So, I saw the Lion Guard: Return of the Roar. It wasn’t a bad movie, but it easily could have been better. Thus let me elaborate on a few small changes that would have made the Lion Guard real good.
First of all: Simba insisting that the Lion Guard in an all-lion team could be justified by his sense of obligation. He is the king and his duty is to maintain order. And order is based on rules. And the rules say that the Lion Guard has always been made of lions. Simba might very well think this tradition unfair, but chose to keep it, just because it was established by his elders and betters. I would have loved to see him voice his doubts about the issue, even more so to have Nala comfort him. “Oh Simba, you need to have faith in yourself. You know that different doesn’t mean worse”. Or something. An interaction between the two would have made the movie so much richer.
Next, Scar. It’s a little hard to believe he could have destroyed anybody with that roar – fierce it may, but just a roar. I suppose, if he had gathered his friends in some cave, and released his roar at them while still inside, the cave could have collapsed, killing them all. Scar might have just had some major luck to get out of this alive. Afterwards, if asked by the pride what happened, he might have said he didn’t remember anything. Or that he tried to break a fight between his friends. Or that he was defending himself from them. Even if the pride suspected he wasn’t telling the truth, they had no proof whatsoever. So, they could not banish him or sentence him or do anything. This may be why he was allowed to stay in the Pridelands after the incident. As for Rafiki telling the tale – he might simply have made up the stuff he didn’t know for sure. It is Rafiki we’re talking about.
Now, the climax of the film. I am not bothered by Bunga’s plan as much as I am by Simba’s passiveness. Simba should have been the one to rush into the scene. Kiara was not in any real danger, but surely that would not have mattered to a dutiful father – he had to get him baby girl to safety. In rushing to help Kiara, Simba could have been knocked out by a gazelle. Then he’d be in actual danger, and the Lion Guard would have to save him. To save the king rather than the princess. Man, wouldn’t that have been awesome?
Also, while it was mentioned that lions only hunt for food, it would have been more significant to show them in action than to have it all said. I know it’s a kid’s show, but the way it looks now one easily gets the impression that hyenas are bad because they hunt at all. Not because they hunt excessively, but because they hunt at all. Which is the wrong impression to have. Now, I don’t insist on showing blood or the actual killing. But there could have been lionesses returning from the hunt with a single zebra. The pride could have thanked the zebra, who died so they could eat. The grown lions could remind the cubs not to waste any of the meat, because it came from a living being. Wouldn’t that have been educational?
Also, I would have loved to see some good hyenas for a change. Why make a single species bad? There should have been some opposition against Janja. A group who wanted to play by the rules, to cut ties with their clan’s shameful past. Other hyenas calling them stupid for thinking they could escape the prejudice and all. Kion including a hyena into the Lion Gguard and Simba being against it. I do hope for a development of this sort in the future.
Finally – and surprisingly – I am not at all bothered by Kiara suddenly wanting to be queen, when she hadn’t in SP. She’s a child. Children change their mind often, sometimes just to annoy their parents or test their reaction. Kiara may act like she wants to be queen around her friends – so they would admire her, and brother – so he would be jealous. Then she’d go “I don’t want to be queen” on Simba just because he scolded her. Makes sense.