My husband and I love animation. Sometimes we watch animated films that we both love, when one of us feels the strong and magical urge to see another beloved film like Toy Story, which we’ve both seen way too many times!
One night we decided to see ‘The Magician’s Elephant’, which I’m really glad we did.
I notice that the movies I’ve been reviewing have mostly been based on books (yet this one I wasn’t aware of being the case initially). I read a bit more about the author, Kate DiCamillo, who has penned multiple children’s fiction books and won quite a few awards for her creations. Based on this film alone, I can see why.
Family, friendship, and even marriage, are all themes in this visionary and inspired film; with human connections and relationships, the main focal point and driver of meaningful messages conveyed throughout. We witness diverse perspectives, through diverse representation of characters, and we do so in a world filled with awe, mystery, and a tangible joy which eventually arrives.
‘’Belief is a great and invisible thing’’ is a quote from the film, and one which encapsulates it.
We bear witness to the convicted beliefs of a soldier being upturned, a boy who essentially believes in impossibility be affirmed, and the beliefs of an entire town be questioned and challenged. As another quote from the film and book says, ‘’How will the world change if we do not question it?’’
What I really enjoyed about this family adventure was the concept of the three impossible tasks the protagonist had to succeed in, in order to obtain the outcomes that he desired. This miraculous orphan boy who maintained high idealism; even with the harsh, non-believing attitude of the man who raised him, is a fantastic role model, demonstrating remarkable courage and compassion with the dilemmas before him. I wanted to go on the entire treacherous journey with him, and see him overcome, and yes- pretty much prove everyone wrong!
Along with the cinematography and visual effects, I found the voice acting to be wonderful, especially by Noah Jupe who played Peter, the protagonist. The characters of Peter, his soldier carer, sister, husband and wife neighbours, fortune teller, magician, king, and countess (plus others) were as equally endearing as the elephant herself, who evoked a mystical hope and sense of trusting faith, despite the odds against her freedom. Her friendship with Peter was endearing and heart-warming to watch.
On more than one level, family separation and trauma/PTSD were important components of this film, creating a realism, and focus on teamwork & partnership, and eventually, reunification. We also are reminded that we can create our own loving families, and that we can come to believe once more. The colour and magic in this film are ‘’beyond the unbelievable’’ (as appears in the trailer), and it truly shows and tells that -
‘’Extraordinary things are possible, if you believe.’’
I realise that I’ve been giving pretty much every film I’ve been reviewing about 3 stars or more, and this one won’t be any different 😉