'The Magician's Elephant' Will Be a New Animated Feature From Netflix

Netflix is making a new animated feature based on The Magician’s Elephant, the book from writer Kate DiCamillo. Featuring a voice cast that includes Sian Clifford, Pixie Davies, Natasia Demetriou, Dawn French, Brian Tyree Henry, Noah Jupe, Aasif Mandvi, and Mandy Patinkin, the story follows a boy looking for his long-lost sister and having to find a “mysterious elephant and the magician (voiced by Benedict Wong) who will conjure it.” We’ve all been there, right? Boy, let me tell you, if I had a nickel for every time I had to find a mysterious elephant and the magician who will conjure it, I’d be a wealthy man.

The Magician’s Elephant is a children’s book that was published in 2015, and since I haven’t been a child (at least physically) in a long time, I’ll confess I’ve never heard of it. But the youths of today likely have, and that’s why Netflix is turning the book into an animated feature film. Based on the book by Kate DiCamillo, The Magician’s Elephant follows Peter (voiced by Noah Jupe), who is searching for his long-lost sister named Adel (voiced by Pixie Davies). During his search, Peter “crosses paths with a fortune teller in the market square, there is only one question on his mind: is his sister still alive? The answer, that he must find a mysterious elephant and the magician (voiced by Benedict Wong) who will conjure it, sets Peter off on a harrowing journey to complete three seemingly impossible tasks that will change the face of his town forever. ”

The full cast includes Sian Clifford, Pixie Davies, Natasia Demetriou, Dawn French, Brian Tyree Henry, Noah Jupe, Aasif Mandvi, Mandy Patinkin, Miranda Richardson, Cree Summer, Lorraine Toussaint, Benedict Wong. Wendy Rogers will direct while Julia Pistor will produce. “Peter’s story planted itself in my heart when I first read the book – I felt very connected to him, and was totally captivated by the world and the characters,” said Rogers. “The power of hope, the belief that anything is possible, and the ability to ask “what if?” are all themes that are woven into the fabric of this film, and resonate now more than ever.”

Pistor added: “When I first read Kate DiCamillo’s book, I knew that I had to make The Magician’s Elephant into a film. It’s as inspiring as it is entertaining, and has such a wonderful blend of adventure, heart, magic and off-center humor. The film has such a unique visual style that transports the audience away to another world, one that Wendy and I wanted to ensure reflects the world as it really is – full of different cultures and belief.”

The Magician’s Elephant is the latest title to join a growing line-up of animated Netflix features, including Klaus, the recently released Over the Moon, and the upcoming titles Pinnochio, from co-director Guillermo del Toro, Wendell & Wild, from Nightmare Before Christmas director Henry Selick, and Apollo 10 ½: A Space Age Adventure, from filmmaker Richard Linklater.

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