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The Lion Guard – Never Judge a Hyena by its Spots

Original Airdate: January 15, 2016

Hello all, following up from last week’s post about the pilot/made-for-TV-movie article for The Lion Guard, I wanted to give some quick updates on my thoughts of the new episodes which launched today. As there were two, I’ll do one at a time and then try to keep up with the show over the coming weeks.

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Yeah, you’re a little close.

Never Judge a Hyena by its Spots did a lot of things right for me, while having a few missteps. The story of this episode involves Kion getting lost in the Outlands after being rushed away by the river. As such, he must find his way back to the Pride Lands. In the meantime, his friends are trying to find the spot where he asked them to meet him. While lost, Kion meets Jasiri, a female hyena who we quickly discover is not ‘bad’ like the other hyena’s. As these two travel together, they become friends and eventually must help each other.

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Okay, this looks worse than it is.

Kion traveling with Jasiri is the meat of the story and it has the message that just because someone is a hyena doesn’t necessarily mean you should not trust them. You can see where the message of “don’t judge a person by what they look like,” makes for a good point for kids. Jasiri is a fun character and the show continues to have solid musical numbers within it.

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Belt that musical number. BELT IT!

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for our B story of his friends trying to find him. The message here is that the Lion Guard team is at their best when they are together and several ideas of what makes a good leader are explored. These characters, with the exception of Bunga, just don’t feel quite fledged out yet. Their story-lines feel a bit weak and thrown in. I’m reminded of another kid’s show, The Legend of Chima in which the main plot was always great, while the B-story suffered from a lack of effort. Hopefully this trend can be fixed along the way.

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In the shadow of the night. I’m CATMAN!

Despite this minor flaw, the main story was enough to keep me interested. I like that there was a good message here and that the animation remains top-notch. I still want to see some more villains and more of the world around the Pride Lands, but I do feel as though we’re on the right track.

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Guys, we’re lost. Now let’s work together to come up with a better story line than us being lost.

I’ll try to get my post up for the second episode of the day as soon as possible. In the meantime, let me know if you guys are still watching this show and if you have a favorite character so far!


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NOTE:  Obviously all the photos are courtesy of Disney Entertainment and I would never in a million years claim them as my own.  That being said, all are actually taken with my phone during our viewing in order to capture the moment in a slightly different way than originally intended.

4 replies »

  1. Thank you so much for reviewing this! I love the original Lion King and had no idea they recently did this made for TV movie. Your critiques of the various story lines is really insightful, and I love all the pictures. Thank you again!

  2. The hyena is Kelly Osbourne, right? Either that or she was originally pencilled in for it (hence the English accent & purple rock hair) and her schedule meant she couldn’t do it? I was convinced especially when looking for an answer online to discover she does actually voice a Disney TV cartoon character already… It has to be!? Please prove me to be right and therefore my wife to be wrong.

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