The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar

Movie review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar Movie Poster Image
Simba's son comes of age in enjoyable animated story.
  • NR
  • 2016
  • 44 minutes

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 7+
Based on 2 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational value

The show includes a diverse cast of animals indigenous to the African savannah, giving kids a general sense of how the circle of life works there.

Positive messages

Kion follows his instincts, despite his father's advice, and he and the new Lion Guard demonstrate that you shouldn't judge a book by its cover. He's also forced to assume a lot of responsibility for the other animals in the Pridelands. Recurring themes about sharing and exercising self-control by taking only what you need to preserve the balance of resources. Also many instances that celebrate the characters' unique qualities as part of an effective team. Some potty humor, as when Bunga uses his own gas to defend animals from the hyenas.

Positive role models & representations

Simba and Kion don't always agree, but Simba gives his son the freedom to assume his new responsibilities on his own. Kion's also inspired by the spirit of his legendary grandfather, Mufasa, who appears when he's in need of guidance. Despite his uncertainty, Kion finds the inner strength to do what he's destined to do for the Lion Guard. 

Violence & scariness

Some falls and short-lived injuries, plus a chase scene that shows hyenas pursuing gazelles.

Sexy stuff
Language
Consumerism

The series is a continuation of the story told in The Lion King and its sequels.  

Drinking, drugs & smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar continues the tale of the Pridelands and its ruling family, this time through the adventures of Simba's son, Kion. This movie is considerably less intense than was The Lion King, but it relies on many of the qualities that made its predecessor such a fan favorite: an excellent soundtrack, comical characters, and a realistically imperfect (but ultimately determined) young hero. There are some tense moments that show characters in peril and animals being chased by predators but nothing that will bother kids. Parents who loved The Lion King will enjoy following Kion's story as well, especially since it incorporates favorites such as Timon and Pumbaa and even features the occasional reappearance of patriarch Mufasa.

User Reviews

Adult Written byOliviaReviewsIt November 27, 2015

GET READY TO ROAR!

The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar is the debut movie for Disney Junior’s Lion Guard TV show. It is the story of Simba’s son Kion (and brother of Kiara) who mus... Continue reading
Kid, 10 years old December 12, 2015

do not whach this

this is a sad movie. you will learn to love the charcters and then the will get hurt. at one point i had to leave the room when one lioness broke her paw and a... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byJoshSeville1 April 3, 2018

I love this Show and movies

The lion guard is really awesome i love the show the lion guard i plan to try to audition to be in this show as a charecter i plan to want to be able to bring m... Continue reading

What's the story?

THE LION GUARD: RETURN OF THE ROAR tells the story of Kion (voiced by Max Charles), the second-born cub of Simba (Rob Lowe) and Nala (Gabrielle Union), who learns he's destined to lead the new Lion Guard and protect the Pridelands. To that end, Kion assembles a team of the bravest, strongest, and keenest animals to help him defend the circle of life: Ono (Atticus Shaffer), a sharp-eyed egret; Fuli (Diamond White), a speedy cheetah; Beshte (Dusan Brown), a powerful hippo; and Bunga (Joshua Rush), a carefree but courageous honey badger. Inspired by his legendary grandfather, Mufasa (James Earl Jones), Kion steps up to this new challenge with the confidence he needs to defend his home against the scheming hyenas and others who wish to do its residents harm. 

Is it any good?

Twenty years after The Lion King first took viewers to the African savannah, this endearing story carries on the legacy of the Pridelands' first family with a new cast of vibrant personalities. Kion is just as headstrong as his father was at that age, and, just like Simba, he must grow up and shoulder the responsibility that's handed to him. As he does so, he discovers new things about himself and inspires greatness in his friends. It's easy to like this indomitable cub, that's for sure.

Your kids need not be up to speed on Simba's full story to settle into Kion's, and this movie is less intense than the original and thus more appropriate for a younger audience. That said, it does harken back to The Lion King on many occasions, even giving some background on one mysterious figure whose full story was never told. This makes it a great pick for parents and kids to watch together, since the older generation will better appreciate the mix of old favorites Timon (Kevin Schon), Pumbaa (Ernie Sabella), and Rafiki (Khary Payton) with the new cast. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how well Kion lives up to his responsibilities. How does he protect his homeland and its residents? Did he choose the right partners for his cause? Why doesn't Simba agree with his methods? 

  • Is it as easy to spot danger in the real world as it is for Kion in the Pridelands? Kids: What are some of your biggest fears? Do you ever hear things on the news that worry you? 

  • How do Kion and his Lion Guard pals prove that it's not what's on the outside but what's on the inside that counts? Do any of them surprise you in their capabilities? Have you ever underestimated someone only to be surprised by what he or she could do? 

Movie details

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

For kids who love animals

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate