A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Though it's presented in a dramatic story form, it offers some information about lion behavior, including the roles they play in the pride, threats to their species, etc.
It challenges the common misconception that it is the male, and not the female, that keeps prides alive and reproducing for generations. The overall message is one that underscores female empowerment.
Positive Role Models
The natural order tasks the lioness, and not the lion, with providing food and taking care of the young. However, the lion is treated as the leader, gets to eat first, etc. This documentary highlights the female's strength and perseverance.
Violence & Scariness
Animals, including young cubs, are chased, killed, and eaten for food. Bloody carcasses are sometimes visible, and the sound of suffering animals can be heard. This is all presented within the context of the natural order in the wild.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Mating is referred to, but discussed in ambiguous ways that young viewers won't pick up on.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Malika the Lion Queen is a nature documentary that highlights the role of lionesses in protecting their prides by following the life of a female cub growing up in the South African wild. It features scenes of animals (including cubs) being chased, attacked, and eaten, and lions mourning for their young. While these scenes are offered within context, they may be too intense for younger or more sensitive viewers. There are some interesting details about lion behavior, but references to mating are vague and will fly over children's heads. All of this is offered from a point of view that celebrates female empowerment.
Is It Any Good?
This thoughtful documentary uses anthropomorphism (giving animals human characteristics) to highlight how it is the female, or lioness, that serves as the true leader of a pride. It focuses on how it's the lionesses' job to hunt, collectively take care of the young, and ensure their overall safety. As lions fight for leadership, it reveals how precarious a lioness' place in a pride can be, despite her integral role in it.
Even though this documentary is about lions, the overall story is offered through a feminist lens. It challenges popular misconceptions about the species, as well as the myths perpetuated about them, thanks to media like The Lion King franchise. But Malika the Lion Queen also reveals an interesting look at the natural behaviors of the species, which is guided by instinct, intelligence, and sensitivity. It is a story full of harrowing moments, but one that honors the strength and resilience of the lioness, and how she ensures that her pride will persevere.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.