Original Airdate: February 12, 2016
Season one of The Lion Guard has certainly been interesting. We’ve had all sorts of hyena troubles, some vulture tomfoolery and that business with Ono losing an eye…sort of. Today we got an all new villain in the form of a family of jackals. With the Kupatana Celebration right around the corner, Kion invites a seemingly helpless Jackal pup into the Pride Lands, only to find out that his scheming parents and family have joined him and are running wild. It’s a hairy situation to be sure, but believe it or not, this is a great episode about making mistakes and why that’s okay if done with the best intentions. In fact, this might be the best episode since the premiere!
The Kupatana Celebration is presented as a time when all the animals, predator and prey, put down their bitey habits for a day in order to celebrate the blossoming of the baobab tree. This celebration comes with some great scenery and even some singing. Much like the hyenas, the jackals are planning to use this occasion to help themselves to a buffet of animals. In order to do this, they trick everyone into thinking they are simply trying to fit in, until the last moment. Their plan is a bit flawed though. Seriously? You’re going to try to eat a bunch of animals who are under the protection of Simba and the Lion Guard? Then again, this is the Jackals first go of Pride Landing so it makes sense that they’d make some mistakes.
Little Dogo ends up not being much of a threat as once in the Pride Lands, his parents Rairai and Goigoi become the central antagonists. This episode also deals with the fact that some people are going to trick you and lie to your face and you can’t really avoid that. All you can do is be the best person you can be and hope things work out. I like this lesson. It’s something I don’t think I’ve seen a lot of in children’s television and it’s a good point to be made. Do good, even if that means that sometimes your good intentions don’t work out.
I want to point out that the most consistent part of this show so far has been the animation which has continued to be gorgeous. There’s this great, sketchy style that makes everything feel hand drawn and I like that quite a bit. I also think the voice acting is top notch and this week’s song was much better than last week’s. It’s a shame to see another villain that is so similar to the hyenas but at least they have a visual difference and I like that the Outlands are starting to play host to a variety of baddies.
That’s all for this week. I’ll be taking next week off as we’ll be in Disney, but I’ll return the following week with reviews for the final two episodes! Zuka Zama!!!