Review: ‘The Wolf and the Lion’ drags out ‘unlikely animal friends’ concept to 100 minutes

A young woman with a lion cub and a wolf cub in a scene from “The Wolf and the Lion.”
Molly Kunz in the movie “The Wolf and the Lion.”
(Emmanuel Guionet/Blue Fox Entertainment)

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Scrolling through internet videos is generally regarded as a waste of time, but watching 100 minutes of cute animals on your phone is preferable to sitting through the laughably bad “The Wolf and the Lion.” Director Gilles de Maistre and writer Prune de Maistre (“Mia and the White Lion”) pair these predators, proving that the “unlikely animal friends” concept should be limited to a 90-second video rather than a family-friendly feature-length drama.

After her grandfather’s death, a young woman named Alma (Molly Kunz) returns to the family’s private island. She discovers her grandfather had befriended a snow wolf (sure), who brings her cub into his cabin. Then a plane crashes, literally dropping a lion cub into Alma’s arms from the sky (why not).


Alma does the only logical thing: raises the cubs herself, carting in boxes of meat for the cute carnivores with the help of her reluctant friend Joe (Graham Greene, say it ain’t so). When her secret is inevitably discovered, the local authorities separate the BFFs from each other and her, but they’re desperate to reunite.

“The Wolf and the Lion” does have impressive scenes of these two animals, first as aww-inducing babies and then as awe-inspiring adults, all shot in the impossibly beautiful Canadian forest. However, it’s strung together with an implausible script, odd framing and nonsensical editing. This well-intentioned film says it’s about tolerance (it literally uses the phrase “the magnificent lesson of tolerance”), but it all seems constructed to serve the idea of putting these two predators in the same space for human pleasure. Unfortunately, the only joy it brings is giggling at each new level of absurdity.

‘The Wolf and the Lion’

Rated: PG, for thematic elements, language and some peril

Running time: 1 hour, 39 minutes

Playing: Opens Feb. 4 in limited release