Disney Preps ‘Lion Guard’ TV Movie and Series

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Disney Television Animation has kicked off production on The Lion Guard, a new animated TV movie and series that will continue to story of Walt Disney Studios’ Oscar winning 1994 musical adventure The Lion King. Aimed at kids 2-7 and their families, the TV movie will premiere in Fall 2015, with the show set to debut in early 2016 on Disney Junior and Disney Channel.

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 an all-lion team, Kion breaks with tradition and calls upon friends from across the animal kingdom he believes are the best choices: Bunga, a fearless honey badger; Fuli, a confident cheetah; Besthe, 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, future Queen of the Pride Lands.

The movie and series were developed by Ford Riley (Special Agent Oso), who also serves as executive producer. Howy Parkins (Jake and the Never Land Pirates) is director. Christopher Willis (Mickey Mouse) is the composer. The wildlife education experts at Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park will serve as consultants on The Lion Guard stories, which will incorporate themes of conservation, family and community while highlighting problem-solving, creative thinking and diversity. Author and Swahili expert Sarah Mirza is the language and cultural advisor for the production.

The Lion Guard

The Lion Guard

The Lion Guard

The Lion Guard

  • danielle1986

    A nice idea in concept- but the design of that Kion character…what an eyesore! It looks like a cliched Deviantart OC from a sixth grader, sleekly reimagined by a Disney animation veteran.

    • Agentwhitehawk/Jenn

      Pffffft, I’ve seen TLK ocs on DeviantART that have even more original, well-thought-out designs than Kion.
      Even with Simba and Nala’s classic designs, they could get a cub design that is somewhat interesting. They don’t have to make him look just like a simba/Mufasa clone because he’s male. They could have used a bit of Nala’s design and coloration for him, only a male version (Kiara had Cub Nala’s general appearance with some original elements mixed in. They’re subtle but they are there, even if it’s not a striking difference). In addition to that, they could throw some more original aspects into the design to mix it up. I, my opinion, they shouldn’t have gone for the non-canon Kopa-esq hair tuft. A lot of fans who are familiar with the character are just going to think of Kopa when they see Kion, even if Kopa isn’t a legitimate canon character. Regardless, there are many ways you could go about designing this character. There is a subtle art to designing characters. You have to go about it in the right way.

      The other thing I would have loved to see them do is go back to the original TLK conceptual art and work in some of the really early designs.They don’t have to change the signature tlk style (the conceptual artwork was beautiful, but the TLK style they have developed is simply gold), but they could have done so much more, and revamped their ideas and inspiration by doing that. I’m an artist myself and design characters all the time, I’m an amateur and I could do better, they’re pros, thats what they do for a living, but of course they choose the less artistic, more simplistic design. I know this is a children’s show, but people who have loved TLK for years are going to re-visit the fandom with this story, they might as well make it good and therefore introduce classic, beautiful animated films to kids today.

  • Uninterested-and-displeased_14

    It is literally Simba with a little puff of red hair and a paw print on his shoulder.

    Stop beating old ideas to death, and use your time and money to actually come up with more interesting, creative, and new concepts.

  • Red786

    The only thing I can see positive out of this is if Disney starts to pick up traditional animation again, since I cannot imagine the Lion King in anything but hand drawn style.
    If they make this CG, than it will be a failure from the start.