Mia and the White Lion (2018)


“For now, he’s a cub, and you want to have fun with it. Soon, he’ll just want to kill you. Go past this fence, and any one of these lions will tear you to pieces in five seconds flat. It doesn’t matter if you’ve fed them, or bathed them or cuddled them, or if you’re name is Mia or Kevin or Obi-Wan Kenobi… a wild animal is a wild animal, and you can never change that, no matter what you do. ” – John Owen

Number of Times Seen – 1 (2 Mar 2020)

Brief Synopsis – A young girl depressed by her family’s relocation to South Africa befriends a young lion cub which raises many questions among her family and friends as they get older.

My Take on it – This is a film that I went to see because my wife and two young daughters were interested in seeing this after viewing the trailer.

The film has an interesting premise yet it fails to find the right tone and pacing that would help make it work better.

When making this film, they chose to film it over the course of a few years in order to get a realistic portrayal of the way that these character age.

That is a wise choice but since it needs to show a few years of information in such a short run time, things feel glossed over and rushed. since they can’t spend enough time in each juncture along the way.

The film’s message of animal preservation gets lost along the way due to the muddled way that things are presented here.

Due to the fact that this film is geared towards children, things end up being a bit too far fetched and unrealistic.

There are also scenes that come across as being much too tame due to the restraint that was necessary to keep it child friendly.

The plot ends up going into some very far fetched territory along the way and that ends up taking so much away from things which is quite unfortunate because they have more potential here than realized.

Bottom Line – Interesting idea that just doesn’t work well enough. The choice to film this movie over a few year period is a good one because we get to see how the characters age and how that affects them but it doesn’t manage to spend enough time at each juncture to make us care even more about them. The film comes across as being too unrealistic and tame due to the fact that it’s target audience is for kids and things that probably should happen never do because of this restraint. The story goes in some very unrealistic places that takes too much away from the story which is a shame.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Upon getting the idea for the film, co-writer/director Gilles de Maistre asked specialist Kevin Richardson about the possibility of filming a child with a lion. He was told that it would be impossible, as the only way for the lion not to harm the child would be that they grow up together, a three year process for a lion and much too long for a film shoot. Undeterred, de Maistre found Daniah De Villiers a young, South African girl already familiar with lions to grow up with the titular white lion cub, and shot the film over two and half years, from May 2015 to December 2017, with the other actors regularly flying in to shoot their scenes. (From IMDB)

Rating – BAFTA Worthy (5/10)

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One thought on “Mia and the White Lion (2018)

  1. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 2018 | MovieRob

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