I'll admit, I was probably more excited about the Lion Guard than most kids were. However it was painfully obvious in the very first trailer that The Lion Guard would not include the magnificent artistry or beautiful colors that we all came to know in The Lion King 1 and 2. Though it's true, the animation and art in the Lion Guard is quite adorable, it is not what many Lion King lovers were hoping for. In addition to the awkward art style, the animation seems years behind that of the Lion King. In the Lion Guard, the animators seemed to have forgotten that lions are not flat-footed, and have fallen prey to character sliding. The characters seem to shuffle from place to place, rather than actually walking. If they aren't shuffling, then they're bounding around, making the sliding effect even more painfully obvious.
Another rather annoying aspect of the Lion Guard is the character proportions. In the Lion Guard, it's established that Kion and Kiara are about the same age as Kiara originally was in the Lion King 2. However, in the new series, Kion is nearly half the size of Simba, but smaller than Kiara.
In the images below, you can see how disproportionate the new characters are.Simba and Kiara in TLK2Simba and Kion
The art style I could look past, the horrible animation I could forgive, if not for the fact that the whole plot is based around the idea that Kion was present throughout all of Kiara's life, and that Kion's name itself looks like a typo, rather than a name.
In the Lion Guard, the Outlanders are not Zira and her pride, as was established so many years ago. Instead, it's a pack of bulldog-esque hyenas, who look like they could be long lost relatives of Francois from Lady and the Tramp, and echo the words of Scar in a not-so-clever manner. And let's not forget the magical changing cutie mark. I mean, come on.
Basically, what Disney has done, is take what could have been a gem of a revival and shat on it. They completely disregarded the story that they set up all those years ago in order to make a poorly thought out spin off. Sure, the Lion Guard could have been amazing, but by making Kion Kiara's brother, and by using animation that is far worse than the animation of the 90's, they've set themselves up to fail.
Now, if they had, for instance, made Kion Kiara and Kovu's cub with an otherwise identical plot, I believe that it would have been better. I for one, found myself desperately hoping that they would continue on with the Lion King after the release of Simba's Pride, and follow Kiara along in her reign. Or, at the very least, pick up where the squeal left off, with Kiara being in her late teens by human years. I do not see this show lasting for long, as despite it being on Disney Junior, the majority target audience is not children 7 or younger, but in fact are the 20-somethings that want some nostalgia. Disney would have been wise to cater to the older audience for a change.
And so dies the Lion King Legacy.