The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar full movie review - The worst thing ever
Allow me to preface this review by saying that I'm a huge fan of Lion King. It's the first film I ever saw, and I've clung to it fervently ever since. That said, I hate to write this review, but it must be done.
So we start the film with Kion, a shoddily-written O.C. that seems like he could be straight out of a low-quality fan fiction. Then we're introduced to his friend Bunga, who teaches kids (multiple times) that you can leap off of cliffs and suffer no repercussions. I'll touch on him later.
Soon enough, they stumble into the Outlands and we're shown that the hyenas are the "irredeemable bad guys" and then Kion does a dragon shout? He then learns that he's the new leader of the Lion Guard, an old group of lions that was designated to protect the Pride Lands. The idea is that Scar was their leader, but his power went to his head and that's the whole reason he wanted to be king. There's bread-crumbs left throughout the first film that hint towards the actual reason (sibling rivalry), which is further bolstered by the various books. Lion Guard unfortunately takes all that canon and ruins it.
As far as pros go, the art-style is nice and some of the songs are catchy, but that's about it.
As I've already said we've got Bunga, a honey badger who's supposed to be "brave" but comes across as more of a reckless, suicidal maniac that's taking the whole "no worries" a little too far. He is probably the single most annoying character ever, but here's a conspectus: A character that's energetic, does pretty much whatever he wants even if it's potentially fatal to him, is constantly saying his catchphrase "Zuka Zumaaaa!", and is so grating that he even inserts his own name into words. ("UnBungalievable!")
So Kion goes around pulling characters out of thin air to join the Lion Guard and they all get their cutie marks.
I have always assumed that the reason the hyenas have behaved the way they do is because of the conditions they're constantly subjected to, and while they are a danger to the Pride Lands in large numbers (any predator would be), they don't seem to be allowed there under any circumstances even though every other predator clearly is. The film depicts them as incapable of moderation, but considering the indigent circumstances they have to deal with, it isn't a surprise they would go overboard when presented with an all- you-can-eat buffet. However, despite all this the hyenas of TLK still manage to be lovable in their own way, and they even somewhat redeem themselves at the end by killing Scar. Lion Guard backhand slaps everything and basically makes it "good vs. evil".
So the hyenas are in the Pridelands to kill tons of prey, because according to TLG they're "evil". But if you want to think about this realistically, the only reason they're doing this is because the Lion Guard is about to be up in business again. While they had a difficult time getting food before, they know they're going to have a terrible time of it after the Guard is in place. A character even states, quite shockingly, that they could resort to "eating each- other" if it comes down to it; that's how bad it's gotten for the hyenas (not that the lions really care). Kion (I think) makes some statement about "They have more than enough to feed themselves, but they're still killing.", and it's insinuated multiple times through the film that the hyenas are filthy, psychopathic killing machines that live simply to murder everything in sight. Okay, Kion; why do you think they're still killing despite taking enough? Because even if they took just enough, you'd still march down their and kick their tails. Hyenas in this universe are treated horribly. Any time one rears its head in your beloved Pridelands, some lion has to come along and stop it. While the ones we've seen so far have proved to be threatening in large numbers, we can't assume every single hyena is like this--but you'd better believe the film does. It all culminates in Kion prancing up and doing his "fus ro dah!", and then he says, "You and your kind are not welcome here, EVER.". So not only does this show that lions are choosing to suppress and ignore the problem, but also that they're so intolerant towards hyenas that it practically borders on racism.
So they scare off the hyenas, and then they find Kiara is trapped behind a rock while the herd of gazelle is stampeding, so the Lion Guard go to save her. Bunga lands on the rock where she's trapped, and he aims his rear end at the oncoming stampede and lets off a fart so loud and humongous that it creates a noxious gas cloud that parts the herd like Moses parting the Red Sea. Really, Disney? Is this what it's come to? I know there was fart humor in the original film, but this is crossing the line. In fact, with the way that the fart instantly resolves the problem of the stampede, you could say that it's not a Deus Ex Machina, but a /Deus Ex Fart/. Let that sink in for a while.
There you go! that's my review of the Lion Guard. Overall I give this film absolutely nothing out of ten (in fact, let's say it's negative infinity), but on IMDb one is as low as I can go so that's what I have to do. If you've read this and you're an avid fan of the original film like I am, consider yourself sufficiently warned. Disney is dead to me, and the only way I'd ever re-watch this is if someone strapped me to a chair and kept my eyes pried open.
TL;DR It's horrible.