Disney has done a nice job of taking their movies and turning them into ongoing series. They did it with great effect by taking Peter Pan and spinning it off with Jake and the Neverland Pirates. Now, they are doing it with a Lion King spin-off with the focus on Simba’s son Kion, the lion that is destined to revive the legendary Lion Guard, a group that will protect the Pride Lands and the Circle of Life.
The episode starts off with Simba talking to his daughter Kiara, who will one day become Queen of the Pride Lands. This is perfectly fine with Kion, who is happy to play with his friends. However, one day he develops the Roar of the Elders and learns that he is the lion that will become the new leader of the Lion Guard.
From this point, the episode has him choose his friends to become the Lion Guard, although none of them are lions. This displeases Simba, who believes that they should be lions to be strong enough to protect the Circle of Life.
The friends are Bunga the honey badger (brave), Beshte the hippo (strong), Fuli the cheetah (fast), and Ono the egret (keen). It isn’t until this group saves gazelles from the attacking hyenas and then saves Kiara from the gazelle charge, that Simba realizes that his son was right in his choices.
The entire episode is about friendship and proving that trust is more important than anything, and any species can prove to be brave and powerful. There are also some nice cameos, such as Mufasa, who appears in the clouds to give his grandson advice, Rafiki, the shaman who still advices Simba, and the duo of Timon and Pumbaa, who happen to be the adopted uncles of Bunga.
The episode is great and a nice start to the series, which is a very entertaining follow-up to one of Disney’s greatest animated movies. The voice cast is good, with big names like Rob Lowe voicing Simba, Gabrielle Union voicing Nala, and a great voice cast as the Lion Guard. It is also nice to hear James Earl Jones when he voices Mufasa.
The biggest problem with this DVD is that it is only one episode, and that is just 44 minutes. There is also a music video by Beau Black, as he sings the theme song. That is it and that makes this a very hard DVD to recommend. It is a great episode, but when Jake and the Neverland Pirates offers numerous bonus episodes on all its DVDs, this one seems lacking.
Learn More about The Lion Guard at the official Disney website.