Las 25 mejores películas de leones y por qué deberías verlas

Rey de la selva, uno de los animales más magníficos del mundo y feroz protector de su manada, el león es un animal que fascina a muchos. Fuerte, valiente y lleno de orgullo, es un animal al que muchos temen pero también admiran y, por tanto, uno de los más interesantes para estudiar, leer y aprender. Muchas películas tienen leones en el centro de su historia y en esta lista te traemos las 25 mejores películas de leones de todos los tiempos.

El rey león (1994)

De qué se trata: Simba es expulsado de su orgullo por su malvado tío y tiene que adaptarse a la vida en la sabana, a menudo hostil y peligrosa. Él es el futuro rey de la sabana y tendrá que soportar mucho para reclamar su trono y estar a la altura del nombre de su padre.

Why you should watch it: The Lion King is one of the most beautiful and beloved cartoons ever, the story of a young lion cub destined for great things and a beautiful insight into the world of animals and their hierarchy in the savannah. It is an unforgettable story that teaches, educates, and stays in our hearts forever.

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe (2005)

What it’s about: After Lucy discovers the magical world of Narnia and visits it several times, she takes her brothers and sister with her. They find themselves facing the adventure of a lifetime. They talk to animals, meet an evil white witch and a good lion, and soon find out that their destiny is to save the kingdom from the darkness that arrives.

Why you should watch it: Chronicles of Narnia is a magnificent story of a world so special and wonderful that we all wanted to go through that wardrobe together with Lucy. This parallel universe is magical, full of unusual creatures, and a promised land for every child with great imagination. And it features a lion, portrayed as a fighter, protector, and wise individual who will play one of the most important roles in the lives of those children.

Zootopia (2016)

What it’s about: Zootopia is a mammal metropolis where we get to know Judy Hopps, the first rabbit to join the police force. She is shy and small and surrounded by all kinds of prejudice toward her species and their abilities as policemen. Judy needs to prove herself and immediately decides to take the opportunity of solving a mysterious case.

Why you should watch it: This cartoon introduces us to an array of various animal species and brings them closer through their numerous personality traits. Even though the cartoon is not about lions, it features a lion character with a pretty important role here and gives us one more perspective on the species in general.

The Wizard of Oz (1939)

What it’s about: Dorothy is a young girl who finds herself in a magical land called Oz after a strong tornado hits her Kansas home and destroys everything she used to know. She will have to go through a series of adventures with her beloved dog Toto to return home. She will meet different flamboyant characters, fight the evil witch and trust herself more than anything.

Why you should watch it: Wizard of Oz is one of the greatest movie classics ever. This story is one of true friendship, honesty, love, and tenacity. It is a must-see movie with its strong message and brilliant story. One of its main characters is a lion that will capture your heart with its unusual personality, completely opposite of what everyone expects from a lion.

Madagascar (2005)

What it’s about: Animals in zoos are unhappy, and Marty, the bored zebra from Central Park Zoo, decides to escape it, dreaming of the vast spaces in Africa. Marty finds himself on a ship to a wildlife preserve with his best friends, lion Alex, giraffe Melman, and hippo Gloria. They end up in Madagascar, which is Marty’s dream come true, but now he and his friends must face the fact and see what it means to be a real wild animal.

Why you should watch it: Madagascar is one of the most beloved cartoons of the last 20 years, full of humor, wit, and unforgettable characters. One of them is Alex, an African lion who is a brilliant example of what a lion can be. He is strong and energetic but also sometimes insecure and not always delighted to be at the center of attention.

Born Free (1966)

What it’s about: George and Joy Adamson have lived in Northern Kenya for some time now, where George deals with dangerous animals that might represent a threat to humans. After having to kill a lion and lioness, George and Joy end up adopting their three cubs. Two of them are sent to a zoo, and the last one, named Elsa, becomes their pet and family member. But unfortunately, she is destined for a life similar to her siblings,’ and after many years of her company, George and Joy will have to face a difficult decision.

Why you should watch it: This is a true story that beautifully depicts a relationship between a human and a wild animal. It is wonderfully shot, with a very good cast, and it is a story that will stay with you long after you finish watching the movie.

Secondhand Lions (2003)

What it’s about: Walter is a young boy sent by his wild and irresponsible mother to live with his unusual great uncles. This shy boy will have to adapt to the summer and get used to a life completely different from the one he has known until now.

Why you should watch it: This beautiful family movie will make you laugh thanks to its witty story and even wittier characters, played by brilliantly Haley Joel Osment, Robert Duvall, and Michael Caine. And the lion will also stay in your mind for some time.

Out of Africa (1985)

What it’s about: Meryl Streep plays Karen Blixen, a Danish baroness and plantation owner who lives in 20th-century colonial Kenya. We follow her life story through her unhappy marriage, troubles with her plantation, and a love affair with her true love Denys, played by Robert Redford.

Why you should watch it: This Sydney Pollack movie is one of the classics that you hear mentioned in numerous other movies and TV series. It is a beautiful story with wonderful scenery and an unforgettable portrayal of Africa, its people, and wildlife. It is a huge recommendation for everyone.

The Ghost and the Darkness (1996)

What it’s about: Sir Robert Beaumont is in Africa, where he is behind schedule with his work on a railroad and has great expectations after hiring a skilled engineer John Henry Patterson. Everything functions perfectly until the crew realizes they are becoming prey to two frenzied lions. Patterson hopes they will be protected by a famous hunter Charles Remington who can’t wait to deal with these bloodthirsty predators.

Why you should see it: This story is inspired by true events, making it even more interesting to watch. It is intense and adrenaline-packed, showing us the lions’ dangerous side, the one which is not often portrayed in movies.

Mia and the White Lion (2018)

What it’s about: Mia is an 11-year-old girl who moves to a South African lion farm with her family, where she builds a strong bond with Charlie, a white lion cub. Even though she is away from her friends, Mia is really enjoying her new life until she learns about her father’s secret.

Why you should watch it: This is a beautiful movie that shows a beautiful relationship between a human and an animal but also faces us with an uglier side of working with animals, the side that is more oriented on money. The story is at the same time, heartbreaking and heartwarming, and it makes us reflect on things we take for granted.

Madagascar 2: Escape From Africa (2008)

What it’s about: In this sequel, we follow the old crew who fly back to New York City but find themselves on an African nature reserve where they meet other animals of their kind—the story centers on Alex, who discovers that he is the prince of a lion pride.

Why you should watch: We learned a lot about this interesting crew in the first part of the cartoon; in this one, we will learn more about a lion. Alex is the main protagonist in this sequel, making it a great opportunity for the audience to learn more about lions and their traits.

Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted (2012)

What it’s about: In the third part of this unforgettable adventure, Alex and his friends still have to find a way to return to New York City. First, they will travel to Monte Carlo and continue their journey through Europe as members of a traveling circus. They are constantly monitored by the Captain of Animal Control, who wants to make Alex part of her collection.

Why you should watch it: If you enjoyed the first two parts of this funny cartoon, you will enjoy it even more since it is one of the best in the franchise. Along with our beloved characters, it has an interesting villain and a great number of funny and humorous situations.

To Walk With Lions (1999)

What it’s about: In this family adventure drama, we follow George Adamson, who wants to help save Kenya’s wildlife. Together with his assistant Tony Fitzjohn, Adamson is trying to keep animals on his game reserve and Kora from the dangerous poachers.

Why you should watch it: This beautiful but heartbreaking movie shows how big humans’ love can be towards animals. It is beautifully shot, with wonderful African scenery and great casting, led by Richard Harris.

Jungle Emperor Leo (1997)

What it’s about: This is the story of Leo, the lion emperor, and his family. We follow their struggle to protect the jungle from intruders who want to mine a precious stone.

Why you should watch it: This animated movie is loosely based on the 1966 TV series Kimba the Lion, and it is a great way to be introduced to the characters. The animation is better than the original, the story itself is great, and its message is pretty interesting and eye-opening.

Robin Hood (1973)

What it’s about: This is a great Disney interpretation of a well-known story about Robin Hood, one of the most famous thieves ever. We follow the hero of Sherwood Forest on his adventures to outwit the greedy Prince John, who enjoys putting taxes on poor citizens.

Why you should watch it: All the beloved characters from the famous Robin Hood stories have gained their animal forms in this brilliant cartoon where we once again root for the outcast hero and his friends. Prince John is given the form of a lion and its most negative traits.

The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride (1998)

What it’s about: In this sequel, we follow Simba and Nala’s daughter Kiara who escapes Timon and Pumba’s babysitting and runs away into the forbidden lands. There she will meet and befriend a lion cub Kovu, the son of Zira, a banished follower of Scar, Simba’s late uncle and greatest enemy. Zira’s plan is to raise Kovu to overthrow Simba and become the king of the Pride Lands.

Why you should watch it: This is a very good sequel to the unforgettable The Lion King, a story about the strength of friendship and family and a father-daughter relationship that can teach everyone a lot.

The Lion King III: Hakuna Matata (2004)

What it’s about: This story centers around two adorable protagonists from 1994, The Lion King, Timon, and Pumba. We follow their story, which begins before Simba’s journey. We meet Timon’s family and learn why he left his meerkat colony, how he met Pumba, and where their adventure began.

Why you should watch it: This direct-to-video musical won our hearts, just like the first and second parts of this brilliant cartoon. It is not directly connected to the first part; at some points, it even makes fun of it, but it is still a fun watch, especially for the youngest.

Roar (1981)

What it’s about: In this adventure thriller, we follow a group of wild animals who assemble in order to invade a quiet home and terrorize the visiting family of their keeper.

Why you should watch it: This might become one of the scariest movies you will ever watch, thanks to its realistic side and the fact that you are constantly on the edge of your seat. You will be terrified and shocked and the same time, wondering who might be hurt or even killed. The most shocking part of the movie is the fact that the majority of lion attacks were real.

The Lion (1962)

What it’s about: Tina is raised by her mother and stepfather in a wildlife reserve in Kenya, where she spends her days with her best friend, a fully grown lion. Her mother is concerned about her health and well-being, but her stepfather is convinced that this way of life isn’t hurting her. Things will change when Tina’s mother sends for her biological father, hoping he will take her back to the United States.

Why you should watch it: This is a movie that all generations should see. It is captivating and holds an important message, and the scenes between Tina and her best friend, the lion, are the ones that will stick with you forever.

Beast (2022)

What it’s about: Idris Elba plays the leading role in this adventure horror drama about a father and his two teenage daughters who are hunted by a dangerous rogue lion who wants to prove that he is the true ruler of the savannah.

Why you should watch it: This isn’t a lion movie you will remember, but it is a good pass time for everyone who loves adventures and adrenaline-packed action movies.

Napoleon and Samantha (1972)

What it’s about: This is a drama about Napoleon, an 11-year-old boy who lives with his grandfather and cares for his friend’s pet lion Major. While his friend is away in Europe, Napoleon’s grandfather dies, and he decides to run away with Major and his best friend Samantha.

Why you should watch it: This is a nice movie for children, with an intriguing and interesting plot and two big Hollywood stars who were just beginning their careers then, Michael Douglas and Jodie Foster. It is not a story that you will remember for the rest of your life, but it is a decent movie that shows the importance of a relationship between people and animals.

Fluffy (1965)

What it’s about: The main protagonist of this movie is Fluffy the lion, the subject of an ambitious experiment that has to prove that even wild animals can be pets with proper training. But Fluffy’s owner, scientist Daniel Potter didn’t expect that everyone would fear Fluffy and that they would find themselves on the run from the law when Fluffy is accused of eating someone.

Por qué deberías verla: Esta es una pequeña película encantadora para que toda la familia se reúna y la disfrute. Es una historia divertida sobre un hombre excéntrico y su amor por su amado animal, y nos muestra cómo el miedo y la desinformación pueden llevar a las personas al caos.

Clarence, el león bizco (1965)

De qué se trata: Esta es la historia ambientada en una aldea nativa africana que aparentemente un león local aterroriza. Pronto, un veterinario al que se le pide ayuda descubre que el león es bizco, tiene visión doble y no puede cazar. Mientras se ocupan de su problema, un peligroso criminal planea secuestrar a jóvenes gorilas y venderlos en el mercado negro. 

Por qué deberías verla: Cuando te olvidas de los problemas técnicos y científicos relacionados con el comportamiento con los leones y de cuándo se filmó la película, esta es una comedia familiar bastante decente y divertida que tus hijos probablemente disfrutarán mucho.

León de Oz (2000)

De qué se trata: Este musical animado cuenta la historia de un león de circo que es trasladado a una tierra mágica donde tiene que luchar contra la Malvada Bruja del Este. Convirtiéndose en el líder de esta búsqueda, se embarca en un viaje lleno de aventuras y personajes interesantes, durante el cual aprenderá mucho sobre sí mismo e incluso perderá una parte de sí mismo. Es la historia previa a la famosa El Mago de Oz donde nos enteramos de lo que le pasó al querido León Cobarde.

Por qué deberías verla: Esta es una maravillosa precuela de la inolvidable El Mago de Oz. Esta conmovedora y memorable película animada nos presenta muchos personajes a los que nos encariñamos en el clásico de 1939. 

El lobo y el león (2021)

De qué se trata: Alma es una joven que salva a un cachorro de lobo y a un cachorro de león de la cruel naturaleza canadiense. Forman un vínculo fuerte y una relación de por vida que cambiará sus vidas y le enseñará a Alma muchas lecciones de vida importantes.

Por qué deberías verla: esta historia se inspiró en hechos reales, lo que la hace aún más memorable. Es una película maravillosa con un mensaje importante y fuerte, importante para los más jóvenes, quienes disfrutarán mucho la película.


Redactor y editor principal en Tiempo de recreo. Pasa todo el día en frente del televisor y jugando videojuegos, solo por eso fue contratado en el medio.

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