The original animated The Lion King movie from 1994 is widely regarded as the best Disney movie of all time. But, what many fans don’t know is that the original The Lion King movie spawned a lot of sequels, live-action movie and two TV shows. This is where our article will come in handy because we will let you know how many The Lion King movies are there and what is the best way to watch The Lion King movie in order.
Let us explore one of the nicest franchises out there, that teaches us a lot about, not only animals and animal life, but about the entire circle of life and its meaning and features some of the most memorable characters in history.
How Many The Lion King Movies and TV Shows Are There?
There are currently five The Lion King movies, including live-action and one short movie. There are also two TV shows called The Lion King’s Timon & Pumbaa & The Lion Guard. Let us see how it looks like by release date:
- The Lion King (1994)
- The Lion King’s Timon & Pumbaa (1995–1999)
- The Lion King 2: Simba’s Pride (1998)
- The Lion King 3: Hakuna Matata (aka The Lion King 1½, 2004)
- The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar (Short – 2015)
- The Lion Guard (2015–2019)
- The Lion King (2019)
As you can see, those are a lot of movies and TV shows and you are probably wondering what is the best way to watch them. Well, don’t worry, because now we will let you know what is the best way to watch all The Lion King movies in order, do you need to watch them in order, and can we expect to get more The Lion King movies in the future.
The Lion King Movies in Order
There are two ways to watch The Lion King franchise. The first one is by release date, and this is the one we will be focusing on because it is the best way to watch the franchise. But, you could also watch it in a chronological way. This time, we don’t think this is the best way of watching The Lion King movies in order. Let’s see why.
The Lion King (1994)
The carefree childhood of Prince Simba, the son of the mighty King Mufasa, is abruptly interrupted when his uncle Scar kills his father, and Simba is declared responsible and expelled from the kingdom. In exile, the lion befriends the warthog Pumba and the mercat Timon, with whom he spends his days and from whom he learns.
But the day of his coming of age is approaching and Simba is visited by the spirit of his father, who tells him that he must return to the kingdom, defeat Scara and take the throne. Accepting the “hakuna matata” philosophy, along with his comic friends, Simba sets out to take what belongs to him.
The Lion King’s Timon & Pumbaa (1995–1999)
The show stars Timon, a meerkat, and Pumbaa, a warthog, both characters from the Disney animated film The Lion King. The series is primarily set after the events of the first film, although some episodes are set before or during those events.
It involves the characters having misadventures in different settings, including the jungles of Africa, Canada, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Whereas the show focuses on Timon and Pumbaa, four episodes center respectively on Rafiki and the hyena trio Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed, named Rafiki Fables and The Laughing Hyenas, and two episodes tell the backstory of Zazu.
The Lion King 2: Simba’s Pride (1998)
After the death of the insidious Scar, Simba is the king of animals. The day came when he announced the good news with his beloved Nala – the birth of their daughter, Princess Kiara. But a mischievous little lioness wanders beyond the borders of the kingdom, to a forbidden land where she meets the young lion Kovu, her new friend.
Whats he does not know is that he is the son of Zira, a follower of Scar and now the leader of the exiles. Zira plans to use Kiara in a conspiracy to make her son the new king. But Kovu’s sympathies for Chiara deepen over time.
The Lion King 3: Hakuna Matata (aka The Lion King 1½, 2004)
Joy reigns in an adventure comedy that takes you to the very beginning, before Simba’s story even begins … From their uniquely hilarious point of view, Timon and his farty friend Pumbaa – the greatest unsung savannah heroes – discover where they come from, how they helped save Simba The Serengeti and what really happened behind the scenes of the biggest events of the “Lion King”.
This movie is actually a prequel to the original The Lion King and later connects with its beginnings. Still, it is better to watch it this way, because many things become clearer, than if you would watch this movie first.
The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar (Short – 2015)
Set in the African Savanna, the film follows Kion as he assembles the members of the ‘Lion Guard’. Throughout the film, the diverse team of young animals will learn how to utilize each of their unique abilities to solve problems and accomplish tasks to maintain balance within the Circle of Life, while also introducing viewers to the vast array of animals that populate the prodigious African landscape.
This is a 44 minutes long movie that actually introduces us to The Lion Guard TV show, which is next on our list.
The Lion Guard (2015–2019)
The plot of the series is set in a time interval within the film “The Lion King 2: Simba’s Pride”, and follows the adventures of Kion, the youngest Simba and Nala’s cub. As the king’s second-born heir, it is Kion who becomes the leader of the Lion Guard, a fearless group of animals that protects their country and the Circle of Life.
Kion and his friends – Bunga badger, Beshte hippopotamus, Fuli cheetah and heron Ono resist the constant attacks of the hyena Janja and her clan, and by getting into trouble and defending their territory, the brave company will learn important life lessons about love, courage, friendship, sacrifice for others and life in a pack.
Even though this TV show is set during the second movie, it is best to watch it in this order. If you were to go by chronological order, then you should be watching The Lion King 3: Hakuna Matata movie first, then all the others on this list to make it work. And, as we said before, the third The Lion King movie should go after the second one for you to have the best viewing experience.
The Lion King (2019)
The struggle for the kingdom is marked by betrayal, tragedy and drama that will end with Simba’s exile. With the help of new, unusual and interesting friends, Simba will have to find a way to grow up and return what belongs to him at birth. Disney’s “Lion King” uses new film techniques to bring these beloved characters to life in a completely different way.
We are finishing our list of The Lion King movies in order with this live-action adaptation.