The death of every lion male by the paw of Scar is an elegant way to explain the absence of any beta male in the previous films, rather than just saying they're off-screen, while getting over all the incest implications of having only two brother males in the Pride. It also explains why Simba could not find a suitor for Kiara even in her teenage years, before Kovu appeared.
According to Jasiri, most hyenas are actually good. Taking this into consideration, maybe the only reason the hyenas in the film joined Scar was truly because he promised they would "never go hungry again". They just drank in his every word without thinking further. Note that it would simply turn them more stupid than evil, and admit it, incredibly environmentally irresponsible... just like another notorious species.
The fact Scar was said to have the "Roar of the Elders" may explain why Zira and her lionesses were so fanatically loyal to Scar, even after his death, in the first place: having the "Roar of the Elders" would give him a mark of respect, and Zira may have believed that it meant he deserved to be king more than Mufasa.
Note that it would be a big misinterpretation of the Roar of the Elders on her part. Scar was the custodian of this power because he was the youngest of the royal siblings. It means that per se, he had this mark of respect because he only played the supporting role in the kingdom (like a consolation prize), so it is far-stretched to pretend it would be a valid argument in Zira's view without outing the joker of her madness. It is right that the series does not mention if the youngest keeps his powers in the case he inherits legally the crown.
There's a certain logic to this. A magical roar that instantly knockouts if not kills enemies or summons the dead is considerably more awe-inspiring than "was born first". It's a wonder why the Elders didn't anticipate the temptation of the holder to use this power to frame a coup against his first-born sibling.
His connection to the Roar also shows that Scar's personality is what always was the problem. The roar, when used for good, can do amazing things...but when used for evil, it can cause a lot of problems. Meaning that the Elders KNEW of the risks but felt that anyone who gets it is worthy until proven otherwise...such as when Scar murdered his fellow Guardsmen, that is when this power was stripped.
Makuu's criticism of Pua for fearing hippos, as described under What an Idiot! on the YMMV page, demonstrates how unfit he is as a leader.
The elephant funeral scene in "I can't wait to be Queen" is actually more true to life than some would think. Elephants do mourn their dead, so it is logical that they would hold it. And why is Simba just there? Because it explains that if the Pridelands got better so quickly, it was because the leader of the Elephants came back... So likely Pua from "Rise of Makuu" was also one of the leaders to help fix the Pride Lands, and many other elderly animals could have been the ones who helped fix it. It explains the ending of the first film rather well if Simba could inspire many different animals to come back to restore the Circle of Life.
It could also explain the teamwork mindset of many of the animals in "Rise of Makuu"; the Hippos, who are usually territorial in real life, are willing to allow crocodiles in their territory to eat overpopulated fish. Why would the leader Hippo allow this? It's likely that he worked with the Crocodiles in fixing the Pride Lands, so this is his way to repay the crocodiles for their help.
Nne and Tano are quite dark and serious villains for what is a much Lighter and Softer show, compared to the film. However since Season 2 is going to be much darker, it makes sense. The first season is approaching its end, and their appearance could be meant to foreshadow the darker second season ahead.
In "The Lions of the Outlands," Zira shows Kion that he can use the roar to affect the weather, among other things, by having him roar at a tiny cloud and turn it into a raging thunderhead. That would explain the otherwise inexplicable except for dramatic effect state of the Pridelands after Scar became king in the original movie. Scar really did have the power to change the environment!
It's a big shame that Kion failed to address her about the murder of the previous Guard, and the fact that could be linked. Not that it would change the mind of a dirty liar like Zira, but still... It could make the others doubt. At least, this would entirely avoid the false dilemma between surrendering or risking to lose his powers, without needing the rest of the Guard to remind him the obvious. Eventually, they never try to clear up the situation for the whole Pride of Outlanders, despite that, now we know Zira is blatantly lying (or in the denial), some of them could be misled about Scar's true story.
Even if Kion explained to Zira that Scar blatantly murdered his Guard, it's doubtful she would react with shock. In Lion King II, she comments how Kovu, upon completing his training, has a similar "blackness" in his heart to that of Scar. It's not that she's in denial; if anything, it would make Scar seem even powerful to her.
The Outsiders are seen to have Fantastic Racism against hyenas Up to Eleven, despite the fact that Scar employed a large army of loyal hyenas during his reign. While it may be seen as strange at first glance considering Scar's alliance with the hyenas, it's possible that Zira knows of the hyenas' part in Scar's death and thus painted the hyenas as having betrayed Scar, brainwashing her pride. This is one reason they're so hell-bent on antagonizing Jasiri's family, since they can't do anything about Shenzi's clan since they fled the Pride Lands after Scar's death.
The Outlander Lions look down on all hyenas. So of course, they hate Janja and his bachelor clan too. Just like Jasiri they have difficulty hunting in the Outlands which is why they're always coming in. It's just that Janja happens to be a jerk, so he never got the memo.
It is established that hyenas and leopards don't live in the Pridelands. These animals are known to compete fiercely with lions over food and territory. So In-Universe, the three species could have settled a pact to stay on their own lands - lions in the Pridelands, hyenas in the Outlands, and leopards in the Backlands. It could explain why Janja and Makucha aren't allowed to hunt within the Pridelands' borders. Cheetahs, on the other hand, are nowhere as powerful or intimidating and frequently lose their kills to the larger predators. Let's just say the lions were generous enough to share their land with them. Other predators such as crocodiles, snakes, and eagles fill in their own ecological niche, and thus the lions allow them to live in the Pridelands as well.
This may explain why Jasiri and her clan would rather stay in the Outlands even though they respect the Circle of Life. They're aware of the pact and they're respecting it. Plus, Jasiri did initially tell Kion she wants him out of her territory.
Gets further established in "Ono and the Egg", which suggests that predators have to stay in their own territories in order to preserve the Circle of Life.
Plus the areas seem to fit into the main environment; the Pride Lands are a savannah-like area that lions are mostly living in, the Outlands appear to be more desert-like which fits where vultures and the like reside, and the Backlands are a forest-like environment, perfect for leopards and other more tropical predators.
Vultures aren't restricted to desert-like environments and leopards are absolutely savannah dwellers.
According to "Ono and the Egg", hawks are not allowed to hunt in the Pride Lands. The Pride Lands already has eagles (seeing as how Hadithi is allowed there) and owls (an owl's hoot was heard in "Beware of the Zimwi") filling in the role of aerial predators.
Furthermore, this adds nuance to the 'lions only' tradition. If there are only a few predatory species in the Pridelands, warlike titles like "Fiercest" will probably fall on a lion. To say nothing of how far it is between herds' grazing grounds to the Guard den (talk about a long work commute!), and how the preyed-upon species might leave if asked to contribute Guards as well as meat to the pride. Kion is lucky to have such adventurous friends.
Janja's got a pretty strong resemblance to Banzai through the eyebrows, but if you look at his mane, it's slicked back kind of how Scar did his mane.
While Mufasa's spirit appears as a figment in the clouds, Scar's likeness is framed in fire. This is a nice way to highlight the contrast between the heavenly Mufasa and the hellish Scar.
The show itself can be viewed as a metaphor for wildlife conservation. The Pridelands is essentially a refuge where animals can live under protection by the royal family, who respect the Circle of Life by hunting only what they need and when they need it. It is best explained in "Ono and the Egg".
Kion: The reason there are so many different animals in the Pridelands is because we all respect the Circle of Life. (to Mpishi) I hope you'll do the same and return to your own territory.
In contrast to the Guard, many of the antagonists could fit the representation of an Evil Poacher. For example Makucha, while he may be a predator, is known to especially go after okapis due to their rarity and thus seems to target endangered species. The same would go for Mpishi, who came to the Pridelands for rare prey to eat. And of course, Janja, Reirei and their respective groups are set on overhunting.
Mwoga is revealed to dislike fresh meat in "Ono and the Egg", despite hunting for live prey with Mzingo in previous episodes. However, he makes an agreement with Mpishi to have the scraps when she finishes off whatever prey she finds, which is probably the same deal he regularly makes with Mzingo who is more intent on killing.
Mzingo's flock and Janja's clan work several times together. In real life, vultures and hyenas can get along fine and share the same carcasses (as long as there is enough food for all of course). Hyenas sometimes follow vultures to find carcasses (as vultures have a better vision), while the vultures also use the presence of hyenas to locate prey.
"Let Sleeping Crocs" has Makuu and the other crocodiles putting their focus on finding a suitable source of water for them as it is the dry season, but they don't seem to consider food much of an issue (although they settle in a watering hole that would provide enough fish for them to eat). This is because crocodiles can go for years without eating due their ectothermy, but because of their ectothermy they need to rely on water to conserve their energy and maintain their body temperature.
"Swept Away" shows Kion being somewhat hesitant to use the Roar of The Elders to make it rain like Zira showed him, and it would certainly explain why he didn't use it to help Makuu in "Let The Sleeping Crocs Lie": 1). It's not a precise power, and can produce too much rain than what's desired. 2). Rain during a dry season can do a lot more serious damage than help. As Ono stated, most of the ground is too dry to absorb water, which would cause sweeping floods that can damage their new watering hole, and Makuu wouldn't like that.
"The Ukumbusho Tradition" makes it quite clear that elephants are deathly afraid of bees, which can fly up their trunks and potentially sting them. This is Truth in Television, but for another reason: Africanized bees are some of the deadliest animals in Africa. An angry swarm is powerful enough to kill just about any animal on the savanna, including elephants.
In "The Bite of Kenge", Scar plots for all the melons to be stolen from the Pridelands so that the elephants will die of thirst. Now why would Scar - whose main goal is to reclaim the Pridelands - be focused on something as petty as killing off random animals? Well, it just so happens the previous episode talked about peace being made between the elephants and lions. And several other episodes made it clear these two species have a special alliance. When you put this all together, maybe Scar anticipated that by exterminating members of one of the royal family's greatest allies, he would break them apart, possibly leading to a war, and thus a huge detriment to the Circle of Life and an opportunity for him to take over.
There's also the fact elephants are a keystone species. Without them, the Pridelands would be devastated making it easier for him to take over.
So, in "The Scorpion's Sting", it's a bit redundant to have Sumu the scorpion when Ushari is a venomous cobra who can accomplish the same result, but there's a reason Ushari wasn't sent to do the task; Ushari isn't very good at stealth, as he's too big that he can easily be spotted, and there aren't very many places for him to hide in Pride Rock, and it's established he's not very fast either, so he can still get caught if he tries to get away.
Janja and Jasiri not only act different, but look different as well. Janja and his clan are confirmed descendants of the hyenas from the Elephant Graveyard and as such, they bear the same physical features like Yellow Eyes of Sneakiness and sickly-grey fur, whereas the animals in Jasiri's clan have more cream-colored eyes and a more purple fur tone to make them distinguishable from the "bad hyenas".
Fuli is the first female to ever join the Lion Guard. This fits perfectly with Real Life lions' behavior; the males protect the territory while the lionesses do most of the hunting. That's why the previous Lion Guards, that only had lion members, never had any females.
Scar killing the other four lions in the Lion Guard that he was the head of. Not only is this an extremely dark backstory for a show made for young children, but it shows how far Scar has gone to get the throne; not only killing his brother and attempting to kill his nephew, not only having a lioness manipulate a young cub to become his successor... But he also killed the four lions who helped him to protect the Pridelands originally. What had turned Scar into the villain that he is now, as he was once tasked with protecting the Pride Lands.
Since the cubs of the show are the next generation after Scar's reign, you can tell that many adults must be survivors of the Dark Ages of the Pride Lands (save possible newcomers of other Lands). Imagine the heavy background they may have: the terrible ordeals they went through, countless relatives who died, their escape to foreign countries, roving while waiting for better times, until Scar died and they could go back to home and rebuild their lives.
Conversely, the former inhabitants may have all died, and the current herds would all be immigrants from other countries. The series does not give indications about the proportion of one and the other, but on the whole, nobody looks shell-shocked.
Although Badili is a friendly leopard, keep in mind he is still a predator. And when you consider that leopards store their food in trees, it isn't hard to imagine why the galagos wouldn't want to share a tree with him (besides the obvious fear that they themselves could get eaten).
Had Kiburi won the mashindano and assumed leadership of the crocodiles, his punishment of being banished would have been deferred to Makuu. Worse still, Scar may very well have had a plan B for this situation. In other words, Kiburi would still be living in the Pridelands while also serving Scar.
One of the first things Mufasa taught Simba in the first movie was that no, a king actually can't go wherever he wants, whenever he wants, and expect to get his way all the time. Kion frequently leads the guard across the border, gets violent with the local predators if they object, and is actively encouraged to do so by Simba, so it's clear this lesson never stuck.
To be fair, most of the instances where the Guard trespasses into other borders, they have a good reason for it (eg; leading animals into the Pridelands). And if predators intrude, some laws need to be broken. Mufasa didn't just let Simba be eaten the time he ventured into the Elephant Graveyard. Then again, he also mentioned that a king can't do this stuff, he never mentioned the guard's limitations.
According to Simba's pride, the cub presented in the ending of the Lion King (officiously named "Fluffy" in the production, who didn't intend a sequel initially) reveals to be Kiara in Simba's Pride. And yet, almost every tie-in materials of the first film mentioned "Fluffy" as a boy, logical in the context of the scene: since the ending repeats the beginning scene with the Circle of Life theme, anyone would assume it is a boy like his father was in the first place. So, Kiara as a girl was a bit of a gender Retcon, and the film even gives a nod to this gender bias with Timon and Pumbaa's reaction when they learn it. However, some fans complained that the differences between Kiara's and Fluffy's presentation (which are supposed to be the exact same scene) are too blatant to make it the same, and still stuck with the first boy theory (in fact, every character of the previous film was redesigned because of the change of animation team, but it is more flagrant for the little cub). A first, previously common explanation was that it was actually Kopa, a spin-off character from the Children Books "The Lion King: 6 New Adventures" presented as the grown "Fluffy" of the film, and who disappeared in the events of the official sequel for a reason that some linked to the true motive of the Outlanders banishment. Alex Simmonds, creator of the character, even asserted that the 6 New Adventures were an interquel between the two films, thus making it in line with the universe continuity, but without explaining what happened to his character, in this case. However, the fact the new series "The Lion Guard" stated Kion as the second prince cub made this statement wrong, thus destroying every "canon Kopa" theory. Nevertheless, the introduction of Kion as a son of Simba and Nala brings a new perspective on the debate: since they have approximately the same size and age, they are certainly from the same litter (They look like cubs aged of a few months. A lioness gestation being four months, their sibling-ship would be impossible otherwise, if we suppose the anthropomorphism is reasonable in the series and Nala is the true mother for both).
Then, it is possible that Kion is indeed the "Fluffy" of the first film, giving an in-universe explanation of the scenes differences and tie-in materials confusion about the gender. Kiara can still be the heir to the throne if she is born a few minutes before her twin brother, but they were both presented to the people in the same ceremony, cut in half throughout the two movies. However, that still raises the question why Kion would have been presented in first, and why he was still nowhere to be seen during Kiara's presentation.
"Return of the Roar" makes specific more than once that Kion is in fact Kiara's younger brother in a manner that suits more to a brother of a different pregnancy than a twin brother younger by a few minutes. Either this is the way for characters to keep in mind the order of succession, as unfair as it is for a few minutes (which is a Truth in Television for twin princes), either it means Disney anthropomorphised the age/size difference like it did with Kovu and Kiara in Simba's Pride.
Kion may not have been presented first. Kiara's presentation takes place at sunrise, while Fluffy's takes place a bit later in the morning. If Kion is Fluffy, his presentation could be either immediately after Kiara's as a twin (what means Nala awkwardly left newborn Kion in the cave (in the care of another lioness with no doubt) just to watch the presentation of the crown princess), either months later as a separate pregnancy brother, Kiara being mysteriously absent in both cases, as a newborn or as young cub. Anyway, this remains a retroactive fan reinterpretation of the scene more precarious than for Kopa's since it inverts the order of the scenes for no other reason that to fit in. Canonically, Fluffy will stay to be Kiara.
The hyenas' song is about attacking in the night, but they strike in the afternoon.
Given how the hyenas are practically starving, who could blame them for attacking earlier than planned?
If you are a primarily nocturnal species, maybe the definitions of day and night are also reversed.
Janja and his clan aren't the brightest bulbs in the box.
For a meta explanation, it's been said that the plot of the pilot changed but they didn't have time to write a new song, so they kept it in.
The fact that the Guard under Scar's command was destroyed (and Scar himself stripped of his powers) means that the Pridelands were practically defenseless for quite sometime. The beginning of the first film fits into a context where Mufasa is alone to defend the country and has to face an increased harassment from the neighbouring hyenas' land that takes all his attention; what didn't allow him to find out Scar's plot in time. Maybe they could have prevented Mufasa's death, Simba's exile and Scar's ascension to power in the original movie if it weren't for their demise.
"The Imaginary Okapi" introduces us to Makucha the leopard, who (according to the Guard) aren't native to the Pridelands. The premise of the episode "The Trouble With Galagos," which is two episodes later, is the Guard helping a leopard reclaim his territory... even though leopards supposedly don't live in the Pridelands.
The leopard's proper territory is in a forest, in the Backlands which are right next to the Pridelands. It's right that technically, this place is not within the Guard's jurisdiction, but they may help him for diplomatic motives. In a meta way, it is also a good thing they create different characters from the same species on both sides, so they avoid stereotyping like they initially did with the hyenas.
In "Return of the Roar," Simba initially tells Kion that there are plenty of lions to choose for the guard right in their own pride... have we seen any other lions at Pride Rock? We've got the royal family, Kiara's friends, and that's it aside from the Outlander lions. They've got to be there, since canonically in the second movie all the lionesses from the first film are still around. Obviously they haven't been integral to the story so far, but for there to not even be so much as a background appearance or any shots of the pride just mingling about or anything still seems odd.
They're most likely hunting while the main plot of every episode takes place. A few new lionesses appear in "The Ukumbusho Tradition". Likewise, Zira has noticeably less lionesses in her pride than in the movie, though it can be assumed they went off to search for new territories.
All the previous Lion Guards really wouldn't have been able to fully live up to their reputation. While it is possible for lions to hold the titles of "fiercest" and "bravest" in the Pridelands, the others would have been unable to back up their positions of "fastest", "strongest" and "keenest of sight", since (as the modern-day Guard proves), there are other animals in the Pridelands who are far faster, stronger, and keen of sight than lions.