"Belief Helps Overcome Hopelessness"
What You Need To Know:
THE MAGICIAN’S ELEPHANT is a fun animated adventure with some strong moral, redemptive themes about sacrifice, love and family. There’s also some positive, overt Christian content, including a Nun who talks about Heaven and Peter’s mentor mentioning God’s will. However, the movie falters when people put their belief in magic instead of God. Some magic is portrayed as ideas like hope, belief and love, but the story begins with a fortune teller reading Peter’s palm. So, MOVIEGUIDE® advises strong caution for susceptible people.
THE MAGICIAN’S ELEPHANT is an animated adventure movie on Netflix based on Kate DiCamillo’s children’s book of the same name.
The story follows an orphan boy named Peter who lives with a retired war veteran who saved him during the war. Peter believes both his parents and younger sister were killed in the war and accepts his new life without them.
However, one day Peter notices that a new tent has appeared in the market where he buys food. He uses his one coin for food on a fortune teller who gives him one question. He asks how he can find his sister, and the fortune teller tells him to “follow the elephant.”
Peter thinks he was cheated out of his coin. However, a neighbor of his who works at the royal palace encourages Peter to believe that his sister is still alive.
Meanwhile, a magician is performing a magic show at the local theater. The magician sees he’s losing his audience, so he decides to invite a volunteer on stage. To their surprise, and the magician’s, an elephant falls through the roof of the theater onto the volunteer.
The King is unsure what to do with the elephant, as it presents a danger to the surrounding community. The magician, who is thrown in prison, claims he didn’t mean to summon the elephant. Peter tells the King of his fortune and wants to take the elephant for himself. The King is intrigued by the idea, but only agrees on one condition. Peter must complete three impossible tasks.
Will Peter be able to do the impossible and find his sister?
THE MAGICIAN’S ELEPHANT is uniquely animated and captivating from start to finish. The movie also has some brief Christian messages, as well as a strong moral worldview where Peter is willing to sacrifice his own life out of the belief that his sister is still alive. The movie champions family, love, forgiveness, and kindness. However, where the movie falters is in its presentation of magic and sorcery. Through Peter the town learns to believe again, but their belief is not in a higher power. Instead, it’s in magic.
That said, the magic in THE MAGICIAN’S ELEPHANT is not all sorcery and is at times presented as ideas such as hope, love, peace, and friendship. However, the story’s instigating event is getting advice from a fortune teller. THE MAGICIAN’S ELEPHANT also has some animated violence and brief crude language. So, MOVIEGUIDE® advises strong caution.
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