Disney Television Animation has begun production on The Lion Guard, an animated television movie and series that continues the story introduced 20 years ago in the acclaimed Disney animated film The Lion King. Geared toward kids aged 2–7 and their families, The Lion Guard television movie will premiere in fall 2015 and the subsequent series will debut in early 2016 on Disney Junior and Disney Channel.
The wildlife education experts at Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park will serve as consultants on The Lion Guard stories, which will incorporate themes of conservation, family and community while also highlighting problem-solving, creative thinking and diversity. Author and Swahili expert Sarah Mirza is the language and cultural advisor.
The Lion Guard begins as Kion, the second born cub of Simba and Nala, assumes the role of leader of the Lion Guard, a group of the bravest and brightest tasked with preserving the Pride Lands. Instead of assembling a team of young lions to serve with him, Kion challenges tradition by calling upon friends he believes are the best choices—Bunga, a fearless honey badger; Fuli, a confident cheetah; Beshte, a happy-go-lucky hippo; and Ono, an intellectual egret. Stories will include special appearances by Mufasa, Timon, Pumbaa, Rafiki, Zazu and Kion’s older sister Kiara—the future Queen of the Pride Lands.