Lena’s just like every other teenage girl—she wants a place where she belongs. Abandoned by her mother and shunned by peers because of her stutter, this feat seems impossible, but once she discovers a white lion cub all alone in the swamp, things change.
Snowball, the baby lion, is wanted by a merciless poacher, Ben Percy, who sends two of his rather dumb lackeys to hunt down the cub after they’ve lost it in a backwater boating accident. Meanwhile, Lena keeps Snowball hidden in her art studio so her father and anyone else in town won’t find out. She calls the local zoo, the local animal sanctuary, but no one is missing Snowball.
It’s up to Lena and an unexpected friend to keep Snowball safe and help him find a place to call home.
Lena and Snowball is a family-friendly movie with themes of friendship and honesty. Lena’s father is ever-devoted to her and always champions her art. Though several bullies try to keep Lena down, the local soda shop owner and a fellow classmate stick up for Lena, earning her trust. Even one of the lackeys has remorse for being cruel to Lena, recognizing how she’s already bullied and taken advantage of. Despite the bullies, Lena learns to embrace those who love her for the creativity and bravery that she’s had all along.
However, there are a few elements that parents of younger children need to be aware of. The h-word and d-word are each mentioned once, and lots of name-calling takes place throughout the movie. One of the bad guys can be seen in his underwear, though a bathrobe covers up most skin. There’s meditation, a naked mannequin, and a manipulative poacher that also make for necessary conversation between parents and children.
Honoring the elements of bravery, loyalty, and friendship, we award this movie Dove-approval for Ages 12+.
The Dove Take:
When an insecure teenage girl rescues an abandoned baby lion, the two form a relationship that calls for everyone to recognize the importance of bravery, honesty, and friendship.