Sheridan student helps bring next generation of Lion King to life

Student's animation airs on Disney Junior


After working behind the scenes, making his favourite Disney characters come back to life, Samuel Morin now has the fulfilling experience of seeing his work on TV.

Morin, a third-year Animation student at Sheridan, worked on The Lion King reboot, which premiered as a film in the past year. He also worked on the ongoing series which resumed on Jan. 15.

Lion Guard is focused on Nala and Simba’s second-born son Kion and his friends, who create a group to help protect the Pride Lands, along with returning characters.

The new Lion Guard characters in the Disney Junior trailer.

The new Lion Guard characters in the Disney Junior trailer. (Photo from the Trailer)

For Morin, growing up watching The Lion King, working on the series and finally getting to see his work air, was a surreal experience.

“There was definitely a feeling of pride while watching it,” said Morin. “It’s cool knowing I was a part of it.”

In his second year of Animation Morin began working as a 2D animator for Mercury Filmworks, giving him the chance to help create new adventures for the characters in Pride Lands.

While his job was to make the characters move, there were many other teams working on backgrounds, voiceovers, special effects and much more.

One of the best parts of watching the series for Morin was seeing it all come together in the end.

“To me my scenes seem detached from the other ones. To everyone else it’ll probably look seamless, but mine stand out to me. I still see myself working on those individual scenes,” said Morin.

Not every scene came easy to him.

“The scenes that I like the most are the ones that I struggled through because they were much harder and I was getting more revisions on them,” said Morin. “To some people it might not seem like much to have a character turn around and jump, to me that took a long amount of time, so it’s good to see it all come together nicely.”



The show is attracting all generations, whether it’s past generations looking to reminisce or new generations experiencing a taste of The Lion King for the first time.

Stefanie McFarlane, 23, who expressed her worries about the show not meeting her expectations before watching it, confirmed that some of her fears came true.

“I went in with high, unrealistic expectations because The Lion King is my favourite Disney movie,” said McFarlane. “Unfortunately it was my high expectations that let me down. It’s definitely aimed as a child’s TV show, rather than a family movie, so I do think it is good for Disney Junior. It’s just not my taste.”

Some of the voice acting and characters threw McFarlane off, but she does admit that even though it wasn’t exactly as she wanted, it was very nostalgic to see some of the characters back on screen.