Parents' Guide to

Malika the Lion Queen

By Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Lioness is queen in this sensitive but violent documentary.

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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.

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