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Veteran Voice Director Kelly Ward Helps Bring Out the Roar in Disney Channel’s ‘Lion Guard’

14 January 2016 2:00 PM, PST | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

When Disney Television Animation execs decided to create a series spinoff from the classic film “The Lion King,” they turned to veteran voice director Kelly Ward to ensure the vocal performances in “The Lion Guard” would roar to life.

The series premieres Friday, Jan. 15, with back-to-back episodes beginning at 9:30 a.m. on the Disney Channel.

The Lion Guard,” which has a decidedly ecological spin, follows the exploits of Kion, the Prince of the Pride Lands and the second cub of the original film’s Simba and Nala. He and his friends — a cheetah, a hippotamus, a cattle egret and a honey badger — make up the Lion Guard to protect their homeland.

The series initially kicked off with a TV movie, “The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar,” last November. It drew impressive ratings for the Disney Channel, averaging 5.358 million viewers, according to Nielsen’s “live plus-3” estimates.

Ward has »

- Terry Flores

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