Netflix has unveiled the animated feature film “The Magician’s Elephant,” with a voice cast including Noah Jupe, Pixie Davies, Sian Clifford, Natasia Demetriou, Dawn French, Brian Tyree Henry and Benedict Wong.
“The Magician’s Elephant” is based on Newbery Award winner Kate DiCamillo’s novel of the same title. The film, currently in production, marks the directorial debut of visual effects veteran Wendy Rogers — whose credits include “Shrek,” “The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian” and “Puss in Boots” — and is produced by Julia Pistor.
The voice cast also includes Aasif Mandvi, Mandy Patinkin, Miranda Richardson, Cree Summer and Lorraine Toussaint.
“Toy Story 4” writer Martin Hynes has written the script. Animal Logic is handling the computer imagery for “The Magician’s Elephant.”
The story centers on Peter (voiced by Jupe), who is searching for his long-lost sister Adel (voiced by Pixie Davies). He crosses paths with a fortune teller in the market square to ask if his sister still alive. The answer is that he must find a mysterious elephant and the magician (voiced by Wong) who will conjure it — setting Peter off on a harrowing journey to complete three seemingly impossible tasks that will change the face of his town forever.
“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,” Rogers said. “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 beliefs.”
Netflix’s animated slate include Oscar-nominated “Klaus,” Kris Pearn’s “The Willoughbys,” Glen Keane’s “Over the Moon,” “Back to the Outback,” directed by Clare Knight and Harry Cripps; Richard Linklater’s “Apollo 10 ½: A Space Age Adventure,” Chris Williams’ “The Sea Beast,” Henry Selick’s “Wendell & Wild,” Nora Twomey’s “My Father’s Dragon,” Guillermo del Toro’s “Pinocchio” and an Aardman sequel to Chicken Run.