Hey Guys. I've just seen The Lion Guard: Return Of The Roar today, and I thought I'd review it as well as the other parts of The Lion King franchise. You all know that I have praised it as one of my favorite Disney movies, but what about the other parts of the franchise (other than the Timon and Pumbaa show which I have already reviewed twice)? Eh, they are ok I guess, but the original Lion King will always be the best in my opinion. So what do I think of the other parts of the franchise? Well, let's take a look.
The Lion King 2: Simba's Pride
Ok, I have to be honest, I am not really a big fan of Disney direct to video sequels, mostly because of the faded animation, corny attempts to re-hash the originals, and certain voice actors whose performances are done to death, like Jim Cummings for example. As for this one, I guess it is an okay direct to video sequel, though not much begs for me to watch it either. So what is it about Simba's Pride that does or doesn't work? Well for starters, sorta like Grug from The Croods (even though this one came first), Simba is overprotective of Kiara in a rather negative way. I guess he was too afraid of another "Circle of Life catastrophe" that Scar caused in the first film, but still I didn't really get into it. One of the things I liked about the original was the balanced relationship between Mufasa and Simba. Mufasa was stern and strict when necessary but didn't punish him very harsly. Here, Simba seemed a little anagonistic when confining Kiara in Pride rock. But you know the overprotective cliche enough to know that t will work out. Most of the other things about this one is...eh, fine I guess. The romance between Kiara and Kovu-fine, the villain Zira-fine. I'd say the only thing that stands out is Andy Dick's voice as the bully lion. Other than that, there's not much else I can say. It's not the best, not the worst, it is what it is.
The Lion King 1 1/2
So Timon and Pumbaa became the most popular characters of The Lion King and got their own show, so why not a spin off movie? I'd say the best thing about it is how Timon and Pumbaa are explaining their own documentary in a funny satire-like way. Like the 1 1/2 aspect of the title is what I think other midquels should have in their titles (or in this film's case, I call it a sidequel). Seeing how they are in every important scene of the original is pretty funny, although there were a couple confusing moments. For instance, it turned out the wildebeest were rushing to get water, but in the original the wildebeest were running because of the hyenas. There was also the climax where Timon and Pumbaa were scared when trying to stall the hyenas. Wait, Pumbaa kicked their butts after Banzai called him a pig? Why scared now? I dunno. Anyway, there is the first meeeting between Timon and Pumbaa that was completely different from the TV show. However, unlike The Little Mermaid franchise, the tv series were already doing stuff that was illogical to the original film in a "Looney Tunes" type style, so they had an excuse. Also, since Timon and Pumbaa had access to their own theater, and with the other Disney cameos, I thought of it as a House of Mouse or Roger Rabbit type of dimension, so I let that off the hook as well. Before I move on to Return of the Roar I must mention that the joke with Pumbaa's so-called hot tub was REALLY funny. Farting jokes make me laugh. So overall, The Lion King 1 1/2 does have some funny charms, but I don't think it matches the same hilariousness of the TV series. If it looks like it is worth a few laughs, give it a try and see what you think.
The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar
Ok, I just saw this movie today with my moviegoing friend who really enjoyed it and wanted to share it with me. It was meant to be the piolot special of Disney Junior's new series that we never saw from The Lion King 2. At first I was a little confused since Kion and his gang were never seen before, but I guess they were too busy to be seen. How is it on its own? As a Disney Junior series and as a connection to The Lion King, I'd say it works pretty well. A lot of people have often criticized adaptations for toning down the adult material and making them "kiddy", but this is not one of them. It makes sure the material is appropriate for young ones to watch, but keeps the spiritual culture and environment aspects faithful to the original film, like a sufficient kids' show should. Although Timon and Pumbaa weren't in it that much, their appearance in this was pretty well. In addition, I did like how it dived a bit into its past. For instance, I was pretty surprised that Scar was the original leader of the lion guard, even though I thought he already wanted power before then. Could be both theories. I thought the new hyenas were pretty interesting too. They were funny, stupid, and hungry like the original hyena trio. I'd say my one complaint about RR is the scene where Simba scolds Kion for not having lions on his team. That kind of moment feels like he was trying to enforce Kion to "judge books by their covers". From a parent, that just doesn't seem right. Besides, Kion knew what he was doing? Why would it matter if they are not lions? Yeah, you get the idea that Simba will be wrong in the end and that he misjudged but still, I felt pretty uncomfortable from that scene. But for the most part, RR was a pretty decent entry in The Lion King franchise. But as you may have guessed, I'm ALWAYS going to prefer the original movie and the Timon and Pumbaa tv series most, but I am still glad I checked out this special. But of course, Return of the Roar was only the beginning of this new Lion Guard series.
And that's all I have to say, maybe I will check out a few Lion Guard episodes sometime in the future, but for now this is what I have to say. I hope I didn't insult too much, and stay true to your own opinions. See ya later.