the-lion-guardOne of Disney Junior’s newest and most successful animated series comes to DVD in its first compilation release, The Lion Guard: Unleash the Power. The series follows the adventures of Simba and Nala’s son Kion, an energetic lion cub who protects the Pride Lands along with his friends who make up a team called “The Lion Guard.” The series’ premise was established in a TV movie event called Return of the Roar, which came to DVD last Spring.

The Lion Guard: Unleash the Power assembles six episodes from the first season, all of which originally aired between January and March. While Kion is the main character, the episodes chosen for this release also allow his friends to have a moment in the spotlight. Bunga the honey badger, Beshte the hippo, Fuli the cheetah and Ono the egret all have their time to shine in these episodes.

First up is “Fuji’s New Family,” where Kion and his friends don’t understand why Fuli prefers to be along while Bunga discovers that being immune to venom isn’t the same as being invincible. In “Bunga the Wise,” animals in the Pride Lands believe the Bunga is a sage and line up to take his advice. But when his bad advice gets animals in trouble, Kion and the Lion Guard must step in to help.

When Ono gets dirt in his eye, he is flying half blind in “Eye of the Beholder.” When the hyenas learn that the Lion Guard’s eye-in-the-sky is weakened, Ono has to find another way to help his friends defend the Pride Lands. Beshte has a biggest fan in “Follow that Hippo!” when a young elephant idolizes him in a “Never Cry Wolf” story.

Discover how Bunga was adopted by Timon and Pumba in “The Search for Utamu,” an origin story of the cutest honey badger in the Pride Lands. Lastly, Kion learns a very important lesson in “Never Judge a Hyena by it’s Spots. When Kion gets stranded alone in the wastelands, his rescuer is a young hyena named Jasiri who teaches him that we are all the same (Sisi Ni Sawa).

The quality established in the premiere movie event is carried over in the series’ individual episodes. Each one features an original song, some of which can be found on the show’s soundtrack album and all of which are catchy and memorable. While The Lion Guard is geared towards preschoolers, this is one that bigger kids and adults can easily enjoy along with their young ones.

Bonus Features

There aren’t any bonus features on the disc, but there is a physical bonus with this release. The sticker on the front calls it a “Power Necklace,” a plastic medallion with the Lion Guard’s symbol stamped with a wood grain finish. It comes with three double-sided plastic cards that can be pressed into the back. All five members of the Lion Guard are available on the cards, as well as the series’ logo on the bonus side.

Packaging & Design

The Lion Guard: Unleash the Power comes in a standard black DVD case. Inserts include the aforementioned Power Necklace, which is attached to a card and wrapped in plastic, as well as a code for 100 points from Disney Movie Rewards and an ad for Disney Movie Club. The case is housed in a foil embossed slipcover with the first pressing.

This disc uses Disney’s Fast Play so parents can start the disc and walk away without waiting for the menu. If you allow it to run its course, you see previews for Beauty and the Beast (2017) and Finding Dory before the episodes begin. When the episodes end, there is one final promo for Disney Movie Rewards. All of these previews can also be accessed through the main menu’s “Sneak Peeks” section.

Final Thoughts

The Lion Guard: Unleash the Power presents six fun episodes with great lessons from Disney Junior’s newest hit series. With an affordable price and a bonus necklace that kids are sure to love, it’s an easy purchase for any preschooler or any diehard fan of Disney’s The Lion King. It’s sure to be the first of many compilation DVDs.