Maia Mitchell, one of the stars of Freeform’s “The Fosters,” plays a friendly hyena in the new Disney series “The Lion Guard.”
In an exclusive clip of the premiere episode obtained by TheWrap, Mitchell voices Jasiri, a female hyena who initially appears combative, but ultimately proves herself to be a loyal friend.
The video also features interviews with Mitchell, Dr. Jill Mellen — the show’s lead consultant at Animal Kingdom — and Sarah Mirza, the series’ language and cultural advisor. Mizra explains the meaning of a new song called “Sisi Ni Sawa,” which is Swahili for “we’re all the same.”
Continuing the epic story of “The Lion King,” the new series follows the adventures of Simba and Nala’s second-born cub Kion and his group of friends who unite to protect the Pride Lands.
The premiere episode features a storyline about a friendly hyena (Mitchell), which is an idea that came from consultants at Disney’s Animal Kingdom who advise “The Lion Guard” production team on every script, offering insight on real animal characteristics and habitats.
They wanted to let people know that not all hyenas are bad and they actually do serve an important purpose in The Circle of Life.
“The Lion Guard” premieres Jan. 15. at 9:30 a.m./8:30c on Disney Junior.