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Kovu Guest Stars on ‘The Lion Guard’ as Original ‘Lion King 2’ Voice Cast Returns

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Disney Junior’s The Lion Guard is prepping for its January premiere, and a future episode will get a big dose of The Lion King 2: Simba’s Pride.

Kovu, Nuka, and Vitani will all guest star on The Lion Guard and will be voiced by their original voice actors: Jason Marsden, Andy Dick, and Lacey Chabert, respectively, Entertainment Weekly reports. All are children of Zira (who will, for now, not appear in The Lion Guard) and descendants of Scar. Kovu, of course, goes on to be Kiara’s love interest.

While it is not uncommon for Disney Junior shows to revive familiar characters (Jake and the Never Land Pirates and Sofia the First have famous characters guest star all the time), it is unusual for a program to do so with such obscure (but appreciated!) characters as Kovu, Nuka, and Vitani. This will be the first time any have appeared in any Disney media since the 1998 release of The Lion King 2. Kudos to Disney Junior for even bringing back the original voices.


The Lion Guard tells of Kion, Simba’s second-born cub and Kiara’s younger brother, leading a group of animal warriors to defend the Pride Lands. It debuted as a one-hour preview last month, which confirmed the show will take place in the middle of The Lion King 2, with Kiara still a cub.

The series has recurring appearances from other Lion King favorites like Nala, Timon, Pumbaa, Rafiki, and even Mufasa. Ernie Sabella (Pumbaa) and James Earl Jones (Mufasa) are the only other cast members to reprise their original roles.

Also coming with this news is the series’ official premiere date: January 15 during Disney Channel’s Disney Junior programming block. Check out the full title sequence, featuring the song “Call of the Guard,” below:

Are you pumped to see Kovu for the first time since 1998? Who else would you like to see make an appearance on The Lion Guard?

Edited by: Hannah Wilkes

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About Blake Taylor

Blake is a scriptwriter at Elevation Church, where he develops documentary shorts and creative elements as part of the film team. He graduated Appalachian State University studying Electronic Media Production and is an alumni of the Disney College Program. Blake’s favorite films are Mary Poppins, The Lion King, and Toy Story 3. You can find him on Twitter (@blake_242) and visit his blog at blakeonline.com.
  • kimberpower

    HERE. FOR THIS. <3 <3

  • Kovu!!! Maybe I will check out this show for a bit ^.^

  • Shayna Stevens

    How many times did Kovu have to say he wasn’t related to Scar in that movie before people start to get it in their heads? 2? 3 times? That wasn’t enough? “He wasn’t my father” should have been the first clue.

    • Beverly Kathryn Kell

      Originally Scar WAS Kovu’s father (hence the resemblence and Zira stating he’s a part of him) But they wrote it out cause of the ‘incest’ issue with Kiara. Dumb imo since they’re animals and Cousins are DISTANT to boot.

      • Shayna Stevens

        Deleted content is not official. If that were the case then Simba would be dead in TLK 2 and Nala’s little brother would be in the first movie (and Scar would have just been a rogue who came in and killed Mufasa). It is official that Kovu and his siblings are not blood related to Scar. Scar merely adopted him, so of course they could be considered descendants in the eyes of some since Kovu was Scar’s non-blood heir and future king. The whole point of The production team removing Zira as Scar’s mate was to make sure her cubs were not related any way to Kiara and Simba. I agree that it’s silly since they’re animals, but little kids (and angry parents) don’t understand that.

  • Cheecharoo

    Little kids who’ve watched Nuka die in the movie will surely be confused by this.

    • Beverly Kathryn Kell

      Kiara’s a cub again so this is more than likely showing between Kiara meeting Kovu and Kiara growing up.

  • JMB

    Ah, dang nabbit.

    I wanted them to be retconned outta existence…


  • Wow, I’m pleasantly surprised that Disney is actually linking together some of the Lion King stories for once.

  • Beverly Kathryn Kell

    Also I noticed people going all “Kiara’s a cub again? WTF?” And “Why wasn’t Kion in the Lion King 2?” Well I’m observative and imaginative so I shall give you what I believe to be a logical answer. In the Lion King 2, when Kiara is a cub she’s all childish, adventurous and saying “I don’t want to be queen!” HOWEVER in The Lion Guard she’s all mature and states “I know what I’ll be when I grow up. What about YOU little brother?” And she’s bragging bout being future queen. So which when she ran off and bumped into Kovu, I’m going to take a stab that Nala was pregnant or Kion was an infant. And in the lion guard, Kiara’s maturity change displays that she accepted her role in the circle of life, and is either a teen or pre-teen at this point. As for why Kion never appears even after Kiara grows up… there could be a number of reasons. Here’s 2 I can think of. Kion was performing his duties as The leader of the Lion Guard and had been keeping the Hyenas and other baddies away (too busy to focus on the outsider lions, so he left his dad deal with them) OR at some point between cubhood and young adulthood Kion was killed or injured on duty and thus … no appearances. Those are my opinions, hope you enjoy. 🙂

    • Renard N. Bansale

      I wouldn’t like a premature death for Kion, but how DARING that would be for Disney to pull that story move.

    • kerbherus

      Although I highly doubt it’ll ever happen it’d be nice to see the series going on explaining why Kion is absent from The Lion King 2

  • Iftekhar Ahmed

    Hmm… Kovu is confirmed canon… DisneyToon Studios is gonig to release a 2019 movie… this must mean one thing! DisneyToon Studios is going to release The Lion Guard Movie and retcon the plot of The Lion King 2: Simba’s Pride.

    • Alexandria Lynn

      Where’d you get that idea?

      • Iftekhar Ahmed

        Well, The Lion Guard have brought Kiara and Kovu from The Lion King 2, however, Kion was non-existent (as he wasn’t created back then). So, all the dots connect together for The Lion King 2 to be retconned.

    • Mohammad Yasin

      disneytoon studios isn’t a real thing

  • Tre

    Weird since Jason Marsden confirmed on his Twitter a few weeks back that he had no involvement with the new series. O_o

  • Anacronism 9

    Definitely needs a guest appearance “from beyond” by Zirabe. Don’t know if Madge Sinclair would be available to reprise the role but it would be farout if she was.

    • Janna Davis

      Madge Sinclair died. That’s the only reason her character wasn’t in TLK II. :/

      • Anacronism 9

        I didn’t know that – thanks for the update. Darn, another great actor lost………

      • Mohammad Yasin

        replace the voice

  • Yes, Kovu and Vitani. This is exactly what I hoped for. Lion King 2 HAS NOT been Retconned out of existence. I hope at some point in the future Zira makes an appearance. I was skeptical about Jason Marsden voicing young Kovu, but then I remembered what a great job he did as the voice of young Shere Khan in Jungle Cubs. I am sure that since the cubs of The Lion Guard are slightly older than what Kiara was in Lion King 2. that Jason Marsden as young Kovu will be just fine.

    • Mohammad Yasin

      zira is in the same episode no they are the same

  • saturn0205 .

    It’s not a big deal, but the only issue with this series is how prides work in real life. By virtue of the fact that Kion exists, he should automatically be the future ruler of Pride Rock, not Kiara. Now, there’s nothing wrong with keeping Kiara as future Queen, as that is the established canon, but realistically, it’s incorrect.

    • Alice Everheart

      I think it goes by order of eldest. So the oldest cub becomes the next ruler. I don’t really think their genders matter/are accounted for here.

    • Mohammad Yasin

      its a cartoon

      • saturn0205 .

        Hence why it’s not a big deal.

  • Diane Cassell

    Yeah I couldn’t help wonder if Kion exists and he is supposed to guard then hwy does Kovu save Kiara?

  • Diane Cassell

    Maybe Kion could be washed away by a flood to a different pride land and can’t find his way back home that would explain later absence.

  • Mel

    I am hyped that Kovu is coming back along with Kiara and Kion and the rest

  • Khristina

    It would be nice if Simbas mother has a few appearances

    • Ashley

      Sadly, the voice actor for Simba’s mother, Madge Sinclair, died in 1995. It was for that reason she didn’t make an appearance in the second movie. The disney website also, at one point stated she was banished with the outsiders, but… That seems extremely unlikely, as she was loyal to the pride. I think they just pulled that out of nowhere to explain it last minute

      • Rachel

        I had always thought that the reasoning for Sarabi never returning was because she would’ve died. She’d be a very old lioness, and can’t live forever. Though you can say the same thing about rafiki and zazu, they’ve been around a long time and they’re still alive.

      • Mohammad Yasin

        they could easily change the voice actor

  • aaliyonce .

    Zira was on as well. Watched the episode with my niece today.

  • Ismail Fofana

    Where is kuvo wasnt he allowed in and mates with kiara how come they dont have a family and still look young.