“The Lion King” is getting a made-for-TV sequel: “The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar” will premiere this November, ahead of the premiere of “The Lion Guard,” the Disney Channel's Lion King television series.
The movie and TV series will feature Rob Lowe as the voice of Simba and “Being Mary Jane” actress Gabrielle Union as the voice of Nala. Child actor Max Charles (“The Strain”) is on tap as Kion, the second-born kid, er, cub of Simba and Nala.
The first clip to arrive from the “Return of the Roar” movie is above. According to the Disney Insider blog:
The clip cannily sums up the premise of the new film (and eventual series), with Kion (voiced by Max Charles) leading a group of animals called The Lion Guard. Traditionally, this group has been comprised of the bravest, fastest and strongest animals of the Pride Lands, but Kion “breaks with tradition” and recruits his friends. This means that the new Lion Guard is comprised of a motley crew that includes Bunga (Joshua Rush), a blustery honey badger; Ono (Atticus Shaffer), a smarty-pants egret; Fuli (Diamond White), a confident cheetah and Beshte (Dusan Brown), a friendly hippo.
James Earl Jones and Ernie Sabella will be back as Mufasa and Pumbaa, respectively; like the video intimates, the deceased Mufasa may be influencing his family line from The Beyond. Khary Payton will voice Rafiki, Kevin Schon will voice Timon.
“Return of the Roar” bows in November and “The Lion Guard” will debut early next year.
“The Lion King” was the highest grossing film of 1994; it was re-released in 3D in 2011 sending earnings to $987 million in total, making it the highest-grossing hand-drawn animated film in history. It earned two Academy Awards and a Grammy, and its Broadway adaptation became one of the most successful stage shows in the history of the Great White Way.