The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar, the continuation of The Lion King story, premieres this Sunday at 7/6c on The Disney Channel. Ernie Sabella will reprise his role as Pumbaa, an adoptive uncle of Kion’s honey badger friend, Bunga. Watch a clip from the movie below where you can once again hear Sabella as Pumbaa:
Disney Insider sat down with Ernie Sabella to talk about his role as Pumbaa and what we can expect from the new series:
Let’s go back to the beginning: What do you remember from getting the job on The Lion King?
I remember it well. Nathan Lane and I were doing Guys and Dolls on Broadway and we got called in to audition for the hyenas. So we went into the same little booth and we improvised around this hyena situation and we saw that everyone’s mouths were hanging open and we said, “Okay, bye!” While we were in the elevator I said, “Well at least we have our nighttime job.”
What is your relationship with the character now?
Pumbaa makes me happy. He’s such a giant character and an iconic voice for Disney. Of all the things I’ve done, this is the thing that will outlive me for a very, very long time. When I watch Cinderella or Snow White, I’m transported to such a magical land. And hearing these voices, they are not dead. They are alive. They are beautiful. And I hope that happens for me.
The Lion Guard continues the story of The Lion King. Was it particularly exciting to be a part of this project?
Yes, it was. Because I’m older and so is Pumbaa. He’s Uncle Pumbaa. It was a real chance to be an older, wiser voice for Simba’s kids. It’s very thrilling, very thrilling.
What can fans of the character expect from The Lion Guard?
More of the good stuff. To the young world, it’s Simba’s kids. They’re the stars. They’re doing the battles and they’re protecting the Pride Lands. And I’m there to make sure nobody gets hurt.
For the full interview click HERE