The Lion Guard

Disney Junior

Bust out your Lion King soundtrack and blast some "Hakuna Matata," because Disney Channel has announced a premiere date for The Lion Guard, the sequel series to the classic 1994 animated film that will follow Simba and Nala's second-born cub, Kion.

The new show, which introduced its characters and story in a Disney Channel movie last month, will debut on Friday, Jan. 15 at 9:30 a.m. and follow Kion and his diverse animal pals as they unite to protect the Pride Lands. The Lion Guard will incorporate Swahili words and phrases and original songs into the episodes, which are aimed at pre-schoolers, and education and science experts at Disney's Animal Kingdom park act as consultants on the series and advise on the characteristics and behaviors of different African animals.

Rob Lowe and Gabrielle Union voice Simba and Nala, with Max Charles playing their son, Kion. They'll be joined by Blair Underwood as crocodile villain Makuu, Ana Gasteyer as scheming jackal Reirei and The Fosters' Maia Mitchell as friendly hyena Jasiri. The cast of The Lion King II: Simba's PrideAndy Dick, Jason Marsden and Lacey Chabert—will reprise their roles from the 1998 movie as Nuka, Kovu and Vitani.

"The story of The Lion King has deeply touched families around the world since its original theatrical release 20 years ago," Disney Junior general manager Nancy Kanter said in a statement when the new show was announced. "We look forward to introducing a whole new generation of kids to both the Disney legacy characters and to new friends and heroes."

Can't wait until 2016? You'll be able to check out a preview episode called "The Rise of Makuu" on the Disney Junior app and iTunes on Monday, Dec. 14, and you can watch the full opening credits in the video above.

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