It’s only been a week since our last peek at The Lion King‘s new television spin-off The Lion Guard, and now we’ve got another trailer.
This one sends the message loud and clear: While the show will include an ensemble of new characters, we’ll still be seeing plenty of old friends. Simba, Nala, Timon, Pumbaa, Rafiki, Mufasa, and Kiara (!) are all here. Ernie Sabella and James Earl Jones are the only cast members to reprise their original film roles as Pumbaa and Mufasa, respectively. Kevin Schon reprises Timon from the Timon & Pumbaa television series, Rob Lowe and Gabrielle Union come on board as Simba and Nala, and Khary Payton joins the cast as Rafiki—in the first time the character has ever not been voiced by Robert Guillaume. Even beyond the sequels and spin-offs, Guillaume voiced Rafiki in countless multimedia, including the Disney theme parks.
Kiara has a new voice in Eden Riegel. This is the first time any Disney media has acknowledged Kiara since her debut in The Lion King 2: Simba’s Pride, which released to video in 1998. Within the confines of The Lion King timeline, The Lion Guard still appears to depict Kiara as a cub. This means that something is off in relation to the canon, as Kiara grows to be an adult in The Lion King 2 with no mention of her younger brother Kion. Let the theories commence!
It will be interesting to see how the show balances the prominent focus on the members of the Lion Guard with the returning characters the audience already loves. It presents a similar challenge to the onslaught of new toys introduced in Toy Story 3.
This trailer also reveals that the Lion Guard is traditionally a lion-only group, but Kion wants to make it inclusive to any kind of animal, introducing a deeper message in a way similar to The Lion King 2 did.
Check out the full new trailer below from Good Morning America. The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar premieres Sunday, November 22, on Disney Channel as a family movie followed by its premiere as a Disney Junior series in 2016.
Are you happy Kiara is along for the ride? Is there anyone else you hope will make an appearance?
Edited by: Kelly Conley