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New 'Lion King' spinoff series is the latest attempt by Disney to go back in time

Published: Wednesday, June 11 2014 8:21 p.m. MDT

Disney Television Animation has begun production on "The Lion Guard," an animated television movie and series that continues the story introduced 20 years ago in the acclaimed Disney animated film "The Lion King." Geared towards kids aged 2-7 and their families, "The Lion Guard" television movie will premiere in fall 2015 and the subsequent series will debut in early 2016 on Disney Junior and Disney Channel. (DISNEY JUNIOR) KION

Disney Junior, Disney Junior

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It’s time to talk about Disney going back in time.

On Tuesday, Disney revealed that it’s going to be airing a new show on its Disney Junior station: “The Lion Guard,” a spinoff, sequel television movie and series based off characters from “The Lion King.”

Following Simba and Nala’s newest cub, Kion, the story will include characters from the movies as the new, young cubs look to take care of the world around them.

“With the incredible success of 'The Lion King' spanning across both film and stage, we are very excited to see what kind of adventures these new stories and characters will take us on,” Disney said in a statement.

But “The Lion Guard” is just one example of Disney Channel going back in time and bringing back old series. Not only is it doing that with the new "Star Wars" movies, but also with the recent hit “Maleficient” and even “Girl Meets World” — a sequel series to the hit sitcom, “Boy Meets World.”

Why is it doing this, though?

It might be a way to bring together two types of audiences. ENSTARS reported that with “Girl Meets World,” Disney is looking to bring the fans of the “Boy Meets World” series back to its stations, as the new show follows the journey of Cory and Topanga, two 90s cultural stars.

“In what looks like an attempt to draw in current Disney Channel viewers along with older generations who grew up watching the 1990s sitcom, Disney has begun releasing ads that blend footage from the original with scenes from the upcoming series,” ENSTARS reported.

In a review of the show’s first episode, IGN noted that there were nostalgic moments that would interest old fans: “After all, this is a show for new viewers and old BMW fans alike,” IGN reported.

As for “Maleficent,” it’s about bringing an old story back to life, according to The Express Tribune.

“Despite the few drawbacks, ‘Maleficent’ is a brilliant movie. Disney has successfully managed to bring one of its own stories back to life,” said The Express Tribune in its review of the film. “If you have seen ‘Sleeping Beauty’, which I am sure you have, this is definitely a must-watch.”

This trend isn’t going to stop with these new movies and series, either. Last year, Deseret News National reported that Disney is looking to start a new show that focuses on the offspring of Disney’s iconic villains. Called “Descendants,” the show will look at the children of some of Disney’s most notorious villains and how they act together when put into a prep school together, Deseret News National reported.

“What happens when the children of some of Disney's most iconic villains have to come to terms with who their parents are?” asked Deseret News National. “Well, we're about to find out.”

So get ready, nostalgia fans. Looks like Disney’s going back to its older stuff.

Email: hscribner@deseretdigital.com

Twitter: @herbscribner

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