Disney Junior to Unleash Lion King Sequel Series

The Lion Guard

Almost 20 years to the day that The Lion King first roared into theaters, Disney Junior has announced its plans for a follow-up TV-movie and series.

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The Lion Guard — which will be geared toward kids age 2-7 and debut as a movie in fall 2015 before going to series in early 2016 — follows Kion, the second born cub of Simba and Nala, as he leads the titular group, which is tasked with preserving the Pride Lands. But rather than assemble a team of young lions to serve alongside him, Kion enlists a fearless honey badger, a confident cheetah, a happy-go-lucky hippo and an intellectual egret.

The Lion King franchise’s Mufasa, Timon, Pumbaa, Rafiki, Zazu and Kion’s older sister Kiara, the future Queen of the Pride Lands, can be counted on for occasional drop-ins.

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With consults from wildlife education experts at Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park, The Lion Guard will incorporate themes of conservation, family and community while also highlighting problem-solving, creative thinking and diversity.

News of the series was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.

“The story of The Lion King has deeply touched families around the world since its original theatrical release 20 years ago,” Disney Junior Worldwide EVP Nancy Kanter said in a statement. “We look forward to introducing a whole new generation of kids to both the Disney legacy characters and to new friends and heroes.”

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  1. Gary says:

    Any word on whether original voice actors will be involved with those drop in appearances?

  2. Eric says:

    As someone who was grew up watching The Lion King and it’s first sequel, I’m not sure how I feel about this. As long as it’s done well and the source material is respected, it could turn out good. It would be neat if some of the original voice actors returned for this. Matthew Broderick doesn’t have much going on these days, does he?

  3. David4 says:

    It’s about 15 years too late. Really weird that they are doing this now. I hope it’s not CGI.

  4. Dennis says:

    At first I was like ehhhhhh but then I saw it was for the little ones and then I was all awwwww that’s cute :)

  5. Sarah says:

    Ehh… if it’s geared for ages that low, I take it that it won’t be as fun for an adult to watch as MLP and Adventure Time are ? Or even the original Lion King movie ? Disney movies have always catered to adults as well with little jokes and references..

  6. Matt says:

    Mufasa? Or do you mean Simba. Mufasa died (spoiler alert)

  7. James says:

    Can we all feel the love tonight? (Toniiiiiight!) I sure hope so with this. :D

  8. Brandy says:

    It’s like Girl Meets World, but worse.

  9. I like it. I was 10 when The Lion King came out and my son will turn 3 about when this show premieres. How awesome will it be to watch my son become a fan of Simba’s son?? :D

  10. Ally Oop says:

    Yay for me! I’m actually excited as I usually end up having to watch plenty of Disney Junior. By then my kids will be 4 and 6, the perfect ages for the show. I already got them into all the Disney Classics thanks to buying a VCR and several videos from a garage sale.

  11. Okay, I kind of think this is a cute idea. But at the same time, it kinda aggravates me.

    Disney does seem to have some modicum of respect for their legacy of animated characters, but at the same time they are severely limiting themselves in this regard by just keeping it shows targeted at the youngest child audiences. These kinds of classic characters seriously need to grow up with the kids, don’t be afraid to give enough of an edge beyond edutainment appeal (also evident in their abundant, older-skewing live-action comedies). I know that’s the current Disney MO, but if you rather look to (for example) the style of the Disney Afternoon I think certain creative minds would be pleasantly surprised. Trying something like that may not be harmful, and may reap tremendous benefits in the end.

    Hopefully this can change soon, although the Disney XD-bound “The 7D” sounds promising.

  12. Addie says:

    It sounds cute. I think this kind of stuff (along with Sofia the First and Jake and the Neverland Pirates) is a good way to get the kids interested in the original movies. And no one complained about the Aladdin or The Little Mermaid TV series.

  13. Werebereus says:

    This is gonna be a trainwreck, I can feel it. There’s already a great deal of angst and contentions in the TLK fandom (and I myself hate this little whelps carbon copy design).

    Really Disney? We wait YEARS for new TLK content and this is all you can give us? A stupid preschool movie/show? How insulting.

  14. Michelle says:

    I’m albinoraven666fanart from deviantart.com, and I’m a Lion King fan artist. I love the lion king so much, I even have an ongoing comic going on about it. I’m such a Lion King nerd and I’m TOTALLY on board with this now that I know that he will be Kiara’s younger brother, rather than a replacement for her. Even if it ends up being a silly kids show that I can’t really relate too I’m happy that new characters will be introduced into the fandom.

  15. Shanna says:

    OMG! About time there’s gonna be a NEW the lion king ! I can’t wait to watch it!!

  16. I want to know. Why does this character have a pawprint on him? Is it part of the series. I mean I waited years for a new lion king. But this is just insulting. I mean where’s Kovu and it doesn’t mention anything of nala and samba being in it. So how are we supposed to know if he is samba and nalas son. Besides the fact he does look like samba. But he looks way much more like Mufasa. And if you haven’t noticed in the lion king 2 kiara looked alot like Sarabi. Speaking of Sarabi, what happened to her anyway. We only seen her once. I mean she’s Simbas mother. I am so ashamed in disney. Why now you make it. And for kids, that’s honestly a insult to The lion king. I am so pissed at this. I have so many questions for Disney about this!!!!

  17. dele'z says:

    i don’t like how simbas son is his youngest cub truely i think it be more exciting if if kiara’s brother was a mystery and he was a protective older brother to kiara and he was first in line for the throne

  18. destiny says:

    This makes me mad! i always wanted to have a lion king 3, not a sequel. I thought it was going to be about Simba having a kind before Kiara, that was thought to be killed by Zira but wasn’t and ran away after he saved Vitani (her dauter). Later to find’s his dad and big sister and tells them that Zira is out to kill every one that is related to Simba for killing Scar. But Simba’s secret son has a crush on Vitani. So later Simba’s son sneeks out to finsh it, but is stoped by…

  19. Anastasia says:

    An executive said, “We look forward to introducing a whole new generation of kids to both the Disney legacy characters and to new friends and heroes.” Why not do a spin off picking up where TLK II: Simba’s Pride left off. I’m glad Kiara will make an appearance but I would have preferred they just pick up with Kiara and Kovu and their life.
    Adding a spin off isn’t exactly necessary but if you are doing one (while including a movie) start off with what true fans of the TLK remember and loved and take the newer generation back to the classic story and excellent soundtrack.
    Don’t ruin this Disney…please just don’t

  20. Aleu says:

    what time does the lion guard start

  21. Flynn Sullivan says:

    Personally, I’m stuck between hallelujah and meh. The animal team sounds really dumb(who do you wanna see, hippos and honeybadgers or lions?), but acknowledging TLK2 gives me hope for the project. It could really go either way.

  22. Victoria says:

    What about Kopa? I was on Google and saw pictures of Kopa, Kiara and Kion.