Apparently the Disney Channel’s new programming strategy is “Okay… but what if they had a kid?,” because in addition to the much-discussed Boy Meets World spinoff/sequel about Cory and Topanga’s daughter, the network has also set plans in motion for a Lion King spinoff titled The Lion Guard, about the lion cub offspring of Simba and Nala.
The Lion Guard will premiere in Fall 2015 as a television movie, with a subsequent series to debut in early 2016 on Disney Junior and Disney Channel. The story begins in the heart of the African savannah, as Kion, the second-born cub of Simba and Nala, assembles a team of his close friends to preserve the Pride Lands. The show will also include special appearances by Mufasa, Timon, Pumbaa, Rafiki, Zazu and Kion’s older sister, Kiara, the future Queen of the Pride Lands. The show will focus on conservation education, the importance of family and community, while also highlighting creative problem-solving skills and diversity. [Disney]
Hmm. I still prefer the message of the original, which was that revenge is awesome and it’s okay to murder your uncle if he’s a dick, but I suppose a show about conservation education and diversity could work, too. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
Anyway, where you come down on this probably depends on where you come down on spinoffs like this, in general. Like, is it very clearly an attempt to appeal to the adults who watched The Lion King as kids in 1994 and now have children in the Disney Channel’s target demo, with the added bonus of promoting a valuable piece of the company’s back catalog? Yeah, it’s definitely that. But does it also provide a potential opportunity for nostalgia-happy moms and dads to sit down and watch a show with their kids, as a family? Well, yeah, it could be that, too. It can be two things, is what I’m saying.
Personally, I have only one problem with this news, and that is that Disney didn’t go for a revolutionary double spinoff by giving Simba’s kid a blog, a la Dog With a Blog. Lion With a Blog. Now there’s a TV show. It’s like I have to do everything around here sometimes.