When a magician struggles to woo his audience with poorly executed tricks, he resorts to a last-ditch attempt at a powerful spell, hoping it will be something spectacular. To his surprise, his chants make an elephant appear on the stage out of nowhere. However, the effect is chaos, and both the magician and his elephant are imprisoned.
Directed by Wendy Rogers, the 2023 animated movie “The Magician’s Elephant” isn’t really about the pachyderm, instead it’s about a young orphan called Peter, who is told by an astrologer that an elephant will lead him to his sister. So the appearance of a magical elephant is timely, but the little boy is tasked with three impossible tasks to win the key to finding his sister.
While the basic story of “The Magician’s Elephant” is interesting, it’s unfortunately slow-paced, cliched and doesn’t evoke the magical charm of other films in the genre, like “How To Train Your Dragon”. The animation looks borrowed from everywhere and while it’s colourful and cute to look at, there’s no mesmerizing stand-out scene. A dream sequence of the elephant swimming with its family could’ve been breath-taking, but something about the artwork was just a little off – it was almost realistic but awkward, because it looked neither real nor animated.
I guess it’s a sweet film for children under fourteen, viewers older than that might no longer have the patience for the movie’s pace nor for it’s old formulaic “anything is possible if you believe it” message. It didn’t even keep me engrossed enough to finish it in one sitting and I saw it over a period of two days. To the makers credit – the climax managed to be heart-warming, despite it’s predictable nature.
It’s a 6 on 10 from me.
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