After a 3-D re-release and 2½ sequels, Disney is expanding the Lion King universe yet again with The Lion Guard. The new television franchise will launch with a TV movie premiering in fall 2015; a series will follow in early 2016 on Disney Channel and Disney Junior.
The show will follow Kion, the second-born son of Simba and Nala (stars of the previous Lion King movies), who leads a group called the Lion Guard that protects the Pride Lands. Mufasa, Timon, Pumbaa, Rafiki, Zazu and Kion’s older sister Kiara will all make appearances, but the show will focus on the creatures of the Lion Guard, a series of new characters including a honey badger, a cheetah, a hippo, and an egret.
The producers of The Lion Guard are also pulling in “wildlife education experts” from Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park to consult on the show. In addition to the usual themes of family and friendship in Disney’s media, the company said The Lion Guard will incorporate conservation as a theme, and presumably its role in the great circle of life.