We're about to get so much more Lion King. If you thought Lion Kings one and two and 1 1/2 (never forget) was the end of the Pride Lands adventures, you're wrong. Now Disney is planning to add a TV movie and a television series called The Lion Guard. The movie debuts in fall of 2015 to introduce the new characters and the TV series will follow in early 2016 on the Disney Channel. The new reboot will focus on Simba's second child, his son Kion. All your favorite characters like patriarch Simba, his daughter Kiara, nervous Zazu, gassy Pumbaa, screechy Timon, baffling Rafiki and more will make appearances on the new show.
Several new characters will also be introduced like Bunga the honey badger, Fuli the cheetah, Beshte the hippo, and Ono the egret. Together they make up the titular Lion Guard whose job it is to protect the Pride Lands. According to Disney Junior general manager Nancy Kanter, “It’s kind of like The Lion King meets The Avengers." If that's not a convincing enough argument for you, here are six other reasons why The Lion Guard might do the original justice. So before you start worrying that the 21st century is destroying your childhood again, take a moment to see why this spinoff could actually be really good.
LION KING 2 DIDN'T SUCK
Full disclosure: The Lion King II: Simba's Pride is my favorite movie. Not just of The Lion King franchise, but of all time. Blasphemy, you might say, but hear me out. Lion King 2 featured one of Disney's best feisty female leads and none of the beloved characters tragically die thus scarring you for life at an impressionable age. And let's not forget the amazing anti-racism lesson it taught the audience. (Skip to 5:25)
POSSIBLE KOVU SIGHTINGS
The Lion Guard will bring back big sis Kiara and we all know that Kiara ended up with bad boy lion Kovu. Once upon a time he had 9-year-olds everywhere wondering how they could have a crush on a cartoon lion, so his return to the screen would be pretty fun to see.
PUMBA, TIMON, AND GANG
Not only will we maybe see Kovu, but Zazu, Pumbaa, Timon, and Rafiki will definitely be making an appearance and we miss those lovable animals. Bathroom humor and all.
THERE WILL BE A NEW ANIMAL GANG
While seeing the old gang together again will be fun, it's nice to know Kion will get his own group of friends to have fun with. After all, Pumbaa and Timon are more his dad's buddies, it's only right that Kion have his own rowdy group of Pride Lands friends.
IT WILL BE EDUCATIONAL
The Lion Guard is bringing on their own animal experts so the people watching can learn about conservation and animals while they enjoy the show. Sure the "wildlife education experts" are from Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park, but one step at a time. Fortunately they're also hiring a real-life Swahili cultural and language expert to consult on the show so it will hopefully accurately teach the audience about another culture
AT LEAST IT'S NOT LIVE ACTION
Live action may work for movies like Maleficent , but we think it's good that Disney stuck to animation for this reboot. Actors in animal costumes isn't the revival this childhood classic deserves. Besides Broadway already did that better than the Disney Channel ever could.
Suffice to say, we're cautiously optimistic about this Lion King spinoff, and you should be too.