Entertainment

'Lion King' Sequel Series Coming To Disney Channel In 2015

Disney Channel has ordered "The Lion Guard," a sequel show starring Simba's son. It will premiere in 2015, more than 20 years after the film's debut.

'Lion King' Sequel Series Coming To Disney Channel In 2015
The Wall Street Journal / Disney
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​It's been 20 years since "The Lion King" roared into theaters — and guys, it's time to feel the love again. 

The Wall Street Journal broke the news that Disney is readying a "Lion King" sequel series aimed at preschoolers. Called "The Lion Guard," it's set to launch next year. Here's the setup: 

"The series will be about Kion, the son of the now-grown 'Lion King' protagonist Simba, who assembles a group of animals to help him protect the jungle prideland as part of a group called the Lion Guard."

Disney Junior's general manager dubbed it "The Avengers" meets "The Lion King." FYI, both movies were made by Disney. 

The sequel is kind of a no-brainer for the studio — "The Lion King" was Disney Animation's highest-grossing feature film ever until something called "Frozen" came along last year. 

But it's not like "The Lion King" has been in hibernation since 1994. 

There were two straight-to-video sequels, one in 1998 and another in 2004. (Via IMDb) 

And there's the megahit musical that's grossed more than $1 billion since its debut on Broadway in 1997. (Via YouTube / DisneyOnBroadway)

Plus, Disney Channel aired a "Timon & Pumbaa" spinoff series from 1995 to 1999. 

But this new show falls into Disney's current strategy of introducing new viewers to older properties.

"The Lion Guard" will join shows like "Jake and the Never Land Pirates," featuring characters from the "Peter Pan" universe and "Sofia The First," which features the fairies from "Sleeping Beauty." 

And like those two shows, "The Lion Guard" will have an educational slant — Entertainment Weekly reports a group of researchers from Disney's Animal Kingdom theme park will act as consultants for episodes about, what else, the circle of life. 

And TVLine promises all your favorites will be back — ​Simba, Nala, Timon, Pumbaa, Rafiki, Zasu and Kion's older sister Kiara are all expected to drop in for cameos. 

But the focus will be on new characters — including a cheetah, a honey badger, a hippo and an egret, who will join lion cub Kion as the show's titular guards.

And according to Time, a whole new line of toys will come out to promote the show. This is Disney, after all. 

"The Lion Guard" will debut as a TV movie in November 2015, followed by the series launch in early 2016. So, until then, hakuna matata.