Disney Junior’s The Lion Guard is now in its second season, celebrating last July with a second hour-long episode that brought back the villainous Scar… sort of. The fourth DVD release of the series celebrates this triple-length episode and fans of the show will want to add it to their collection. The Lion Guard: The Rise of Scar also has four extra episodes to give viewers two hours of Prideland adventures.
When Janja the snake witnesses Kion talking to the spirit of Mufasa, he works with the hyenas to seek a way to speak to Scar. The manipulate Rafiki’s protégé Makini, a young mandril, into revealing that fire and the Roar of the Elders can open communication with the dark kings of the past. To get Kion to produce an angry roar, the hyenas kidnap his sister Kiara in order to revive Scar (voiced by David Oyelowo).
The additional four episodes abandon the Scar theme as they come from the show’s first season, before the events of The Rise of Scar, a decision that I find confusing. At any rate, the fun continues with “The Trouble with Galagos,” which finds a group of galagos displaced by a cheetah that has taken home in their tree (voiced by Jack McBrayer). The Lion Guard discovers that some bullies pushed this friendly cheetah out of his home and they help him learn how to stand up for himself.
In “Janja’s New Crew,” Janja the hyena decides to fire his best friends and discovers that some people are irreplaceable. Kiara has some princess challenges when “Baboons!” invade the Pridelands. And while helping one of his hyena friends, Kion comes face to face with several characters from The Lion King II, including Kovu, in “Lions of the Outlands.”
The bonus episodes mostly focus on the villain theme, but it seems odd that Disney would shy away from filling this release with more season two episodes, which would give viewers more of Scar. All that aside, fans of the show will surely love every musical episode featured here and the fact that this release contains a movie makes it more appealing than the standard compilation disc.
There are no bonus features on disc and following Disney’s most recent trend, it appears the days of physical bonuses with Disney Junior releases are behind us.
Packaging & Design
The Lion Guard: The Rise of Scar comes in a standard black DVD case. There is no slipcover this time around and inserts include an ad for Disney Movie Club and a flier for 100 Disney Movie Rewards points.
Using Disney’s FastPlay service, the DVD opens with an ad for Disneynature Dolphins. There are no additional ads afterwards, not even a promo for Disney Movie Rewards.
The on-disc content of The Lion Guard: The Rise of Scar is top notch and fans will surely want to add it to their collection. However, families who have enjoyed Disney Junior DVDs before are sure to notice the cutbacks, including the lack of physical bonus, and releases like this will surely drive parents away from purchasing these discs and instead turn to iTunes and Disney Now for their kids to get their Prideland fun.
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Alex has been blogging about Disney films since 2009 after a lifetime of fandom. He joined the Laughing Place team in 2014 and covers films across all of Disney’s brands, including Star Wars, Marvel, and Fox, in addition to books, music, toys, consumer products, and food. You can hear his voice as a member of the Laughing Place Podcast and his face can be seen on Laughing Place’s YouTube channel where he unboxes stuff.