Disney hasn’t always had the best luck when it comes to spin-offs of their animated classics. Anyone remember The Little Mermaid Saturday morning animated series? Or all the cheaply done straight-to-VHS sequels to Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, Peter Pan, and the rest? For awhile there, the idea of “…and they lived Happily Ever After” was clearly not good enough.
Sure, all these movies and shows made money, but almost all of them had the stink of cheap cash grab about them. Of all of these various spin-offs, though, it was perhaps those to the 1994 mega-hit The Lion King that fared the best in terms of quality, if only because that story’s generational narrative lent itself to sequels and long-form storytelling. (although I’m not sure a movie called Lion King 1 1/2 was ever needed.) For the most part, the continuations of Simba’s saga have been pretty good.
Now, Disney is returning to the world of Pride Rock, with a new animated series on the Disney Channel called The Lion Guard, which features Kion, the son and youngest child of Simba and Nala, and his attempt to bring together a team of animals to protect the Pride Lands. Some characters from the classic The Lion King, and its 1998 sequel The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride will appear such as Kiara, Timon, Pumbaa, Rafiki, Zazu, Simba, Nala, and even Mufasa.
Disney has now released a new video which traces the family tree of the Lions of Pride Rock, from King Mufusa all the way to Kion, the new leader of the Lion Guard. It’s also a handy re-cap to the events of the original movie, and serves as a kind of primer for a new generation of young viewers. You can watch the full video above.
The Lion Guard premieres as an hour-long television film, titled The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar on November 22, 2015. The regular series will premiere later in January 2016, on Disney Junior and Disney Channel.
HT: Disney Channel
IMAGE: Walt Disney Animation