Elephant Boy is a legendary and rather fantastic tale built around the affection which grows up between a native Indian boy and his elephant, an animal which is tops as a hunter. It is a Rudyard Kipling story which reads better than it films, same as the Tarzan yarns, having nothing particularly exciting for the camera, nor any plot to speak of.
Kipling wrote the story under the title of Toomai of the Elephants. Toomai is the Indian lad whose great ambition is to be a hunter. Played by a native Indian boy named Sabu and he imparts to it as much charm and naivete as can be expected. Child has a pronounced native dialect which doesn’t hurt, but many of the other characters are entirely too British to be convincing.
Walter Hudd, with the exception of a couple who appear only in brief scenes, is the only person cast as a white, he being the hunter commissioned by the government to round up much-needed pachyderms.
Aside from the footage used to emphasize the strong affection between the boy and his mammoth pal, the action concerns the routine job of rounding up men and animals for the big hunt, pitching of camp, killing by a tiger of one of the crew, and the rather accidental success of little Sabu in leading his trusty elephant to the big herd they’re despairing of finding.