Mia and the White Lion Blu-ray Review

Ralph Potts reviews MIA AND THE WHITE LION the heartfelt story of an extraordinary friendship between a young girl and a white lion, and her incredible adventure across the South African savanna to give her best friend a new home.

The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Film:

Extras:

Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

87

Details:

Studio and Year: Shout! Factory – 2019
MPAA Rating: PG
Feature running time: 98 minutes
Genre: Family

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC
Video Aspect: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, English Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH
Starring: Daniah De Villiers, Melanie Laurent, Langley Kirkwood, Ryan Mac Lennan
Directed by: Gilles De Maistre
Music by: Armand Amar
Written by: Prune De Maistre, William Davies
Region Code: A

Release Date: July 2, 2019

“Quest for Freedom”

Synopsis:

“Mia and the White Lion is the heartfelt story of an extraordinary friendship between a young girl and a white lion, and her incredible adventure across the South African savanna to give her best friend a new home.” – Shout! Factory

My Take:

Filmed over the course of three years, Mia and the White Lion centers on Mia, a willful young girl whose life is turned upside-down when her family decides to leave London to manage a lion farm in South Africa. But when a beautiful white lion, Charlie, is born, Mia finds happiness once again and develops a special bond with the cub. As Charlie grows to full size, Mia uncovers an upsetting secret and feels she must protect 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.

Mia and the White Lion is a family drama that carries a stern message about the raising of lions in South Africa and the legal/permitted killing of them for staged photography by “hunters”. It doesn’t play out like an overt public service announcement but, there is no mistaking the narrative’s context. As a film it’s more or less a paint by the numbers affair that features the requisite elements to give it a sort of after school special vibe.

I didn’t mind that so much but, found some of the plot points, especially those concerning the parents and their handling of the relationship between Mia and Charlie to be absurd. I did like the idea that the film was shot over a three-year period at the Welgedacht Reserve in South Africa. Director Gilles De Maistre chose to shoot this way so that the film’s young stars Daniah De Villiers and Ryan Mac Lennon could bond and develop real relationships with the lions and other animals that appear in the film.

I agree that Mia and the White Lion carries an important message that should be brought to light. As for the film, it’s completely watchable and perfectly suited for family entertainment.

Replay Value:

Parental Guide: 

The rating is for thematic elements, peril and some language.

AUDIO/VIDEO – By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**

Audio: 84
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Dynamics: 
  • Low frequency effects: 
  • Surround Sound presentation: 
  • Clarity/Detail: 
  • Dialog Reproduction: 
  • DSU/DTS Neural:X Rating * (non-rated element): NA

Video: 90
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Resolution/Clarity: 
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail: 
  • Color Reproduction: 
  • Fleshtones:
  • Compression: 

Mia and the White Lion comes to Blu-ray Disc from Shout! Factory featuring 1080p AVC encoded video and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound.

This 2.35:1 framed video presentation offers appreciable high definition resolution that has a satisfying glossy aesthetic. Images are stable and sharp with plenty of discernible texture and revealing fine detail during close-ups. Blacks are deep while exhibiting appreciable dynamic range with stable yet slightly elevated contrast that never infringes upon fidelity. Colors are snappy and bright and sullen and muted where appropriate. Fleshtones appear descriptive with variable depth that brings out the finest gradations in the differing complexional types among the cast.

The DTS-HD MA soundtrack features crystal clear dialog, robust dynamics and a subtle, yet enriching surround sound mix. I was pleased with its use of spatial dimension and directional cues to create an apropos and occasionally immersive sound field. This worked hand in hand with film’s music, and active sequences to build tension and drive its thematic elements. I thought it sounded quite good.

Bonus Features:

  • · Interview With Director Gilles de Maistre
    · Interview With Actress Daniah De Villiers
    · The Making Of Mia And The White Lion Featurette
    · The Extraordinary Friendship Featurette
    · Deleted Scenes
    · Casting Footage
    · Theatrical Trailer
    · Still Gallery
  • DVD

Final Thoughts:

Filmed over the course of three years, Mia and the White Lion carries an important message while making for a completely watchable family drama. It comes to Blu-ray from Shout! Factor featuring excellent high definition video, crystal clear lossless sound and a decent supplement set. Mia and the White is worth a rental out on Blu-ray especially for those that enjoy its subject.

 

Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Reference Review System:

JVC DLA-RS500 3D/4K Ready High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6-HDR Meter from Spectracal)
Stewart Filmscreen – Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16×9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Electronic Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV7704 Audio/Video Processor
Emotiva XPA-7 Gen 3 Seven Channel Amplifier
Emotiva XPA-11 Gen 3 Amplifier
Panasonic DP-UB820 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton “Ergo” and Canton In-Ceiling Series Speakers
SVS Ultra Surrounds (Gloss Finish in Bipolar Configuration)
Dual SVS PC4000 Cylinder Subwoofers
Panamax M5400-PM Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) – Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
AC Infinity Aircom T8 Component Cooling Systems