Disney also announced the recurring voice cast, which includes Blair Underwood, Ana Gasteyer and Maia Mitchell.
“The Lion Guard” follows the adventures of Kion (voiced by Max Charles), the second-born cub of Simba (Rob Lowe) and Nala (Gabrielle Union), and his diverse group of friends, each with a unique skill, as they unite to protect the Pride Lands.
Underwood (“Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”) will play Makuu, leader of the crocodiles and one of the Lion Guard’s main villains; Ana Gasteyer (“The Goldbergs”) will play Reirei, a clever and scheming jackal who wreaks havoc in the Pride Lands; and Maia Mitchell (“The Fosters,” “Teen Beach Movie”) will lend her voice to Jasiri, a friendly hyena who rescues Kion and helps him face off against Janja and the rest of the hyenas. All three recurring stars are already in the Disney/ABC family, per their aforementioned shows.
Jason Marsden, Andy Dick and Lacey Chabert, who voiced characters in the 1998 direct-to-video “Lion King” sequel movie, “The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride,” will also reprise their characters for one episode in the new animated series, which marks the first revival since “Simba’s Pride” almost two decades ago.
The January series debut of “Lion Guard” comes after the Nov. 22 hourlong movie, “The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar,” which averaged 5.358 million viewers on the Disney Channel. The family-viewing telepic ranked as the No. 1 primetime cable telecast of 2015 among kids 2-5 (1.4 million), the No. 1 animated telecast across kid cable-TV networks in total viewers, 18-49 and kids 2-11, and the No. 1 rated cable TV telecast among girls 2-5 (893,000) since the company’s own “Sofia the First” primetime special in November 2014.
Following the Jan. 15 debut, the premiere episode will encore throughout the weekend on both the Disney Channel and Disney Junior.