I was invited by Disney on an all expenses paid trip for my coverage of the #GoodDinoEvent, #ABCTVEvent, & #LionGuardEvent. All opinions are my own.
Just a couple of days ago I had the chance to visit The Disney Channel Building to watch an early screening of The Lion Guard Return of the Roar.
This 45 minute special will premiere on the Disney Channel THIS SUNDAY Nov. 22 at 7p!
“The epic storytelling of Disney’s “The Lion King” continues with “The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar,” a primetime television movie event starring Rob Lowe, Gabrielle Union and James Earl Jones, reprising his iconic role as Mufasa. Premiering this November on Disney Channel, the movie follows Kion, the second-born cub of Simba and Nala, as he assumes the role of leader of the Lion Guard, a team of animals tasked with preserving the Pride Lands. “The Lion Guard” television series will premiere in early 2016 on Disney Channels and Disney Junior channels around the globe.” (Disney Junior)
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect with this special. I loved the Lion King and it was a big part of my childhood. I wondered if a Disney Channel special could meet my expectations. I am very happy to say, yes it did! I thought it was fun, entertaining, funny, cute, and I LOVED the songs and the story line. The songs are catchy and your kids will be singing long after you watch it (I know I still am).
Here are the fun characters you will see in the special.
Check out the trailer…
After the screening we had the chance to do a Q & A with Executive Producer Ford Riley, Composer Christopher Willis, Singer/Songwriter Beau Black & Swahili Consultant Sarah Mirza. As well as a video conference with Animal Kingdom’s Dr. Jill Mellen. I loved learning from them about the making of the special and what went into that process.
Here are the fun facts I learned from the Q&A:
- This Disney Channel Special airs Sunday 11/22, and the series episodes will begin airing in January 2016 on Disney Junior. Each episode will be a half hour and there will be 26 episodes.
- Every episode will have it’s own original song.
- The creators of the show work closely and regularly with the Animal Kingdom’s animal specialists to ensure that the scripts and animals all stay true to life and accurate to nature. They actually get a weekly script to look over and fact check.
- The additional language spoken in the series is swahili. The Lion Guard will feature Swahili catch phrases every episode!
- Zuka Zama means “get up, dive in” in swahili.
- There will be some fun special guest celebrities voicing new animals in the upcoming episodes.
- We will see an elephant bee interaction in an upcoming episode, did you know Elephants are terrified of bees? They are. So am I 🙂
- The Lion Guard takes place between Act 1 and 2 of ‘The Lion King 2″ movie.
- The story is all about Kion son of Simba (and his friends of course) who are in the Lion Guard.
- The creators really want the message of conservation and taking care of our planet (The circle of life) to come through to children who watch it.
- There will be a good hyena introduced in the episodes. The Animal Kindom experts wanted the show to help give hyenas a good name again since research on hyenas stopped after the Lion King since they were shown as villains.
- The show features a diverse group of characters because diversity is important, even in animation.
- The Executive Producer Ford Riley, came up with the idea of the show by seeing his son playing super heroes with friends. He thought it would be great to do a super hero style show but with animals.
- The character “Bunga” has chosen Timon and Pumba as his uncles, we will learn more about that in the episodes.
It was so great hearing from them all and getting some insight into the creative process of the making of The Lion Guard Return of the Roar. After the Q & A we all took a group photo with them.
Also, show your best roar on social media to help protect African Wildlife. Get your roar on and use the hashtag #ReturnOfTheRoar on social media and for every post between now and 11/22/2015, Disney will donate $1 (up to $25,000) to help protect African Wildlife through the Disney Conservation Fund.
When we were at the #LionGuardEvent we got to record a super fun roar, I am roaring with Rebecca from RWeThereYetMom.com, and Candy from CandyPo.com. Take a look…
Be sure to watch The Lion Guard Return of the Roar this Sunday (11/22) with your kids (and DVR it) because they will love it and want to watch it again and again!
Also, grab these fun Lion Guard printables (at the bottom of the page) to enjoy with your kids!
And because this is too cute not to share, this is sitting in the lobby of one of the floors at the Disney Channel building. I guess our favorite friends from The Lion King