Disney is looking to get new mileage out of its “Lion King” franchise with a new animated series and TV movie planned for its Disney Channel and Disney Junior cablers.
Disney Television Animation is producing “The Lion Guard,” a series that continues the storyline of the Mouse’s boffo 1994 hit feature. “Lion Guard” will bow next fall with a TV movie and transition to a regular series in early 2016.
“We look forward to introducing a whole new generation of kids to both the Disney legacy characters and to new friends and heroes,” said Nancy Kanter, exec VP of original programming and g.m. of Disney Junior Worldwide.
The original Lion King raked in just under a billion dollars during its theatrical releases and re-releases. It's spawned a couple of home video sequels (Lion King 2; Lion King 1 1/2) and three seasons of comedy with supporting players Timon and Pumbaa. Little wonder then that it's now being dusted off to provide more cash flow.
If you've got a viable property, it does little good if you don't exploit it. Happily, Disney is expert at maximizing profits.