Personally I thought it was....Pretty Good! I'll happily watch it again. Color me curious!
It wasn't jaw dropping amazing. Well, what was to be expected of a show targeted for the new generation aka the kids? I went in watching this with an open mind. I try to take a look at all perspectives while watching something new or something new based on something old. I try not to let things like favoritism and nostalgia take over. Why? That's a sure fire way to make you automatically hate something. I tried to make sure I looked at this from a child's point of view and someone my ages point of view. - Also Fandom and non Fandom. So let's start shall we...?
Colors - These were FANTASTIC! <3 The colors were right on par for a children's show/movie! They were nice and bright, eye catching, but not so over the top that it'd drive you crazy. I actually really liked the color mixtures of hot and cold, as well as cold and bold that they used on several things. Like the hyena song for example! The colors used for the characters were also really appealing. Very nice and easy to look at...! Kind of reminded me of the first Lion King, especially at times the I Just Can't Wait To Be King song.
Character Design / Drawing Style - Okay, this one was a little tougher for me in some areas. From my 30yr old perspective the edginess of some of the designs were a little hard to look at. Not to mention Kion's muscular front and Simba's abnormally short mid-rear section. It just seems like he kind of got squished somewhere. The designs I think I enjoyed most were actually Timon, Pumbaa, Fuli, Bunga, Ono, Tiifu and ...actually Kion. Though admittedly, Kiara's colors were nice in this. I guess I'm just really used to the nice rounded smoothed out movie version. - - From a children's point of view though..? I could see them easily liking it. Edgey style seems to really be in right now with most productions. Such as MLP, Steven Universe, Adventure Time, Teen Titans GO! and even Gravity Falls.
The Characters - So....this is where the show failed me for some of the characters. Let me start by saying, Kion, and the whole Lion Guard were actually pretty awesome. None of them were overly annoying save for the over use of Zuka Zama and Bunga (The phrase). Nala - She was PERFECT. I loved her. Just like the Nala I remembered! Timon & Pumbaa - Also just like I remembered them! Tiifu was also really cute.
Here are my problems with the rest...
Simba - While he was VERY reminiscent of the Original TLK 2: Simba's Pride version .... he was still....just.. I don't know. Part stick in the mud, sat on a fire ant hill...? What the heck even. When did Simba become borderline racist even..? Just....WHOA? First of all SINCE WHEN......HAS HE EVER....trusted Kiara to do something on her own? SINCE WHEN ....was he ever talking about her like she knew what she was doing? That she was taking her job seriously? - - I mean for PETE SAKE... In Lion King 2 he sent Timon and Pumbaa after her because he didn't think she could handle being out on her own what-so-ever. Not even when she was older. Not to mention how can a king promote the CIRCLE OF LIFE....WE ARE ALL CONNECTED .....and yet shun a group of animals that aren't made of lions that are trying to be the lion guard? Trying to PROTECT the Circle of Life of which THEY ARE CONNECTED too as well? - - Not to mention very hypocritical. Excuse You, Simba, but.....you had TIMON AND PUMBAA...as well as Rafiki and Zazu helping you take down Scar and the Hyena's! ... I'd say they weren't all lions either buddy. Who's calling the kettle black? - - Besides that I guess his personality is still close enough for the TLK 2 to be...believable. Simba used to be a favorite but now he's such a...Tightly wound chord. He's been knocked down from my favorites.
Kiara - Speaking of Out of Character. Welcome to the QUEEN of out of character! So quick question in what part of TLK 2 did I miss that YOUNG Kiara was an EXTREMELY good huntress, let alone the adult version of her...? Suddenly this Kiara apparently knows how to hunt! Suddenly this Kiara doesn't need to be baby sat by her uncles. Suddenly this Kiara is a snobby little tattle-telling brat?! Seriously, telling on her own brother because of the Lion Guard? Did you guys notice the way she gave that snide, smug glance...?! Where did that confidence and attitude come from?! You're boasting about being Queen? - We're talking about the same one who went, "Haha, Daddyyy...! I wanna play!" . . . What happened to, "If there's so much I must be, can I still just be me...the way I am...? Can I trust in my own heart, or am I just one part...of some big plan?" Sadly - because she wasn't sure about this whole gig. Sooooo horribly out of character, HORRIBLY. - - - The ONLY reason I can think that they did this was to change it for the new generation. Since little girls are...seemingly getting sassier. Not to mention how quite a few people in the past would complain about her being a 'bimbo' with no really knowledge, just a giggling idiot. (I prefer her that way. Oh my gosh give me my playful, giggling, big hearted girl back!) . . So perhaps they decided to change her personality to try and please them as well as give the new generation of girls someone to....relate to I suppose?
Zuri - ....Though I know a cat or lions claw will hurt like CRAZY... if it gets busted to the pulp/nerve. I wanted to smack the writers for making her whine non-stop about it the whole time. Literally it's just a little "Clique" of girls to go into the cliche girls direction. Only one I loved was Tiifu.
Rafiki - ...They went WAY too over the top with his screaming and jumping. He's supposed to be the wise old man with quirks... not constant screaming.
The Hyena's - They were okay. I am a bit irked however that they seem to just be a redo of Shenzi, Banzai and Ed without a female in the batch! Are they related to them...? The one highly suggests relations to Ed while the other to Banzai...but... oy...re-using things there.
Now then onto the movie itself. The movie could've been longer. I enjoy particularly seeing where Scar made his way into the patch of things. That was fun! I would've liked to of seen the other lions though.. I also enjoyed getting to see Kion grow so quickly in character. Some characters fell weak like Kiara and the others, obviously used as plot devices. I was a little torn about the reuse of yet another giant rock for singing on. I did happen to take notice of quite a few things that were...re-used or....re-done. Such as Simba's talk with Kiara! ...Last I checked? Simba didn't have Kion interrupt! But thinking about the movie as a whole...? The characters were mostly fun. The animation has it's good and bad spots. The plot was at least consistent to telling Kion's story. Some characters were out of character...horribly. - - But again with noting some of those flaws... - - LIKE HOW did Timon & Pumbaa become Bunga's uncles?! and why would too 'No Rules, No Responsibilities, No Worries' guys....yet again....take on the task of fostering again?
Also not fond of them trying to replace Hakuna Matata (A beloved catch phrase used in many movies, series, etc...) with this Zuka Zama. Even if I do understand why it's being done. Mostly for something 'fresh' and that kids now a days will have as their own to mark their own generation as they grow. I do sincerely hope that they'll show that Zuka Zama AND Hakuna Matata can exist together....some how.
Perhaps, the best way to approach The Lion Guard is to consider it an AU/ Alternate Universe. After all.... it is sort of seeming to be that way in an attempt to entice the newer generation of TLK fans, kids...etc. While maybe making a few small nods to the older generation. - - This wasn't made for us, the fandom, us the previous gen. It's made for the new gen... and those of us outside of the fandom who just wish to share something special with their kids perhaps.
The songs were also really good in my opinion. If I was a kid I'd of been singing them quite a bit! They were pretty good and catchy. Just wish they'd of left Mufasa's interruption out and placed it at the end of the song. Maybe make that reprise come later..