The Wolf and the Lion parents guide

The Wolf and the Lion Parent Guide

This would be a less hypocritical film if it walked the talk.

Overall B-

In Theaters: After the death of her grandfather, Alma moves to his home in the Canadian wilderness. While there, she rescues two cubs, one wolf and one lion. But when local forest rangers come knocking, Alma and the cubs must find a way to stay together.

Release date February 4, 2022

Violence B+
Sexual Content A-
Profanity B
Substance Use A-

Why is The Wolf and the Lion rated PG? The MPAA rated The Wolf and the Lion PG for thematic elements, language and some peril.

Run Time: 99 minutes

Parent Movie Review

Alma (Molly Kunz) feels adrift in the world after the death of her grandfather. While trying to decide if she should return to music school in the big city or settle back into her childhood home on an isolated island, an answer falls out of the sky – literally. It comes in the form of a baby lion who has been stranded in a tree after the plane he was aboard crash landed in a forest. Alma just happens to be wandering through the woods when the cub tumbles, and lands in her arms. Unable to resist its helpless cries, Alma takes the bundle of fur back to the cabin – along with a sense of having found an anchor for her life.

Then, as if one orphan isn’t enough, Alma also finds herself playing host to a she-wolf who brings her little one into the house. Apparently, the skittish wolf feels safer under the shelter of Alma’s roof than in the wild where she is being harassed by an overzealous conservationist (Charlie Carrick).

Despite the serious doubts and strong warnings of her godfather (Graham Greene), Amy defends her decision to keep the trio because the arrangement seems to be working well. The two youngsters get along like brothers, despite being a feline and a canine, and the mother is happy to nurse them both. But all good things come to an end when the white wolf doesn’t come home one night, and Alma finds herself as the only caregiver. Now she is faced with a growing problem…

If the situation sounds a bit implausible, that is because it is a carefully crafted scenario designed to allow French film director Gilles de Maistre to explain his personal views on animal abuse. That is also why the script is populated with uncaring wildlife protection officers, a cruel circus master and bumbling scientists.

For viewers with similar sympathies, it may be easy enough to overlook the manipulative message, cardboard characters and predictable plot – especially when the images of cute and charming critters provide an enjoyable distraction.

I was willing to forgive most of these flaws too, despite the closing comments condemning humans for interfering with the wellbeing of animals – until the I read the onscreen epilogue.

Instead of being comforted by the assurance that the wolf and lion depicted here are friends in real life and are promised to live out the remainder of their days in the company of one another, I was suddenly swamped with several ethical questions. Hadn’t I just watched this duo grow up together? The two of them couldn’t have accidentally been paired up. So, did the movie makers choose a couple of baby animals and intentionally raise them together? If so, that would pretty much ensure that these creatures, like the characters they portray in the story, would mature in an environment of so much human interference that they would never be able to return to the wild. It didn’t take much digging to discover indeed, that is exactly what had happened. (See RivieraBuzz: The Wolf and the Lion: Peeking Behind the Scenes of the New French Blockbuster.) Somehow it is hard to applaud a movie that doesn’t practice what it preaches, even if it is done with the good of the cause in mind.

Directed by Gilles de Maistre. Starring Molly Kunz, Graham Greene, Charlie Carrick. Running time: 99 minutes. Theatrical release February 4, 2022. Updated

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The Wolf and the Lion
Rating & Content Info

Why is The Wolf and the Lion rated PG? The Wolf and the Lion is rated PG by the MPAA for thematic elements, language and some peril.

Violence: Animals are subjected to abuse and cruelty by humans. A wolf is captured in trap—although the net does not injure the animal, a piece of it gets stuck on the wolf’s back when it escapes, and later that causes it to get caught on a bush, putting its life in danger. Adult animals are killed (implied, not shown), and their young taken and sold. Young animals are packed in shipping creates. The aftermath of an airplane crash is shown – we are told the pilot survived.  A human character falls and sustains a serious head injury. A lion is caged, drugged, and threated with a whip. Human characters stalk wild animals with guns – some with tranquilizer darts, others with bullets. Animals’ lives are in peril. Gunshots are heard. Animals threaten human beings and cause property damage.
Sexual Content: It is implied a person was involved in a sexual relationship. Affectionate hugging and kissing are shown. 
Profanity: Profanity occurs in the single digits and includes scatological slang, mild profanities, terms of deity and name-calling are used infrequently.
Alcohol / Drug Use: A man takes his son into a bar: he drinks beer and the son drinks soda pop. Animals are injected and shot with tranquilizers. One receives a dose large enough that it is likely to die. An animal is fed a pill.

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The Wolf and the Lion Parents' Guide

How do you feel about the animals being used in this movie? (See: RivieraBuzz: The Wolf and the Lion: Peeking Behind the Scenes of the New French Blockbuster). Do you feel that the producers treated the animals fairly? If you wanted to bring attention to animal abuse, how would you go about it?

Alma feels like raising the lion and the wolf in her home is the best way to protect them. Do you agree with her decision? What would you do if you found a wild animal that needed protection?

Home Video

Related home video titles:

Gilles de Maistre also produced Mia and the White Lion. Other movies depict animal lovers adopting a wolf (White Fang) and a lion (Lena and Snowball). In a more whimsical vein, a girl adopts a squirrel with superpowers in Flora & Ulysses. And in a role reversal, a wolf adopts an orphaned boy in The Jungle Book: Mowgli’s Story.