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Heartwarming / The Lion Guard

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Season 1

  • Mufasa's return from beyond the grave, especially voiced by James Earl Jones, is almost as emotionally resonant as it was twenty years ago in the original film.
  • Bunga's relationship with his "uncles" Timon and Pumbaa. They were wonderful, caring guardians to Simba when he was growing up, and it's nice to see that some things never change — Bunga clearly adores them, is very protective of them, and they to him.
  • Jasiri, full stop. She's described as "a friendly hyena", but makes it clear that hyenas like Janja's clan are the exception rather than the norm and emphasizes the important part her species plays in the natural order of things. "Sisi ni Sawa", her duet with Kion, is almost criminally cute.
    • Her stunned reaction to Kion calling her a "friend" is nothing short of adorable.
  • Despite being in an argument with her earlier, Kion going to save his sister from Janja's crew shows how much he cares about her. He was the first to arrive at the scene, so he likely outran FULI to get to her first (And that's saying something, since she is meant to be very fast). Kiara even sounds relieved to see her younger brother. Shows that these two won't go down the same road as their Grandfather and Great Uncle for sure.
    • In that same episode, Simba delivering a eulogy for his old elephant friend. Even though he messes it up (because he can't speak Elephantese well), it ends up cheering everyone else up and making them smile while remembering him. It's a very sweet moment.
    • Simba, Nala and Zazu's trip to the elephant funeral and their song. It really speaks to the lengthy history between the three, especially since the lions as cubs gave Zazu hell.
    • Mufasa's own advice to Kion that he should always be there for his sister no matter what proves that even in death, and being murdered by his own brother, he still believes in the importance of family above all else.
  • In "Eye of the Beholder", Rafiki is having trouble making an accurate portrait of the new Lion Guard to add to the wall, because they're different from the ones that came before. He ends up figuring out what's missing after talking to Ono, who flies off to help the Guard even though he's injured - the difference is that they're all ''friends'', and he redraws the picture from Kion larger and over the others to them all being equal and together.
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  • In "The Kupatana Celebration", the various Pridelanders all gathering together peacefully to celebrate the Circle of Life and their community. Even Makuu is attending the celebration without causing trouble for anyone.
  • The group hug at the end of "Fuli's New Family" is full of sweet. Made even more heartwarming by the fact that Fuli is not exactly a touch-feely sort of cat, yet she makes an exception for her friends, whom she considers like family.
    • Also the clear fact that Timon and Pumbaa were worried sick about Bunga when they thought they were dying, and Kion was upset at Rafiki for not initially helping.
    • Timon calling Bunga "bubbe" and asking if he wants more bugs. It's an adorably momlike moment.
  • How Bunga met Timon and Pumbaa: He was an infant orphan who was able to fend for himself, but was lonely. But the minute he saw Timon and Pumbaa, he felt an instant connection and went to help them, even giving them grubs when he was instructed. Pumbaa was, of course, already liking the kid but Timon was iffy about having another kid to look after when they were done with Simba. But after seeing what Bunga could do, Timon decides 'what the heck' and they took him in as uncles.
    • The end of the episode, when Bunga is unable to gather the rare grubs that brought him together with his uncles in the first place and returns to the falls certain that he's let them down. Timon is the first one to assure him that it's fine, and then Pumbaa tells Bunga the real reason they celebrate year after year:
    Pumbaa: We celebrate because the day we got the Utamu was the day we met you!
  • In "Follow that Hippo", Besthe and the other Guards discover that they have younger fans, one of which looks up to Besthe. This is rather sweet in that it shows that the Pridelanders are appreciative of the guard's hard work.
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  • The fact Tamaa felt guilty for his role in the impala's plight and therefore tried to save them.
  • "Panic and Run" is intended to be a villain song, but Janja's delighted expressions throughout make it more adorable than anything. He looks like a kid on Christmas morning.
  • "Bunga And The King". At first, Bunga and Simba clash because of their differing personalities. But after singing "Hakuna Matata" and seeing that Timon and Pumbaa raised them, they decide that they can be "brothers".
    • At the end, they, Timon, and Pumbaa lead the Lion Guard and everyone else into singing "Hakuna Matata".
    • Timon referring to both Simba and Bunga as "our babies."
  • In "The Trouble With Galagos", the Lion Guard helps timid Badili 'find his roar' and reclaim his territory from another antagonistic leopard. The heroic side of the Lion Guard is often displayed throughout the series, but this episode really showcases how compassionate Kion, Fuli, Bunga, Beshte and Ono can be, including to strangers.
  • Cheezi and Chungu forgiving Janja for firing them in "Janja's New Crew". It's actually quite heartwarming that they had no ill will or grudge towards Janja whatsoever.
    • Earlier in the episode, the Lion Guard allows Cheezi and Chungu to stay in the Pridelands after hearing they were kicked out of their turf. This may count as heartwarming considering all the times they were previously chased out and to those who feel sympathy for them.
  • Stand up, Stand Out is a minute and a half of Bunga being Innocently Insensitive. It's also adorably earnest, to the point where even Ono can't help but smile.
  • "Baboons" is a song that has Fuli recognize that even though baboons are an annoyance, they are still friendly. Heck the whole episode is this as she bonds with the infant and is clearly livid when Mzingo tries to kill the infant.
    • "Claws off of my BABOON!"
  • Kovu full stop. He sounds ecstatic to meet Kion, apologizes for Nuka's actions, and sounds incredibly enthusiastic when he thinks they will be allowed back into the Pride Lands, even wanting to meet Kiara again. Given the Foregone Conclusion of the events of Film Two, it makes his appearance even more heartwarming.
  • "Kuishi Ni Kucheka"where the Guard experiences snow for the first time in their lives. Initially hesitant, they quickly start warming up to it. This is especially true in Kion and Fuli's case, since both of them are hesitant about it, but soon start playing with it with a newborn sense of glee.
    • It also implies that the Guard has become so used to being on the lookout that they haven't had much fun, if what Kion said in "Bunga and the King" about the Guard messing up his social life is a hint. This indicates that they can forget completely about their duties for a moment and just act like kids.
  • Kion and Kiara putting aside their differences to work together in "The Trail to Udugu". And while their Sibling Rivalry made a comeback, it wasn't quite as vicious or mean-spirited as it was in "Can't Wait to Be Queen"; It was a more playful version, with the two siblings actually laughing merrily as they tussled with each other at one point.
  • Hadithi hailing Ono as the true hero at the end of "Ono's Idol", after having seen his selflessness during the fight against Janja and his lackeys.
  • After spending most of the first season as a villain (aside from "The Kupatana Celebration"), Makuu finally gets to play a sympathetic role in "The Savannah Summit" when he attends the titular event not to take advantage of Simba's hospitality (as the Guard and the other animals thought) but genuinely try to improve his leadership and cooperate with the other Prideland leaders if it means helping his float. He actually thanks the Guard for saving him from falling into a Pit Trap dug by Twiga and Vuruga Vuruga, which he admitted to everyone else that it was "worthy of a crocodile".
  • The ending of "Ono and the Egg", Kulinda names her new daughter "Ona" in honor of Ono.
    • Earlier, there was Ona snuggling up to Ono, who reciprocates by putting a wing over her.

Season 2

  • All of Simba and Kion's father-son moments. Throughout the first season, Simba and Kion's bond as a father and son is strengthened by Simba's growing trust in Kion and Kion turning to Simba with his problems ("The Kupatana Celebration", "The Mbali Fields Migration", "Bunga and the King", "Too Many Termites"), and their working relationship as king and prince is expanded upon in the second season ("The Savannah Summit", "The Rise Of Scar", "Let Sleeping Crocs Lie", "The Golden Zebra", "The Scorpion's Sting"). The song "Path of Honor" cements the sort of good relationship they have.
  • It seems Makuu's Character Development in "The Savannah Summit" has stayed, as in "Let Sleeping Crocs Lie" he still tries to cooperate peacefully with the other Pridelanders and is a lot less hostile towards the Guard (he does apparently like to mess with people). Kion even says he has become a good leader for the crocodiles. And then at the end there's his response to Ono's apology for waking up him and the crocs during the dry season:
    Makuu: Then, as leader of the crocodiles, I need to make an example of you.
    Ono: (scared) Uh, you do?
    Makuu Yes.
    (Ono whimpers, preparing for the worst)
    Makuu: I forgive ya.
    Ono: (surprised) What?
    Makuu: You heard me.
    • And the reason Makuu decided to let Ono off the hook?
      Kion: I told Makuu how your keen sight foiled Kiburi's scheme.
      Simba: We all make mistakes, Ono. But you proved yourself invaluable today.
      Ono: Thank you. Oh, I mean... thank you!
  • Chama, Mzaha, and Furaha three different adolescent animals — an elephant, a sable antelope, and a red colobus respectively — all come together because of their vast similarities to one another and due to their vast differences with their tribes. In the episode "Rafiki's New Neighbors", they're all kicked out of their tribes but find each other and hit it off. In spite of Rafiki and the Lion Guard convincing them to return to their families, they soon decide to leave again of their own accord, reuniting with each other again and choosing to stick together for good. Though Rafiki turns them away from his home due to their sheer rambunctious noisiness, he has a change of heart when the trio save him and Makini from their burning tree while the Guard were occupied elsewhere, and then help save the tree from the fire altogether (though they've found a place elsewhere and graciously turn him down). It's at this point after the incident that they realize that they are each other's families, because of what they share and not what they don't. In spite of their obnoxious behavior and seeming troublemaker attitudes previously, by this point in the episode, they've proven they aren't bad animals, and Chama, Mzaha, and Furaha finding a home in each other ends the episode on a surprisingly heartwarming and poignant note.
    • The episode's song, "Three of a Kind", really quantifies the trio's relationship.
  • In "Rescue In The Outlands", Jasiri being a Cool Big Sis to Wema and Tunu when playing hide and seek. Later, she tries to comfort them whilst the lava is rising in their pit trap, only for Wema to say "I'm not worried, as long as we're with you."
  • In "The Ukumbusho Tradition", Bunga calms down Mtoto's mom from a panic attack and rescues her from a near-death experience. When he's not being socially-awkward, Bunga actually can be quite the people-person.
  • At the end of "The Little Guy", Makuu makes Hodari an honorary member of his float for the gecko's bravery against Kiburi.
    • Beshte showing concern for Hodari even after their friendship gets strained because of Kiburi. When they reunite during the final battle, Beshte still considers Hodari's as his "little buddy", to the lizard's astonishment.
      Hodari: I-I'm still your buddy? Even after I joined the bad guys?
      Beshte: You were never a bad guy, Hodari. And I will always be your friend. 'Til the Pride Lands end.
    • In general, the Lion Guard and the Pridelander crocs having a much better relationship with each other as shown in this episode, even if Makuu gets fed up with their antics.
  • The pay-off for all the aforementioned character development Simba's and Kion's father-son relationship received in the first two seasons finally comes to a head in "The Scorpion's Sting". Simba is stung by a scorpion, putting his life in imminent danger unless he receives a cure in a matter of hours. When a terrified Kion learns he and his friends can run a mission and help Simba, absolutely nothing - not even an army of Outlanders or Scar himself - is going to stop Kion from saving his daddy.
  • The fact that Kinyonga was willing to help the Guard spy on the Outlanders when Ono was unable to scout the Outlands, despite the Guard's concerns due to the huge risk of getting captured or killed by the evil-doers. She discovered that Scar has returned, and knows how much of a Serious Business it is.
  • In "The Hyena Resistance", Kion is open to allowing Jasiri and her clan to live in the Pridelands. This makes for heartwarming Character Development for Kion when compared to the beginning of the series, where he initially disliked all hyenas up until meeting Jasiri.
  • Kuchimba teaching Tiifu that she shouldn't be afraid of the dark. Later, Tiifu uses his advice to calm down Thurston when he starts panicking from the dark as well.
  • The Pridelanders helping the Lion Guard rescue Makuu's float from the Outlanders, despite the way the crocodile treated them earlier. In return for saving his float, Makuu makes an oath that he'll help the other Pridelanders when they really need it.
    Laini: Glad you're part of the team.
    Ma Tembo: You would have done the same for us.
    Makuu: ...I will now. If there's trouble in the Pride Lands, we'll be there.
    Kion: You will?
    Makuu: Yes. Because a threat to the Pride Lands anywhere is a threat to the Pridelanders everywhere.
    Kion: Yup. And by working together, we can all defend the Pride Lands. We'll fight for what's right.
    Pridelanders: Pridelanders unite!
  • Just the endgame of Season 2. The Lion Guard's heroic deeds are finally paying off, and now many other animals are coming to help them in a dire situation that's too much for them to handle by themselves - the war against Scar and the Outlanders.
  • Kiara offering to help Kion put out a fire in "The Queen's Visit".
  • In "The Fall of Mizimu Grove", Kion is having a bit of Heroic BSoD over Mizimu Grove burning down and the possibility that many of the Pride Landers will have to leave. But after yet another advice from Mufasa, he discovers that Makini's sapling has survived after all that disaster, rejuvenating his spirits and using this to show everyone there's still hope.
    Kion: Makini's tiny sapling survived the attack of Mizimu Grove. And if it survived here, there's no reason we all can't. If we stay together we'll be stronger together. Yes Scar has returned. And I know you're scared. But the last time Scar was around there wasn't a Lion Guard. But there is now. And we're here to protect you. Even on the darkest day there's hope.

Season 3

  • "Battle For the Pride Lands":
    • Simba and Jasiri are shown interacting with each other for the first time in the show, and they're on completely friendly terms. This is a sigh of relief for viewers who were worried about what would happen if Simba learned about Kion's friendship with a hyena.
    • "New Way To Go" — that is, the song where Janja tries as hard as possible not to give into his feelings for Jasiri.
    Jasiri: Sisi ni sawa means we're the same
    Janja: Oh, no, it set something off inside my brain
    She says I can trust her, but I don't know
    Could there really be a new way to go?
    Both: A new way to go, new way to go
    Say yes instead of no with a new way to go
    A new way to go, a new way to go
    Make a friend from a foe with a new way to go
    • Fuli's solo in "The Last Night," sung as she watches a worried Kion:
    There goes my worried friend
    Taking time to think on his own
    But when he must defend
    No, he won't be alone
    I'll be there by his side
    Go with him stride for stride...
    • Janja defecting to the Pridelanders. An animal who showed violence and carnage ultimately redeems himself and gives the Pridelanders the information they need to finish Scar off for good (well, sort of. Scar fed Janja misinformation, knowing there was a good chance he'd defect. However, it does prompt the Lion Guard to go and confront Scar personally). Not only that, but after Scar's defeat, Janja openly acknowledges that he can't be the new leader of the Outlands, and instead recommends Jasiri be the leader.
    • While it is Jasiri that laid the seeds for it, what motivates Janja to really defect is when Cheezi and Chungu call for help to him. He may berate them and insult them, but when push comes to shove, Janja still sees them as his pack.
    • Bunga's and Ono's actions in the volcano. Bunga almost sacrifices his life saving Kion from a second strike by Ushari, and Ono sacrifices his sight subsequently saving Bunga from the volcano. Who doesn't want friends like these?
    • Anga's initial response when Ono asks her to take his place on the Guard: "I could never replace you, Ono!"
    • During the scene where the Guard departs, while a tearjerker for anyone who knows that the Guard won't come back, the fact that Kiara and Kion actually engage in sibling banter, especially the scene where Kiara promises to keep Tiifu and Zuri in line, while they look utterly befuddled to Kion is an indication of how far their relationship has come from the start.
    • Many of the Pridelanders coming to bid the Lion Guard farewell, including Makuu's float.
  • Throughout the entire journey, Fuli shows a large amount of concern and caring for Kion, notably being the only one capable of calming him when angered. She later takes charge of the Guard whenever he is unable to do it. Kion wouldn't be alone after all, according to her song.


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