Mia and the White Lion (French title Mia et le Lion blanc) created quite the buzz when it was first released in France. So much so that they had studios lining up to snatch up the rights to showcase the movie in other parts of the world. The movie is directed by Gilles de Maistre and it is one of the more emotional family dramas you will see this year.
How to Download Mia and the White Lion
The movie can be pre-ordered on the French iTunes store. To check its availability for download, click on the button at the end of the review. And if you like movies with lions, you should of course also watch The Lion King.
The Film Review
The story of Mia and the White Lion is pretty much in the title. Mia Owen is a young girl just living her life in London when all of a sudden her world is turned upside down. Her parents have decided to move to Africa where they are going to be in charge of a lion farm. This is clearly quite a departure and change for an adult, let alone a 10-year-old girl.
Mia is played by Daniah De Villiers and she does a wonderful job. You really do feel for her, but at the same time, she gets on your nerves. She is kind of like your real life little sister who clearly has a heart of gold. While she was reluctant to make this life-changing move, things change when she meets Charlie.
Charlie is a white lion and Mia is there for the birth and the two of them have a very strong bond. This is the major highlight of the movie and you get a real feel for how much Mia really does love Charlie. These scenes are done very well and the animal handling team did one heck of a job and Mia never looks nervous when she is around Charlie.
Mia has gotten over the shock of having to move to Africa and Charlie is a huge part of that. However, her father Jack (played by Langley Kirkwood) has not been entirely honest with her about this lion farm. No spoilers here, but she finds out that Charlie could be in real danger and there is no way that she is going to let this happen.
As a result, she decides that she is going to leave with Charlie and find him a new home. Mia and the White Lion is a truly lovely story. As well as being “nice” the movie also opens to your eyes about the lion trade and lion hunting that takes place in Africa so in that regard it is pretty hard hitting and it does make you think.
Mia and the White Lion is a very charming, nice and heartfelt story that is impossible not to get swept up by. It is the kind of movie that you start watching and then as the movie goes on you get more and more invested in what is going on. It is a movie that you can watch on your own with a big bar of chocolate and a box of tissues. Or you can sit and watch it with the whole family.
The Movie Production
Mia and the White Lion is a unique experience because the movie was shot during the timespan of three years. Thus you can watch the lion Charlie (his real name is Thor) grow from a little cub to a majestic animal and you can observe the little flower Mia Owen played gracefully by Daniah grow from an 11 years old kid to a 14 years old brave girl.
Mia and the White Lion: the Message
The message of the movie becomes obvious towards its end and it is strengthened by the data displayed on the screen. The population of 250 000 lions in Africa has shrunk by 90% to 25 000 largely due to the “canned lion hunting”.
The Bottom Line
If you are looking for a good family drama, Mia and the White Lion is well worth a look. I have a feeling that throughout the year this movie is going to pick up more and more steam and really have people talking about it.