Thanks to the addition of two new properties, Disney believes it’s in for a great 2016 in the pre-school space.
The Lion Guard, a new animated TV movie and series coming in early 2016, will continue the story of The Lion King by following Kion, the second-born cub of Simba and Nala.
Elsewhere, the fairy tale-inspired Goldie & Bear will debut on Disney Junior UK in early 2016 and is set after ‘the porridge incident’ from Goldilocks and The Three Bears.
The firm believes both shows will spawn products that will be hits in the pre-school sector, with The Lion Guard’’s offering set to be backed by the heritage of The Lion King brand.
“In pre-school, we’ve got the favourites like Sofia, Jake, Doc and Mickey’s Clubhouse, but we’ve also got Goldie & Bear coming through and also The Lion Guard,” Mike Stagg, general manager, integrated retail and licensing for The Walt Disney Company UK and Ireland, told ToyNews.
“The heritage of The Lion King is very exciting for us and hopefully for the retailers too."
Stagg also stated that the Disney Junior brand has gone from strength to strength since its launch in the UK four years ago, with shows including Doc McStuffins, Miles from Tomorrow, Sofia the First, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Jake and the Never Land Pirates becoming popular in the toy aisle.
“For generations Disney has created magical and heartfelt stories and characters. Our new Disney Junior programming will continue this legacy and it also taps into the nostalgia parents have for traditional fairy tales and the iconic Lion King movie,” added Stagg.
“With our pre-school portfolio expanding, so too will the opportunities to create products that will bring the characters to life.”