Walt Disney Pictures have today announced the commissioning of a full season of 30-minute episodes for their upcoming children's animated TV series The Lion Guard. A direct follow-up to everyone's favourite Africa-set 1994 animated movie (that's The Lion King, in case you somehow managed to miss the near-direct structural allusion offered by the show's title), the programme is aimed primarily at youngsters and will likely focus on narratives which are simple enough to summarise in a moral-of-the-story-esque manner.
This will by no means be the first sequel to arguably Disney's finest motion picture, of course: in 1998, we returned to Pride Rock for The Lion King 2: Simba's Pride (but the less said about the events of this direct-to-video flick the better), after which we learned how Timon and Pumbaa met in The Lion King 3: Hakuna Matata (2004), and before those two mediocre instalments came to light, we even spent three entire TV seasons in the company of Timon and Pumbaa (1995-1998). Whereas those projects were aimed at nostalgic fans of the original movie, though, the studio are all too clearly aiming to induct new youngsters into the series' long-established fandom, aiming Guard primarily at pre-school children who'll find themselves inspired by the adventures of Kion (Simba's newly-created son) and his pals. There's no news as of yet as to whether Kiara (Simba's daughter in the aforementioned loathed 1998 film) still exists in the TV show's narrative continuity, but given Disney's recent track record when it comes to canonized narrative universes (*cough* Star Wars EU *cough*), we wouldn't discount the possibility of her going the same way as Mufasa (too soon?)...
The Lion Guard will début with a 60-minute special on Disney XD in November 2015 and will subsequently air its first run of weekly episodes in 2016.