The Lion King, like Bambi, is a particularly notable movie because it helped teach an entire generation of young kids the idea that someday their parents will die. It may be morbid to think of the film in those terms, but it absolutely taught youngsters about loss and moving on and living in the shadow of your parents. That's also why it's a tad funny that Disney can't actually let The Lion King go.
The 1994 movie has already spawned an incredibly popular stage musical, three seasons of an animated show (The Lion King's Timon and Pumbaa), two straight-to-video sequels (Simba's Pride and The Lion King 1.5), and a 3D conversion rerelease that grossed a shocking $94 million. But there's still more money to be made out of the franchise, and it will all be restarted with the 2015 TV movie The Lion Guard.
The movie will follow one of Simba and Nala's children, who becomes a leader of a group that protects Pride Lands. This guard consists of a ragtag mix of animals like a honey badger, a cheetah, a hippo and an egret. We don't exactly know what threat they're trying to protect the Pride Lands from (the show is said to feature conservation themes), but apparently it's big enough to spawn a TV series that will then start in 2016. And between the new movie and show, it's expected that most of the original Lion King characters (Timon, Pumbaa and the like) will factor into the story somehow. And, again, for a movie that was so noteworthy for how it handled death, it's going to be a little strange if none of the characters from that movie follow the actual circle of life and live long enough to make cameos.
Both the movie and show are being geared to kids age two through seven, so if you're a parent with someone in that age bracket in your house, we hope you're not too tired of The Lion King just yet, because there's now a lot more coming.
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