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Trivia / The Lion Guard

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  • Actor Allusion:
    • The lead stallion of the Pride Land's resident Zebra herd is named Thurston, after his voice actor's character in Gilligan's Island.
    • Gorillas Majinuni and Hafifu have the signature hairstyles of their voice actors, Youtube stars Danisnotonfire and Amazing Phil.
  • Actor-Shared Background: The show takes place in Africa, and has some notable actors of African American background, including Diamond White, Khary Payton, Phil LaMarr, and Kevin Michael Richardson.
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  • Adored by the Network: The show was renewed for a second season only a few months after it started. One year later, it was renewed for a third season despite season 1 still airing. It also has daily repeats.
  • Billing Displacement: Both movies follow this. In "Return Of The Roar", the celebrity voice actors and the movie actors appear in the first set of credits while the show's main characters are in the second set of end credits. In "The Rise Of Scar", David Oyelowo is billed sixth, right after the five main characters, even though Scar only appears in the last few minutes.
  • Cash Cow Franchise: Similar to Sofia the First, the show offers little-to-know lessons to younger children and attracts a handful of older viewers.
  • Casting Gag: Simba is voiced by Rob Lowe here instead of Matthew Broderick - both were formerly teen idols in the 80s who went through a Career Resurrection in the 90s.
  • Celebrity Voice Actor:
    • Besides the actors reprising a role from the movies, the show has had characters voiced by Rob Lowe, Maia Mitchell, and John Rhys-Davies.
    • The Japanese dub does the same by Role Reprisal, as movie actress Aiko Sato, who voiced Kiara in her debut film, returns voicing her. Oddly enough, she voices her younger version here, as in the aforementioned film, she voiced exclusively her adult self.
  • Crossdressing Voices: In the Japanese dub, almost all the members of the titular Lion Guard, excluding Ono, are voiced by women. This is especially odd, as in previous films the male cubs were voiced by male voice actors like in the original English version and other non-English dubs.
  • Dawson Casting: Kiara, who is a cub here, is voiced by Eden Riegel, who is in her thirties.
  • Descended Creator:
    • Producer Ford Riley voiced the Big Baboon in his first appearance. He later voices Njano the skink and Sumu the scorpion.
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    • Director Howy Parkins voices Mbeya, an old black rhinoceros who is the leader of a black rhinoceros crash.
    • Writer Elise Allen voices Kulinda
  • Flip-Flop of God: At first, Word of God said that Kovu wasn't going to be in the show. But eventually this changed, and Kovu, Nuka and Vitani were featured in Lions Of The Outlands.
  • Follow the Leader: Many people have noted that this show has many similarities to My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (Kion's mark being likened to a Cutie Mark, the alternation between adventure and Slice of Life episodes, etc.), to the point that the show's more cynical detractors have labeled Lion Guard as a rip-off.
  • Irony as She Is Cast: Played straight with Kion; he only sings occasionally in the show, despite Max Charles being quite a decent singer.
  • Jossed: Nala's unnamed father appears as a painting in one episode. He has a red mane and has light fur, thus jossing the "Scar is Nala's father" theory.
  • Meme Acknowledgement: The creators admit that Bunga's personality and chosen species was at least partially influenced by the "honey badger don't care" meme. It should be noted that part of what made meme so popular is how a honey badger was filmed literally yanking a rodent out of a puff adder's mouth. Wait a second. A honey badger robbing a snake of its rightful, small mammal meal? Hmmm, now why does that sound familiar?
  • The Other Darrin:
    • While Mufasa was voiced by his original VA James Earl Jones in the premiere, for the series proper he is voiced by Gary Anthony Williams.
    • Rob Lowe replacing Matthew Broderick as Simba.
    • Gabrielle Union replacing Moira Kelly as Nala.
    • Khary Payton voices Rafiki, replacing Robert Guillaume, due to the latter being diagnosed with prostate cancer. Guillaume later died of the cancer on October 24, 2017.
    • Kevin Schon, who voiced Timon in Timon & Pumbaa, reprises the role once more, replacing Nathan Lane.
    • Zira was originally voiced by Suzanne Pleshette, but with Pleshette having died of cancer in 2008, she was voiced by Nika Futterman in "Lions of the Outlands".
    • Scar is voiced by David Oyelowo rather than Jeremy Irons.
    • Producer Ford Riley voices the Big Baboon only in his first appearance before Dee Bradley Baker took on the role.
    • In the Mexican Spanish dub, the only voice actors who were replaced from the returning characters are Kiara and Kovu (as their voice actors are too old to reprise those roles), Vitani (whose voice actress now lives in France), Nuka and Zira (for unknown reasons) and Mufasa (his voice actor already died).
    • In the Brazilian Portuguese dub: Garcia Jr. (Simba) no longer works for Disney, so Simba is now voiced by Guilherme Briggs (as in Timon and Pumbaa); Alexandre Moreno (Nuka) is instead voicing Tamaa, so Nuka is now voiced by Yuri Tupper; Caio César (young Kovu) and Paulo Flores (Mufasa) are deceased; Pedro Lopes (Timon) was unavailable; and Pádua Moreira (Zazu) declined to reprise his role.
    • Most of the actors in the German dub had been replaced for various reasons. Most notably, since Mufasa, Zazu and Rafiki's voice actors have all passed away (Wolfgang Kühne, Eberhard Prüter and Joachim Kemmer), their new voice actors are Lutz Riedel (Mufasa), Stefan Krause (Zazu) and Leon Boden (Rafiki). Meanwile, Rainer Basedow has left as Pumbaa and passed the reins to Jürgen Kluckert (best known as Mr. Krabs in SpongeBob SquarePants); Jaron Löwenberg replaces Frank-Lorenz Engel as Simba, and Young Kiara is voiced by Laura Eissel instead of Debby Van Dooren.
    • The sole voice actor in the Japanese dub who was replaced was Pumbaa's one, who went from theater actor Atomu Kobayashi to Hiroshi Hatanaka, who already voiced him in Timon & Pumbaa and the Kingdom Hearts games. In an odd version of this, Kiara is voiced by Aiko Sato, the voice actress who voiced her adult self in Simba's Pride, basically replacing Ayaka Takano, Kiara's original VA as a cub from the same film. Rafiki's voice actor, Ryuji Saikachi, who died in October 2017, is replaced with Masao Koyama later on.
  • Production Posse:
    • Ford Riley previously created Special Agent Oso. As such, many crew members from that show came to this series, including voice actors Cam Clarke and Gary Anthony Williams, voice director Kelly Ward, and writers Krista Tucker, John Loy, and Jack Monano.
    • The show also acts as a reunion for Star Wars Rebels , due to having writer Kevin Hopps, and recurring actors Dee Bradley Baker, Phil La Marr, Gary Anthony Williams, and David Oyelowo.
    • From Kaijudo , we have writers Jack Monaco and Kevin Hopps, along with voice actors Andrew Kishino, Kari Wahlgren, Dee Bradley Baker, and Phil La Marr.
  • Real-Life Relative: "The Golden Zebra" has two zebra siblings voiced by real life siblings, Raini Rodriguez and Rico Rodriguez.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: A minor example, but thanks to Joshua Rush and Max Charles growing up, their character's voices notably sound different at some point during the show.
  • Relationship Voice Actor:
    • In Star Wars, David Oyelowo's character was a subordinate of James Earl Jones's character. Here, the former plays the brother (and technically subordinate) of the latter's character (and both characters receive The Other Darrin treatment in the show, Oyelowo himself being one.).
      • Said The Other Darrin for James Earl Jones' character in The Lion Guard is Gary Anthony Williams, who played a character in Star Wars Rebels that Oyelowo's character wanted to kill out of a grudge.
    • Though Scar and Zira have yet to share any screentime as of this writing, both of their voice actors, David Oyelowo and Nika Futterman, played characters in Star Wars animated series that were major villains with The Dragon status but underwent a Heel–Face Turn or at least stopped being villains. Both also serve as The Other Darrin in this show as well.
    • Once again in Star Wars, David Oyelowo's character has a grudge against Andrew Kishino's character due to the latter having wronged the former in the past, though the two end up on the same side, at least temporarily. Here, Janja surprisingly doesn't have a grudge against Scar considering Scar turned against the hyenas and got killed for this, so the two are allies (for now).
    • Chama, Furaha and Maha are voiced by the main trio of Kirby Buckets.
    • Bunga and Rani's voice actors are both main characters in Disney sitcom Andi Mack.
  • Role Reprisal: Ernie Sabella, Jason Marsden, Lacey Chabert, and Andy Dick reprise their respective roles as Pumbaa, Kovu, Vitani, and Nuka.
  • Schedule Slip:
    • When the show initially premiered, new episodes came out once a week. From "Bunga and the King" onward, it's usually one new episode a month. Season 2 averted this for a few episodes before falling back to the "new episode once a month" pattern.
    • After the season 2 Christmas special, new episodes have been burned off in bomb format, meaning longer wait times. There were 4 new episodes during the week of January 8, 2018, then 4 more during the week of April 2, and the show returns in September.
  • Spoiled by the Merchandise: The plush doll line for The Lion Guard reveals that Mtoto gets a Mark of the Guard.
  • Star-Making Role: Max Charles already had some publicity, but it was his role as Kion that really made him well known.
  • Too Soon: The episode "Never Roar Again" was inexplicably pulled before it was set to air. Speculation is that it was delayed because it prominently featured the crocodile Makuu; in June 2016 a toddler was attacked and killed by alligators at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort at Walt Disney World, causing Disney to sweep their crocodile and alligator characters under the rug for fear they would be in poor taste after the tragedy. After time passed, not only did the episode air, but Makuu and the crocodiles began to feature prominently in several subsequent episodes.
  • Unisex Series, Gendered Merchandise: The franchise is treated as a Spear Counterpart to Sofia the First in terms of merchandising, despite the fact there's nothing "masculine" about zoology and the source franchise is traditionally unisex.


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