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Disney to Unleash ‘Lion Guard’ Jan. 15

Disney said it set a premiere date for The Lion Guard, an animated series that follows on the Lion King saga.

The series will premiere Jan. 15 at 9:30 am ET on Disney Channel and re-run on Disney Junior and Disney Channel throughout the weekend.

The new series was introduced via a TV movie, The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar, which was the top cable telecast among kids 2 to 5 for 2015. Since it first aired, it has been watched more than one million times on the Watch Disney Channel and Watch Disney Junior apps.

The Lion Guard follows the adventures of Kion, the second-born cub of Simba and Nala, and his diverse group of friends, as they unite to protect the Pride Lands.

Joining the cast—which includes Rob Lowe and Gabrielle Union as Simba and Nala, and Max Charles as Kion—are recurring guest stars Blair Underwood as Makuu, leader of the crocodiles and one of the Lion Guard's main villains; Ana Gasteyer as Reirei, a clever and scheming jackal who wreaks havoc in the Pride Lands; and Maia Mitchell as Jasiri, a friendly hyena who rescues Kion and helps him face off against Janja and the rest of the hyenas. Jason Marsden, Andy Dick and Lacey Chabert reprise their roles as Kovu, Nuka and Vitani, respectively, from The Lion King II: Simba's Pride in an upcoming episode.

Each episode of The Lion Guard incorporates Swahili words and phrases and includes original songs.