The Lion Guard
The Lion Guard is an American animated television series developed by Ford Riley and based on Disney's 1994 film The Lion King. The series was first broadcast with a television film titled The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar on Disney Junior on November 22, 2015 and began airing as a TV series on January 15, 2016 on Disney Junior. It is the second television series to be based on The Lion King, the first being Timon & Pumbaa. The Lion Guard is a sequel to The Lion King and takes place during the time-gap within the 1998 film The Lion King II: Simba's Pride, with the third season taking place in parallel with the film's second act, followed by the final two episodes of Season 3 serving as a continuation to that film.
|The Lion Guard|
|Developed by||Ford Riley|
|Directed by||Howy Parkins|
|Opening theme||"Call of the Guard" performed by The Lion Guard Chorus|
|Ending theme||"Here Comes the Lion Guard" (Seasons 1-2) performed by Beau Black|
"The Power of the Roar" (Season 3) written by Ford Riley and Beau Black
performed by Michael Luwoye
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||3|
|No. of episodes||74 (list of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Ford Riley|
|Running time||22 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Disney Television Animation|
|Distributor||Disney-ABC Domestic Television|
|Original network||Disney Channel (2015-2018)|
Disney Junior (2016-present)
|Original release||January 15, 2016 –|
The second season premiered on July 7, 2017. A third season was commissioned on March 15, 2017 and premiered on August 3, 2019. The first eight episodes of season 3 also became available on demand and the DisneyNow app on the same day. It was confirmed the third season would be the last, with production wrapping up on July 19, 2019. The final ten episodes were made available on the DisneyNow app on September 2, 2019.
Kion is the son of King Simba and Queen Nala, the younger brother of Kiara and the prince of the Pride Lands. As the second-born of the Lion King, he is gifted with a power called the Roar of the Elders and becomes the leader of the Lion Guard, a team of animals who protect the Pride Lands and defend the Circle of Life. Kion, along with his friends Bunga the honey badger, Beshte the hippopotamus, Fuli the cheetah and Ono the egret, sets out to keep the Pride Lands safe and protected from animals who do not respect the Circle of Life.
Starting in season 2, the Lion Guard's mission becomes harder when Scar, the villain from the original film, returns as a fiery spirit with plans to destroy the Pride Lands.
After Scar's defeat at the beginning of season 3, the Lion Guard travels out of Africa and across the world to get to the Tree of Life to cure Kion and Ono from their battle injuries. Kion's team also gets a new member, a martial eagle named Anga who replaces Ono's position as keenest of sight after Ono lost his eyesight, while Ono gains a new position as the smartest.
|First aired||Last aired|
|Pilot||November 22, 2015|
|1||26||January 15, 2016||April 21, 2017|
|2||29||July 7, 2017||April 22, 2019|
|3||19||August 3, 2019||TBA|
The Lion GuardEdit
- Kion (voiced by Max Charles)-A lion who is Simba and Nala's second born cub, Mufasa's grandson, Kiara's younger brother, the Prince of the Pride Lands and the leader of the Lion Guard as well as its fiercest member. He serves as the main protagonist of the series. He often exclaims "Hevi kabisa!" His battlecry for the Lion Guard is "Till the Pride Lands end, Lion Guard defend!" By the end of the season 3 premiere "Battle for the Pride Lands," Kion gets a scar over his left eye due to being bit by Ushari the Egyptian Cobra.
- Bunga (voiced by Joshua Rush)-A honey badger who is the bravest member of the Lion Guard. He is Timon and Pumbaa's adoptive nephew and Kion's best friend. He often exclaims "Un-Bunga-lievable!" His battlecry is "Zuka Zama!"
- Fuli (voiced by Diamond White)-A cheetah who is the fastest member of the Lion Guard, the only female member (before Anga), Kion's friend and second-in-command. She is also the first female animal to ever serve in the Guard as mentioned in the season 2 special The Rise of Scar. Her battlecry is "Huwezi!"
- Ono (voiced by Atticus Shaffer)-An egret who is Kion's friend. Ono was the keenest of sight of the Lion Guard until his eyes were damaged while saving Bunga in "Battle for the Pride Lands." Despite this, even though Ono respectfully relinquishes his original role to Anga, Kion still keeps him as part of the Lion Guard by giving Ono the new role of the smartest member, due to Ono's vast knowledge of all kinds of animals, the environment and much more. He often exclaims "Hapana!" In Season 3, he also often mutters "Nowaza" whenever he tries to think, most commonly when he tries to remember to locations on the map to the Tree of Life. He is the youngest member of the Lion Guard.
- Beshte (voiced by Dusan Brown)-A hippopotamus who is the strongest member of the Lion Guard and Kion's friend. He often exclaims "Poa!" His battlecry is "Twende Kiboko!"
- Anga (voiced by Bryana Salaz in Season 2 episode "Fire from the Sky" and Season 3)-A martial eagle who takes over as the keenest of sight from Ono. Her battlecry is "Anga Lenga!"
The Lion King alumniEdit
The characters returning from The Lion King and its sequels and spin-offs appear in this series:
- Simba (voiced by Rob Lowe)-A lion who is Mufasa's son, Nala's mate, Scar's nephew and Kion and Kiara's father. He is the King of the Pride Lands and the leader of his Pride. Simba and Bunga share a history of having lived with Timon and Pumbaa, as pointed in the season 1 episode "Bunga and The King." Lowe replaces Matthew Broderick, who voiced Simba in the original film and sequel.
- Nala (voiced by Gabrielle Union)-A lioness who is Simba's mate, Kion and Kiara's mother. She is the Queen of the Pride Lands. Union replaces Moira Kelly, who voiced Nala in the original film and sequel.
- Kiara (voiced by Eden Riegel)-A lion cub who is Simba and Nala's daughter, Mufasa's granddaughter, Kion's older sister, the Princess of the Pride Lands and its future queen. Riegel voiced adult Kiara (replacing Neve Campbell, who voiced adult Kiara in The Lion King II: Simba's Pride) in the season 3 episode "Return to the Pride Lands." Riegel also replaces Michelle Horn, who voiced young Kiara in Simba's Pride.
- Timon (voiced by Kevin Schon)-Simba and Pumbaa's wisecracking meerkat friend. Timon is Bunga's adoptive uncle. Schon, who replaces Nathan Lane, who voiced Timon in the original film and sequel, previously voiced Timon in Timon & Pumbaa.
- Pumbaa (voiced by Ernie Sabella)-Simba and Timon's warm-hearted warthog friend. Pumbaa is Bunga's other adoptive uncle. Sabella reprises his role from The Lion King and its sequels and spin-offs.
- Rafiki (voiced by Khary Payton)-A wise old mandrill who serves as a Royal Mjuzi (a Pride Lands word for knowledge keeper and advisor) for the Royal Family of Pride Rock. Payton replaces Robert Guillaume, who voiced Rafiki in the original film and sequel.
- Zazu (voiced by Jeff Bennett)-A red-billed hornbill who is Simba's majordomo and supplies news via the Morning Report of the Pride Lands. Bennett replaces Edward Hibbert, who, in turn, replaced Rowan Atkinson as the voice of Zazu in Simba's Pride.
- Mufasa (voiced by James Earl Jones in Return of the Roar, reprising his role from The Lion King and its sequels, Gary Anthony Williams in later episodes)-Simba's father and Kion and Kiara's paternal grandfather who was the original king of the Pride Lands and was killed in the original film by a wildebeest stampede orchestrated by his younger brother Scar. Since his death, he lives on as a spirit that gives Kion advice on how to get through any tough plight.
- Scar (voiced by David Oyelowo)-Simba's deceased uncle, Kion and Kiara's great-uncle and Mufasa's younger brother. In his youth, Scar was the leader of the Lion Guard, gifted with the Roar of the Elders. During his young adulthood, he befriended a rogue lion from the Outlands, who lead him into the jaws of a cobra, who gave him his scar. In anger, Scar used the Roar to kill the lion and snake, however, Mufasa teased his brother and gave him the nickname of Scar, leading to Scar plotting to dethrone Mufasa, before abusing his power by using the Roar to destroy his Guard. In the years that followed the Lion Guard's downfall, Scar plots with the hyenas to rule over the Pride Lands, eventually leading to Mufasa's death, and Simba's exile from the Pride Lands. After being defeated by an older Simba in a vicious fight in the original film, he was mauled to death by the hyenas when he betrayed them by trying to pin the blame of Mufasa's death on them after initially blaming Simba. By the end of The Rise of Scar, Kion unintentionally summons Scar back as a fiery spirit in the Outlands' volcano after he uses the Roar in anger when Janja provokes him. Scar then begins to form plans to take over the Pride Lands and rule it forever. However, by the end of the season 3 premiere "Battle for the Pride Lands," Scar is defeated and sent back to the afterlife by Kion. Oyelowo replaces Jim Cummings, who, in turn, replaced Jeremy Irons as the voice of Scar in Simba's Pride.
- The Outsiders-A pride of offshoot lions that were loyal to Scar. After Scar's death, Simba banished them from the Pride Lands.
- Zira (voiced by Nika Futterman)-A lioness who is the mother of Kovu, Vitani and Nuka and the leader of the Outsiders. After the death of Scar, Simba banished her and her clan from the Pride Lands. Futterman replaces Suzanne Pleshette, who voiced Zira in Simba's Pride.
- Kovu (voiced by Jason Marsden)-A lion cub who is Zira's youngest son and the younger brother of Nuka and Vitani. Prior to the series, he briefly befriended (and later fell in love with) Kiara. Marsden reprises his role from Simba's Pride, and replaces Ryan O'Donohue who voiced Kovu as a cub.
- Nuka (voiced by Andy Dick)-An adolescent lion who is the oldest son of Zira and the older brother of Kovu and Vitani. Prior to the series, he died trying to kill Simba during an ambush set up by Zira. Dick reprises his role from Simba's Pride.
- Vitani (voiced by Lacey Chabert)-A lion cub who is Zira's only daughter and the sister of Nuka and Kovu. Chabert, who voiced young Vitani in Simba's Pride, replaces Jennifer Lien, who voiced adult Vitani.
- Tiifu (voiced by Sarah Hyland in Return of the Roar season 1 and The Rise of Scar; Bailey Gambertoglio in season 2)-A lion cub friend of Kiara and a member of Simba's Pride who is somewhat more sensible than her constant companion Zuri.
- Zuri (voiced by Madison Pettis)-Another lion cub friend of Kiara and a member of Simba's Pride who is somewhat vain and hates getting dirty.
- Makini (voiced by Landry Bender)-A young mandrill who becomes Rafiki's apprentice. She is one of a few characters who knows that Kion speaks to the spirit of Mufasa.
- Jasiri's Clan-A clan of friendly spotted hyenas that resides in the Outlands. Unlike Janja's clan, Jasiri and her hyena clan respect the Circle of Life and mostly scavenge for food. When Jasiri learns from Kion that Scar has returned, she and her clan form a hyena resistance to aid the Lion Guard and help defeat Scar. After the season 3 premiere Battle for the Pride Lands, Jasiri and Janja's clan have unified as one and rule the Outlands with Jasiri in charge.
- Jasiri (voiced by Maia Mitchell)-A hyena living in the Outlands who is the leader of the clan and allies with Kion. In season 2, after learning of Scar's spiritual return to the Outlands, Jasiri forms the Hyena Resistance, consisted of her entire clan in an attempt to overthrow Scar as the leader of the Outlands. In season 3, Jasiri accepts Janja and his clan as members of her cackle and after the defeat and destruction of Scar, Jasiri becomes the leader of the Outlands.
- Madoa (voiced by Maisie Klompus)-A hyena who is Jasiri's sister and is part of her clan.
- Tunu (voiced by Crimson Hart)-A hyena cub and brother of Wema who is part of Jasiri's clan.
- Wema (voiced by Fiona Hart)-A hyena cub and sister of Tunu who is part of Jasiri's clan.
- Makuu (voiced by Blair Underwood)-The formerly villainous leader of the Pride Lands' Nile crocodiles.
- Janja's Clan-A clan of male spotted hyenas that live in the Outlands. Initially, they disrespect the Circle of Life, but after being betrayed and almost killed by Scar, they join forces with Scar's enemies to help destroy him once and for all. After the destruction of Scar and the death of Ushari, Janja and Jasiri's clan merge as one and rule over the Outlands with Jasiri in charge while keeping the other Outlanders in line.
- Janja (voiced by Andrew Kishino)-Initially a cunning, arrogant and vicious hyena who is the leader of his all-male clan, later a friendly and loyal hyena.
- Cheezi (voiced by Vargus Mason)-An excitable hyena who is one of Janja's right-hand henchmen.
- Chungu (voiced by Kevin Schon)-An unintelligent hyena with a slightly heavier build than the other hyenas who is the other of Janja's right-hand henchmen.
- Nne (voiced by Beau Black)-A stout but sly and smart spotted hyena.
- Tano (voiced by Dee Bradley Baker)-A sloping but devious and smart spotted hyena.
- Mzingo's Parliament-A parliament of white-backed vultures that live in the Outlands and is allied with Janja's clan and later Jasiri's clan following Scar's defeat.
- Ushari (voiced by Christian Slater)-An Egyptian cobra who used to live in the Pride Lands and would get disturbed whenever the Lion Guard was near him. In the season 2 special The Rise of Scar, Ushari finally turns to villainy, appearing as the main antagonist of the majority of the special after being trampled by the Lion Guard one too many times and allies with Janja to resurrect Scar and take over the Pride Lands, which succeeds by the end of the special, as later on throughout season 2 and the beginning of season 3, Scar plots to reform his army in order to take revenge against Simba and Kion. By the end of "Battle for the Pride Lands," he bites Kion, resulting in a scar over Kion's left eye. Shortly after this, Ushari falls to his demise in the Outlands' volcano.
- Reirei's Pack-A family pack of black-backed jackals that live in the Outlands.
- Reirei (voiced by Ana Gasteyer)-A clever, scheming and manipulative jackal who is the matriarch of the family.
- Goigoi (voiced by Phil LaMarr)-A greedy and dimwitted jackal who is Reirei's mate.
- Dogo (voiced by Jacob Guenther)-A jackal pup who is one of Reirei and Goigoi's sons; he has blue eyes, while the other pups have brown eyes.
- Kijana (voiced by Amber Hood)-A jackal pup who is Reirei and Goigoi's daughter and Dogo's sister.
- Kiburi's Float-Former Nile crocodile members of Makuu's float who defied Makuu's orders and were exiled for their evil deeds.
- Shupavu's Group-A group of skinks who are friends with Ushari and serve as his spies.
- Makucha (voiced by Steve Blum)-A cunning and devious leopard from the Backlands. While he has appeared in the episodes of the series before, Makucha becomes the main antagonist of season 3, starting with the episode "The Harmattan." After hearing from Makini excitedly talking all about the Tree of Life and the rare animals, Makucha uses that info to make a new goal-- sneakily follow the Lion Guard to the Tree of Life so that he could feast on the rare animals.
- Chuluun (voiced by Kimiko Glenn)-A cunning and sneaky snow leopard. First encountered by the Lion Guard in the mountains in the episode "Ghost of the Mountain," Chuluun eventually is defeated for the first time as the Lion Guard fight back against her alongside a group red pandas. After her defeat, however, she encounters Makucha and joins him to follow the Lion Guard to the Tree of Life.
- Ora (voiced by Andrew Kishino)-A ferocious Komodo dragon who is the leader of his bank. First encountered by the Lion Guard on an island in the episode "Dragon Island," Ora is eventually defeated after Kion used the Roar to escape the island. But little did the Lion Guard know that Ora survived and has joined Makucha and Chulunn to follow the Lion Guard to the Tree of Life.
- Mama Binturong (voiced by Rachel House)-A sneaky and arrogant binturong who lives in the stone forest and enjoys eating tuliza until Bunga ruins her tuliza pile with his stink, causing Mama Binturong to chase him down.
The series was announced by Disney on June 9, 2014 on the run up to the first film's 20th anniversary. Disney Junior general manager Nancy Kanter stated: "It's kind of like The Lion King meets The Avengers." The series' announcement came after a meeting between Kanter and Disney chief executive Robert Iger. Iger suggested to Kanter that Disney Junior should consider producing content to celebrate the 20th anniversary of The Lion King in 2014. Disney had shown early footage to young test audiences, who were able to make suggestions, such as adjusting the look of the hyenas. Disney Consumer Products launched a line of toys to tie into the television series, as well at book titles based on the series such as Return of the Roar, Can't Wait to be Queen, Bunga the Wise, Meet the New Guard, Fuli Finds Her Place, Join the Lion Guard! and Kion's Animal Alphabet. A sneak peek of The Lion Guard was shown at the 2015 D23 Expo. On August 12, 2015, a sneak peek was shown, with new information that the television movie was scheduled to air in November 2015 to be titled The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar. On October 9, 2015, it was announced that Return of the Roar would premiere on November 22, 2015, on Disney Channel. On coming up with the idea, the series' creator and executive producer Ford Riley noted that at the end of The Lion King we see the presentation of Simba and Nala's newborn cub. In The Lion King II: Simba's Pride, we see that the cub in question is Kiara and that she will be future queen. Riley was interested in the idea of a second-born cub and what his role would be if Kiara is destined to become queen. Additionally, he was inspired by his 8-year-old son. "Every Thursday, he and his buddies go to the park and they have this imaginary superhero team and they have all these imaginary adventures. That’s when it hit me. Let’s have a group of superheroes in the Pride Lands–The Avengers meets The Lion King!" Riley confirmed the timeline of the series; in Simba's Pride, there is a years-long time gap, The Lion Guard takes place during the years in-between Kiara's first meeting with Kovu as a cub and her first hunt as an adult. Riley also noted the inclusion of Swahili into the series; "[W]e’ve actually hired Sarah Mirza, who literally wrote the book on English-Swahili translations. We’ve been using Swahili not just in names of characters and places but also in the language of the show itself." Classic mythology is used as inspiration for the show. In reference to Return of the Roar, Riley noted; "The whole laying on hands where Kion gives the mark of the guard to the rest of the team, that goes back to the Bible." Riley noted that protecting the Circle of Life is the main theme of the series; "The animals who respect it don’t eat too much, allow for the grass to grow, and larger animals to eat smaller animals. Our bad guys come from those that don’t respect the Circle of Life. They just want to eat and wreak havoc." In terms of giving The Lion Guard the same look as the original film, director Howy Parkins stated that they were mindful to keep the essence of The Lion King. To that end, the crew did extensive research on the look of the backgrounds and characters and were able to obtain some original model sheets. In addition, Barry Atkinson and Mike Surrey, background painter and supervising animator for Timon on the original film respectively, were brought in to consult with the series' background artists, animators and storyboard artists. Speaking on the show's educational aspect, Parkins stated that research was done on animals and habitats in the Serengeti, and that this information is woven into storylines without being overt.
A short-form series called It's UnBungalievable starring Bunga and Ono premiered on Disney Junior and Disneynature on January 9, 2016. In the series, Bunga and Ono pick two animals to compete in contests such as "Who's Quicker?" "Who Has Better Hair?" and "Who's Hungrier?" The series features live-action animal footage provided by Disneynature.
|3||Who Has Better Hair?|
|5||Who's the Better Babysitter?|
|10||Who's a Better Flyer?|
Like its American counterpart, Return of the Roar premiered on November 22, 2015 on Disney Channel in Canada, while the series premiered on January 17, 2016 on Disney Junior, two days after its American premiere. In the United Kingdom and Ireland, Return of the Roar premiered on Disney Junior on February 8, 2016, while the series premiered on April 13, 2016. In Australia and New Zealand, the pilot debuted on February 6, 2016 and the series began airing on February 28, 2016 on Disney Junior. In Southeast Asia, the pilot premiered on March 20, 2016 on Disney Channel (April 11 on Disney Junior) and the series itself on April 17 on the Disney Junior block on Disney Channel. It aired in TVNZ in New Zealand and 7flix in Australia, E-Junior in the United Arab Emirates, Sat.1 in Germany and on MiniMini+ in Poland.
Distributed by Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment.
|Title||Release Date||Episodes||Additional Features|
|The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar||February 23, 2016||Television movie||Music video of Beau Black performing "Here Comes the Lion Guard."|
Talking Lion Guard Backpack Clip
|The Lion Guard: Unleash the Power||September 20, 2016||
Lion Guard Power Necklace
|The Lion Guard: Life in the Pride Lands||January 10, 2017||
||Music videos: "A Trail to Hope", "Teke Ruka Teleza"|
It's UnBungalievable shorts
Five Lion Guard Wristbands
|The Lion Guard: The Rise of Scar||January 9, 2018||
|The Lion Guard (Music from the TV Series)|
|Soundtrack album by |
|Released||January 8, 2016|
|Genre||Children, Pop, Pop rock, World, Soundtrack|
|The Lion Guard (Music from the TV Series)|
|1.||"Call of the Guard (The Lion Guard Theme)"||The Lion Guard Chorus||1:03|
|2.||"A Beautiful Day (Ni Siku Nzuri)"||Beau Black||2:16|
|4.||"Tonight We Strike"||Janja, Mzingo & Hyenas||1:56|
|6.||"Here Comes the Lion Guard"||Beau Black||2:28|
|7.||"We're the Same (Sisi Ni Sawa)"||Kion & Jasiri||2:33|
|8.||"Outta the Way"||Janja, Cheezi & Chungu||2:00|
|9.||"Duties of the King"||Simba & Zazu||2:01|
|10.||"Bunga the Wise"||Timon, Pumbaa & Bunga||1:41|
|11.||"My Own Way"||Fuli||2:18|
|13.||"Panic and Run"||Janja, Cheezi, & Chungu||1:34|
|14.||"It Is Time"||Beau Black||3:01|
|15.||"Call of the Guard (Full Version)"||The Lion Guard Chorus||4:21|
A second soundtrack release entitled The Lion Guard: Disney Junior Music was released digitally on September 1, 2017.
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- Snook, Jay (January 8, 2018). "A Dangerous Foe Returns on 'The Lion Guard: The Rise of Scar'". goodmenproject.com. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
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