The Magician’s Elephant

A new, computer-generated animated film dropped this weekend on Netflix. It was entitled The Magician’s Elephant, which was based on a 2009 novel of the same name. This animated film was directed by Wendy Rogers.

In an attempt to show the town of Baltese that magic was real, the Magician (Benedict Wong) accidentally summoned an elephant that fell on wealthy Madam LaVaughn (Miranda Richardson). Meanwhile, young orphan Peter (Noah Jupe), who was being raised by  an old soldier Vilna Lutz (Mandy Patinkin), was discovering that he had a fate to follow an elephant to find his long-lost sister that he believed to have died.

The magical appearance of the elephant was too much of a coincidence for Peter and he went to see what he could find out. However, the King (Asaif Mandvi) and the Countess (Kirby) were deciding the fate of the elephant, as they leaned toward putting the animal down.

Peter is able to stop the killing of the elephant, showing that the elephant was not mean, but was instead in pain from his eye. When he begged the King to let him have the elephant, the King decided that he would allow Peter to have the elephant if he could do three impossible tasks.

The Magician’s Elephant is a fine film, very enjoyable for families to sit down and watch. It just has nothing that really stands out as special. Everything about it is decent, but nothing that makes it better than any other animated movie that we have seen over the last several years. The animation was good, though there was nothing here that really jumps out as being beautiful. It is solid. The voice cast is a strength as there are some wonderful actors involved here. The film had a decent pace so you do not feel as if it overstayed its welcome. The story was fine, if not a bit predictable. I did like how the conflict of the story was not provided by an evil character, just a group of people who, in their minds, were trying to do what was best.

I feel as if this is a film that I will not necessarily remember much about by the end of the year. It was a good film, but it would not stand out in a field of several animated movies. It had some moments and would be a decent time for family viewings.

3.2 stars

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