-releasing stuff," he continued. "I think at that time they had put out Sleeping Beauty and some of their old catalog 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."
Thanks to the negotiation abilities of his mother, Weaver added that he has been able to more than make-up for turning down $2 million with his royalties from the film.