Last year, during Walt Disney Africa’s Annual Showcase event, Nick and I got treated to the first look at The Lion Guard, Disney’s upcoming direct-to-TV sequel movie/TV series to its seminal 1994 classic The Lion King. While the sequel is clearly aimed more at kids and seemed to lack the maturity and depth of its Oscar winning, $987 million grossing predecessor, it still looked pretty good, boasting the same style of catchy music and some really good animation. And that sentiment was continued when I got another look at it a few weeks ago, for this year’s Showcase event.
Of course, both times, we could just tell you guys about it due to strict media embargoes, but that most recent look has now finally found its way online, so we can now share with the rest of you what we saw. The clip introduces us to Kion (voiced by Peabody and Sherman‘s Max Charles), the second-born cub of Simba and Nala, along with his mischievous best friend Bunga (Joshua Rush) as their playtime gets interrupted by some hyenas. Check it out below.
And here’s the official blurb for The Lion Guard provided to us by Disney:
“The Lion Guard” begins as Kion, the second-born cub of Simba and Nala, assumes the role of leader of the Lion Guard, a group of the bravest and brightest tasked with preserving the Pride Lands. Instead of assembling a team of young lions to serve with him, Kion challenges tradition by calling upon friends he believes are the best choices – Bunga, a fearless honey badger; Fuli, a confident cheetah; Beshte, a happy-go-lucky hippo; and Ono, an intellectual egret. Stories will include special appearances by Mufasa, Timon, Pumbaa, Rafiki, Zazu and Kion’s older sister, Kiara, the future Queen of the Pride Lands.
It’s also being reported that Rob Lowe and Gabrielle Union will be respectively voicing Simba and Nala, while James Earl Jones is expected to be occasionally reprising his role as Mufasa, offering advice and guidance to Kion from the afterlife like he did for Simba.
The Lion Guard is actually the second sequel to The Lion King as The Lion King 2: Simba’s Pride was released in 1998, and is one of the best direct-to-video releases of all time. The Lion Guard will look to live up to that legacy when the TV movie, subtitled Return of the Roar debuts later in November this year, and that will then be followed up by a full season TV series on the Disney Channel in January 2016.
Last Updated: August 19, 2015