Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Popcorn & Coffee: The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar

$19.99; 44 minutes; TV-Y; Amazon
Wow! I didn't realize that Disney's The Lion King is now over twenty-years-old. It's considered to be one of Disney's best animation films. It spawned two direct-to-video sequels (The Lion King II: Simba's Pride and The Lion King 1/2) and a spin-off television series, The Lion King's Timon & Pumbaa, which the latter ended in 1999.

The franchise seemed to be over until Disney Junior aired a one-hour pilot movie called The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar last year; followed by a weekly series that started on Jan. 15th. The pilot is now available on to own on DVD and Digital HD. The only bonus feature on the single-disc is the music video "Here Comes the Lion Guard" by Beau Black. It also comes with a 'free" talking backpack pull.

"Return of the Roar" centers on Simba and Nala's young son, Kion, who has developed a mighty roar. Upon hearing about his son's roar, Simba announces that he will reinstate the Lion Guard, which was once led by his evil uncle, Scar, and Kion will be the new leader. The Lion Guard are responsible for protecting "The Circle of Life" in the kingdom.

Kion's first assignment as the Lion Guard leader is to enlist a team of the best lions, but sadly he can't find any that would be the perfect fit. However, he invite his friends to join  - Beshte (a hippopotamus, the strongest), Bunga (a honey badger, the bravest), Ono (cattle egret, the keenest of sight) and Fuli (cheetah, the fastest).

After a group of hyenas threaten the kingdom and puts Kion's older sister's life (Kiara) in jeopardy, Kion and his pals must prove to everyone that they are the perfect team to be the new Lion Guard.

Final Thoughts: I have to admit that I'm not the biggest fan of the original movie or its sequels; however, after seeing a few advertisements for the DVD release of The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar, I thought I would give it a try. The animation style is slightly different than the films, though this is to be expected for a made-for-TV movie. Older fans will noticed there are new voices for Simba, Nala, Timon and Pumbaa, but I'm sure the younger generation won't even notice or even care about the differences. The plot is pretty simple with Kion becoming the new leader of the Lion Guard; defending the kingdom with the help of his friends. Overall, The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar is a cute 44-minute movie that will appeal to younger viewers.

*Disclaimer - I received a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

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