As with all series, The Lion Guard has gone through several changes during production. This article lists all known early concepts.
Contents: Early Logo • Early Mark of the Guard • Call of the Guard V4 • Kion's Lament Reprise Concept • Tonight we Strike V1 • Tonight we Strike V2 • Ending V2 • Zuka Zama Concept Demo • Late Cuts • General Concept Art • Early Return of the Roar Storyboard
An early logo used the original Mark of the Guard symbol as a background.
An even earlier logo faded the 'The' from the logo as well as part of the line.
Early Mark of the Guard
Seen in a handful of early book concepts, the original Mark of the Guard was a simple lion paw print. Only two are known - Kion's and Beshte's. They were found on old covers of Bunga's Big Adventure and Kion's Animal Alphabet respectively.
Call of the Guard V4
Dated 20th April 2015, this early version of the Main Title sequence shows a handful of changes, although by this stage the majority of it is much the same as the final.
|Kion appears to walk across Pride Rock instead of run across it.|
|Beshte's old ear notch has mostly been changed, same for this frame.|
|After Kion's painting, Kion walks proudly to the tip of Pride Rock with his parents looking towards him and with Mufasa looking down on him as opposed to him glancing over his shoulder in the final.|
|The scenery is slightly different.|
|Timon and Pumbaa are absent from Hakuna Matata Falls.|
|Fuli is entirely covered by Bunga in this early version. She was moved so that the audience could see her.|
|The animals are more spread out in the final, and the buffalo, ostrich, and hedgehog are missing entirely. The mongoose is standing on a rock in the early version next to a hedgehog, but in the final he's standing next to the giraffes.|
|After the hyenas have been knocked away, the camera pans back down to earth to show Kion in a pouncing state. In the final, he immediately lands on Pride Rock.|
|This happens shortly after in the early revision when Kion pounces and lands in the same place he does in the final.
The early concept version ends the same way as the final but reveals the earlier logo seen at the top of the article.
Kion's Lament Reprise Concept
An early shipping animatic, dated 21st January 2015 exists, complete with an early/demo singer. It is almost identical to the final version, save for one notable difference.
|In the final, Kion walks straight past the water. In the early animatic, he glances down at it.|
Tonight we Strike V1
There are two early versions of "Tonight We Strike". The earliest does not possess a date but features a lot of differences compared to the final.
| ||Janja walks straight down his lair, glancing over at his fellow hyenas before coming to the end of a ledge with his clan members at either side of him. He then sticks his neck out to say 'fools' and leaps down. In the final, he looks towards the hyenas before the camera focuses in on his eye.|
|After Janja stamps on Pride Rock, the camera looks up to him and he glares down menacingly before moving across.|
| ||After Mzingo has flown into the screen, some red gazelles start to appear, and the hyenas shortly appear from the back of the screen racing towards the viewer.|
| ||In place of the scene where Janja gets his bottom bitten, some animals in red start to run away. Soon, Cheezi and Chungu appear from the side.|
|Mostly similar, but the concept shows a lion cub in the center, who is missing from the final.|
|Instead of showing Janja and his crew walking straight ahead, the concept has the camera look down on them.|
|Soon after this, Janja bites the camera. In the final, it focuses in on his eye again.|
|Instead of the hyenas jumping, the concept art shows some Wildebeests jumping at first.|
|Soon after, we see a gazelle running across some grass.|
|After this, we see Cheezi chasing it without actually moving his legs...|
|...Only for it to be revealed that he's taking a ride on Chungu.|
|Janja is flipped.|
|The animal is a zebra in the early version as opposed to a gazelle in the final.|
|Kion is on a rock in the final, but not in the concept.|
|Kion's cameo in this song never moves in the final. In this version, his eyes open in surprise when Janja looms over him. Also, Janja moves a lot closer towards him when he exclaims 'teeth'.|
|Janja emerges from Mzingo's tree instead of the camera rushing elsewhere.|
|Janja speaks 'Tonight we Strike, nobody's safe' alone, with no sign of Cheezi.|
|When he laughs, some red vultures fly on overhead in the early version, whereas in the final he starts to leap up to the top of the volcanic formation.|
|Hyenas start marching, much like in 'Be Prepared' from the original The Lion King movie.|
|They glance towards the camera a bit later.|
|As Janja calls 'The Circle of Life's gonna feel our bite', he emerges from a rock formation surrounded by other hyenas on the ground whereas in the final he is shown alone at the top of his formation.|
|On his final line, the camera focuses in on him as opposed to focusing out on him like in the final.|
|Instead of a volcanic eruption transitioning to the next scene, Janja leaps down at the camera and behind the other hyenas.|
Tonight we Strike V2
Another early version, dated 9th February 2015 features most of the finalized song. There are still some differences, particularly towards the end. Although the song is labelled 'Final', there is a rather drastic difference shown at the end.
|In the final, the camera focuses in on Janja's eye when he says 'fools'. But in this version, it doesn't. Instead, he leaps into the camera to change the scene.|
|Like the other early version, a zebra is used instead of a gazelle here.|
|Kion's cameo in this song never moves in the final. In this version, his eyes open in surprise when Janja looms over him. Again, there is a lack of rock for Kion to sleep on.|
|Janja enters from under Mzingo's tree in this version. In the final, the camera pans away from the tree to show Janja nearby, much like the other early version.|
| ||In the final, Janja leaps up a volcanic formation and it explodes at the end. In this version, Janja leaps onto a large formation of hyenas and sways to and fro before finally leaping down to the ground, breaking the hyenas up.|
Dated 8th June 2015, this ending is almost the same, save for some of the credits scene which is slower in some parts compared to the final. Characters in the concept are also more expressive.
|This scene of the Guard walking towards the camera was taken out in favor of a scene involving them standing on a rock looking proud of themselves, before focusing in on Kion's face. This scene also lasts longer in the early release, so that the credits don't match up with the final version despite using the same scenes.|
|The hyena blinks in the early version, but is static in the final.|
| ||Mostly the same, but Ono tilts his head twice in the early concept as opposed to once in the final. Beshte also changes direction.|
In addition to all of this, an additional scene cut from the final product entirely can be seen. It shows Bunga walking ahead of the Lion Guard chanting 'Look out here comes the Lion Guard' with various other expressions tagged on at the end. He then turns around to face the Guard, and we receive a close up of Ono telling him to look out. The camera cuts back to Bunga who cries 'That's right!' before continuing his chanting and moving his head to the sides. Back to Ono, who cries with urgency 'No really, look out!' whilst spreading his wings. The camera moves back to Bunga's feet where he trips up a termite mound. The Guard move in to check on him. The camera moves back to Bunga who has his head completely immersed in the mound. Fuli plucks him up and dumps him the right way up. With the camera focused on the Lion Guard and Bunga's back to the audience, the Guard exclaim 'Ew' before the camera turns back to Bunga, whose face is covered in termites. He happily exclaims 'Termites? Yum!' before picking one off and eating it. The camera returns to the Guard one last time to show their faces of disgust, with Kion uttering 'Bunga...' in a disappointed tone.
Zuka Zama Concept Demo
A few concepts were actually animated, but never used. Instead, Disney has placed the finished version of these short scenes in commercials for the show.
Also reused was this scene of the Guard walking forward. This was originally going to be used at the end of The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar, but was replaced with the crew looking proudly over a rock before focusing in on Kion's face.
A small part of the extra ending can be seen in The Lion Guard Alphabet.
Seen in a couple of trailers, this scene actually appears briefly from an earlier version of Call of the Guard.
General Concept Art
The following concept art has been obtained from various behind the scenes videos.
Early Return of the Roar Storyboard
In an early storyboard, Bunga was much younger and frequently used his own name in to explain his actions (ie. Bunga get fruit). This storyboard also showed Kion's old Mark of the Guard, and showed that Nne was originally the third member of Janja's main crew instead of Cheezi.