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Disney announces Lion King spin-off TV movie

The circle of life is back in motion and this time will focus on Simba's son

The circle of life is back in motion as Disney is planning a Lion King spin-off.

Set to air as a TV movie in the US next autumn, The Lion Guard will follow Kion, the second-born cub of Simba and Nala. The red-haired prince must gather a group of friends to protect and preserve the Pride Lands for future generations.

Popular characters including Timon and Pumbaa, Rafiki, Zazu and Mufasa are all expected to make appearances (yes, we know Mufasa is dead, but perhaps we will see him in the stars again?).

Kion’s sister Kiara will also feature in the film, alongside Simba and Nala. Hippo Beshte, egret Ono, honey badger Bunga and cheetah Fuli are among the new characters.

“It’s kind of like The Lion King meets The Avengers,” hinted Nancy Kanter, Disney Junior’s general manager. “The story of The Lion King has deeply touched families around the world. We look forward to introducing a whole new generation of kids to both the Disney legacy characters and to new friends and heroes.”

A UK broadcast date for The Lion Guard has not yet been confirmed but a follow-up 2016 series is already being planned for the Disney Junior and Disney Channel.

The Oscar-winning original film hit cinemas twenty years ago in 1994 and remains an all-time classic. Two sequels, The Lion King 2: Simba’s Pride and The Lion King 1 ½ followed, with Timon and Pumbaa also starring in a Nineties spin-off TV series.