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The Lion Guard is an American animated series based on Disney's The Lion King. The show features five main heroes who protect the Pride Lands: Kion, Bunga, Fuli, Beshte and Ono. The first season was originally going to consist of 24 episodes, which was later extended to 26. Each will feature a song that 'balances authentic African sound with kid-friendly pop'.[1]

Season 2 began airing on July 7th, 2017.

Disney have recently commissioned a third season.

Plot

The series centers around Kion, the son of Simba and Nala who is tasked with the daunting duty of leading the Lion Guard, a group tasked with the perseverance of the Pride Lands. In doing so, he defies tradition by assembling a group of various animals, as opposed to a group of lions. These animals are Fuli the cheetah, Beshte the hippopotamus, Ono the egret and Bunga the honey badger[2].

During his adventures, Kion will also be receiving advice from the spirit of his grandfather, Mufasa.

Characters

The Lion Guard

The Lion King alumni

Other Characters

Other Animals

Antagonists

Seasons

Specials

Episodes

(see also: Episode List for more information)

Production

The series was announced by Disney on June 9, 2014 on the run up to the first film's 20th anniversary that month and has been described as "The Lion King meets The Avengers"[3].

Attention to detail and care to the storytelling is a key component to the series, as wildlife education experts at Disney's Animal Kingdom theme park will serve as consultants on stories for the show, and author and Swahili expert Sarah Mirza is the language and cultural advisor[4]. Led by Jill Mellen, education and science director, Disney's Animal Kingdom reads the scripts and makes suggestions for the show. For example, the script of one episode called for a cobra to menace songbirds. The Animal Kingdom folks thought that was more like a boomslang or vine snake than a cobra, resulting in the detail being changed.[5]

Ford Riley and Howy Parkins decided to retain the visual qualities of the original Lion King film. Riley received permission to use 2D animation for the show. Parkins and Riley also discussed the colors in the series. Throughout the first season, the backgrounds will be colored with a variety of green hues, reflecting the rainy season of the African savanna. As the series progresses, the color scheme will shift to reflect the dry season.[6]

The Lion Guard has been able to take facts about animals that live in the Serengeti and incorporate them into the plots of the episodes.[7]

Development

The series' announcement came after a meeting between Disney Junior general manager Nancy Kanter and Disney chief executive Robert Iger. Iger suggested to Kanter that Disney Junior should consider producing content to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of The Lion King in 2014. Disney has shown early footage to young test audiences, who were able to make suggestions, such as adjusting the look of the hyenas. Disney Consumer Products is to launch a line of toys to tie into the television series. Many new books inspired by the series will be released in late 2015 and early 2016. A full list can be accessed here.

A sneak peek of the show was given at Disney's D23 Expo from August 14–16, 2015.

Reception

The Lion Guard has received mostly positive reviews from critics, though some fans have criticized the show for being too child friendly in comparison to its predecessor, The Lion King. In 2016, it was the #1 series across preschooler networks both in viewers and kids aged 2-5.[8]

International releases

For information about international dubs and releases, click here.

References

  1. http://www.post-gazette.com/ae/tv-radio/2015/11/18/TV-preview-Disney-debuts-next-generation-Lion-King-TV-series/stories/201511180003
  2. [1]
  3. [2]
  4. http://blog.disneystore.com/blog/2014/06/disney-junior-is-bringing-the-lion-king-to-television.html
  5. http://www.orlandosentinel.com/travel/attractions/the-daily-disney/os-disney-lion-guard-mellen-20160114-story.html
  6. http://variety411.com/article/the-lion-guard-returning-to-the-lion-king-pride-lands-with-showrunner-ford-riley-4145750/
  7. http://kidscreen.com/2015/11/12/qa-the-lion-guard-director-dishes-on-how-disney-re-animated-a-classic/
  8. http://www.disneyabcpress.com/disneychannel/

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