In 1994, Disney premiered what was to become one of it’s most iconic movies of all time, The Lion King. The majestic soundtrack that would earn Elton John an Academy Award for Best Music, Original Song and Hans Zimmer would win one for Best Music, Original Score, it has tunes that have both children and adults humming and singing along today. (reference It also grossed over 424 million dollars in 1994, making it one of the top grossing films of all time., and combined with home video sales, it topped off at almost one billion dollars.
Of course, Disney went after this huge success with lots of related merchandise and two straight to DVD sequels. The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride, was released in 1998 and told the tale of Simb and Nala’s first-born, Kiara. She meets Kovu, an outcast cub, when she is young. He is an outcast whose mother is a follower of Scar, Simba’s uncle who killed Mufasa, who was his brother and Simba’s father. Their relationship is the focus of this movie.
In Lion King 1 1/2 was released in 2004. This movie shares the story of our favorite market and wart hog. We learn in this film how they met and what happened to them before they met Simba and what happened in the time he was with them before Nala found Simba again.
Now there is a brand new Lion King television movie and children’s program scheduled to premiere this November. The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar, is a one hour movie that will be shown on The Disney Channel. It features many of the familiar characters adults have loved over the years (with the hope that this generation of children will fall in love with them as well). Simba, Nala. Kiara, Timon, Pumbaa, Rafiki, Zazu and Mufasa will all be a part of the series, which will take it’s own spot on the Disney Channel’s preschool winter 2016 lineup.
The Plot of The Lion Guard
Lessons Disney Wishes to Impart
Simba and Nala had a second cub, a son whose name is Kion. While his older sister Kiara is set to be the next Queen of the Pride Lands, Kion has his own destiny to fulfill. He creates a group of animals known as The Lion Guard, whose purpose is protect their territory from the enemy (hyenas are also a part of the show, their old nemesis). This guard has traditionally been comprised only of lions, but Kion is bucking the system. He recruits his friends-a honey badger, a cheetah, a hippo and an egret-to form this new protective service. Diversity will be one of the many messages this show will be sharing.
While Disney hopes to score with a new line of Lion Guard merchandise, there is also an educational component to the new series. Much like Miles From Tomorrowland, Sheriff Callie’s Wild West, Henry Hugglemonster and Sofia the First all have lesson weaved throughout the program. so does this show. Disney has consulted with the experts at it’s Animal Kingdom park so it can integrate topics such as conservation into the various episodes. Of course, other familiar topics such as cooperation, being kind and the importance of family will also be a part of the series as well.
The Cast of the Lion Guard
Many familiar voices will be heard in The Lion Guard. James Earl Jones will once again voice the character of Mufasa, the original Lion King. Rob Lowe will be replacing Matthew Broderick as the voice of Simba, and Attticus Shaeffer from ABC’s The Middle will be the vocal talent of Ono, the egret who is Kion’s friend. Gabrielle Union from City of Angels will be portraying Nala, Simba’s mother.
Rounding out the cast are Kevin Schon as Timon, Ernie Sabella as Pumbaa and child actor Max Charles as the lead character, Kion.
Brand new for Halloween 2016, this The Lion Guard costume is a two piece ensemble. It is a jumpsuit with lifelike claws. The headpiece features the face of Kion.
The Lion Guard promises to be one of the most anticipated movies and programs of the fall and winter season!
Featured image from Pixabay and altered by the author in Picmonkey.