Even in a world full of magic and endless possibilities, family and a sense of belonging are paramount. Endless possibilities mean nothing when those you love the most aren’t able to share in those things with you. Netflix’s latest animated film, The Magician’s Elephant, chronicles one young man’s journey to reunite with his long-lost sister in a world in which magic can inspire great wonder and great terror.
Based on the novel Kate DiCamillo, Peter (Noah Jupe) is kind, ambitious kid who believes in his heart that his baby sister, Adele (Pixie Davies), who he was told perished in a fire, is still alive. A chance encounter with a mysterious fortune teller (Natasia Demetriou) leads him to a special elephant that is destined to reunite him with her. When a kooky king (Aasif Mandvi) tasks him with three trials to win the elephant’s freedom, Peter gathers all his courage and allies to complete them to ensure he reunites his family.
This film is the perfect mix of whimsy, adventure and family fun. The core message of looking after one’s family, the ones we are connected to by blood, and the family we form along the way, grounds the film in a believable way in the midst of the magic and heightened reality.
The film even manages to make the titular elephant a character you care for and love. Like Peter, she longs to be reunited with her family. She and Peter share a destiny, and they both fight to find that together. It’s beautiful, emotional, and their bond is one of the best parts of the film.
Noah Jupe, Pixie Davies, Benedict Wong, and the rest of the cast, do such a great job of being lively and emotive while vocally embodying their characters. The film is beautifully animated, and I found myself longing to visit the magical, picturesque town of Baltese. Although it begins as a gloomy place, it comes to life over the course of the film. It’s magic, wonders, and even dangers, will fascinate viewers and effortlessly draw them in.
The Magician’s Elephant is a heartfelt, whimsical film that grounds its extraordinary premise with core messages of hope and family.
The Magician’s Elephant is now available to stream on Netflix.
The Magician's Elephant is a heartfelt, whimsical film that grounds its extraordinary premise with core messages of hope and family.
Writer. Video Essayist. Film/TV Critic. Pop Culture Enthusiast.
When he isn’t writing for Geek Vibes Nation or creating content for his YouTube channel, Tristian can be found typing away at the young adult novel he has been working on for three years.