Disney will attempt to endear one of its most iconic properties to a whole new generation of viewers with a TV spinoff. The iconic 1994 film The Lion King will serve as inspiration for The Lion Guard, a movie and TV series set to premiere on Disney Junior and Disney Channel. Things will have moved forward one generation in the Pride lands, with the show training its focus on Simba’s son Kion as he and his team of sundry African critters dole out their brand of justice in the savanna.
The cast of The Lion Guard boasts some big names from Hollywood. Rob Lowe and Gabrielle Union voice Simba and Nala respectively. Original cast members Ernie Sabella and James Earl Jones reprise their roles as Pumbaa and Mufasa. Max Charles of The Amazing Spider-Man plays a cub assigned as leader of the animal task force federated by Kion. Also part of the project are Atticus Shaffer as an egret and Sarah Hyland. Howy Parkins directs.
Disney will first launch The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar on Disney Channel in November. The TV movie will serve primarily as an introduction to Kion and the other new characters in the ensemble. This will set the stage for the TV series which is set to kick off early 2016. While meant to bring a young generation of viewers into the fold and make merchandise-buying machines out of them, a considerable segment of the viewership is sure to be fans of the original movie.
The Lion King is easily one of Disney’s most valuable creations, having inspired a Broadway play, a cartoon show, and direct-to-video spinoffs. The studio plans to revive more of its properties in the years to come. Duck Tales and Tangled are set to return via Disney’s TV channels in 2017.Source: EW