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🦁 Mia and the White Lion Review: sweet story with powerful ending

4 min read

It’s been a long time since I enjoyed a movie so much. Mia and the White Lion is a beautiful, tender and unpredictable film. Danaiah de Villiers (the girl protagonist) actually grew up with the lions, so you see that beautiful complicity between them that simply gives me goosebumps every time I actually think about it.

Here’s a photo of me being happy at the cinema. 😂

Let’s start the review with a quick synopsis.

Ten year old Mia has her life turned upside down when her family decides to leave London to manage a lion farm in Africa. When a beautiful white lion, Charlie, is born, Mia finds happiness once again and develops a special bond with the growing cub. When Charlie reaches three, Mia’s life is rocked once again as she uncovers an upsetting secret kept hidden by her father. Distraught by the thought that Charlie could be in danger, Mia decides to rescue him. The two friends set out on an incredible journey across the South African savanna in search of a sanctuary where Charlie can live out his life in freedom. 

What I liked 

Mia and the grown up White Lion

The Story (Spoilers)

The plot overall was great and had quite a lot of climatic moments which kept me at the edge of my seat the whole time. It’s not easy to make a film that is not predictable but Mia and The Lion managed it, I never knew or could guess what was going to happen next. My favorite part of the movie was the end because my heart felt like if it was about to explode and trust me, I wasn’t the only one. I took a look at my left and at my right and everyone’s faces were worried that the White Lion was going to be killed. 


Mia (the 15-16 year old girl) in the beginning, her personality was really rebellious and throughout the movie you see her mature and become nicer because of the White Lion. The relationship between the two was fantastic because you really feel pure love between them and a very strong inseparable relationship. Who made the movie stand out was hands down the lion, he’s simply so adorable and let’s be real; you watched the movie simply to see the lion. Mia’s father’s personality also helped the movie become more interesting since he was kind of the “evil” one yet turned out to be a sweet dad in the end. 

The Details

You could see the attention to detail in every single object/prop on set. The radio in the car was dusty since they were in the savannah, Mia wore a Manchester United t-shirt (because she previously lived in London) and then you could see a Manchester United poster in her room, Mia’s dry lips; I simply enjoyed the small details like those that made you feel like you were inside of the film.

Take a look at the color palette.

Color Palette

I don’t usually care about color palettes because they aren’t usually that noticeable but in Mia and the Lion it was very clear. The color palette used a lot of orange and brownish colors which made the movie feel aesthetically pleasing. The color palette was simply so well used in so many scenes that made me realize how important it is to have a beautiful color palette.

No Soundtrack?!

The film had barely any soundtrack, I only listened to 4 songs through out the whole film. Only one of those three was instrumental and I was honestly very impressed with it because they surprisingly made it work. The other 3 songs were phenomenal as well.

What I didn’t like

Mia playing with the White Lion

No message 

The ending was beautiful, I won’t deny that but it missed a great opportunity to send a beautiful message to all the viewers. Don’t tell me that the message was animal freedom because all the lions in the movie were trained. 


Unfortunately I was not impressed with Mia’s acting. Certain scenes have been so much more emotional with improved acting. The rest of the cast’s acting was fairly good.


Some of the dialogues were just pretty cheesy and kind of immature.

Mom kissing the White Lion


I would have no hesitation in recommending Mia and the White Lion simply because of the beautiful story, aesthetic color grading and a great powerful ending.

Final Movie Score: ★★★☆☆

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