The Magician's Elephant - Movie Content Review

The Magician's Elephant - Movie Content Review - Picture of Peter with the elephant

Sometimes a few spoilers are necessary to properly discuss the content of the movie

After seeing a fortune teller, Peter learns that his baby sister survived the war and he must follow an elephant to find her.  The problem is, there are no elephants... until a poorly skilled magician accidentally conjures one.  Desperate to acquire the elephant and find his sister, Peter strikes a deal with the King: if Peter does three impossible tasks, then the King will give him the elephant.

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The Magician's Elephant is a movie about believing in the impossible: it doesn't make sense, it's inspiring, it's contagious, it's uplifting, and it's rewarding.  While believing in something or entertaining the question of "What if?" isn't necessarily problematic, some parents may take issue with how the movie presents this message.  Read the Family & Relationships and Other Content sections for more details.


The Magician's Elephant - Language - Picture of Peter with the King


There's no swearing in this movie.

The Magician's Elephant - Fears - Picture of Peter fighting the soldier


There's a few flashbacks to young Peter and his baby sister during a specific battle in the war.  It takes place at night and includes bombs, fires, injured people, and refers to people being dead.

If Peter fails his second task, he will surely die.  Since the task is supposed to be impossible, smaller kids could get a feeling of dread as the final moments dangerously drag on.  Similarly, failure of the first task would likely result in Peter 's death; although there's less of an intense build up.

When Peter first encounters the elephant it goes nuts and scares the crowd.  The guards are ready to shoot it, but Peter steps in and tries to calm it.  After a few tense moments and even getting knocked down, he's able to accomplish his goal.  Younger kids may find this scene a little scary, but older kids will instead find it intense.

There's a couple dreams that take place underwater and are dimly lit; but neither the darkness nor drowning are presented as a concern.  In one scene Peter precariously navigates a rooftop, slips, falls, narrowly grabs the edge, and eventually is able to pull himself back up.

There's no storms, scary monsters, clowns, strong villains, kidnappings, or home break-ins.

The Magician's Elephant - Family & Relationships - Picture of Peter, Leo, Gloria, and the elephant

Family & Relationships

Peter has been told by his ex-soldier caretaker, Vilna, that his mother and sister died during child birth; meanwhile, his sister has been told that Peter died when trying to escape the war.  This is a core part of the story and is repeated, as well as relived, throughout the entire movie by Peter, Peter's sister, Vilna, and the Nun that rescued his sister.

Peter is obsessed with finding his sister.  He fully believes he can find her, so he chooses to use his food money to pay a fortune teller for information about her, he risks his life on three different occasions, and he boldly speaks to the Countess and King.

Peter steals a book from Vilna and uses it to accomplish an impossible task.  Vilna had originally stolen the book from a fellow soldier, and Vilna eventually sees the error of his ways after Peter stole the book from him.  Peter's deception is never addressed, presumably because he used it to right a wrong.

The magician's spell caused the elephant to fall on a grumpy old lady.  It's unclear if she's in a wheelchair permanently or temporarily, but the magician is jailed and she harasses him (believing he hurt her on purpose) daily for hours.  Eventually the town believes soo much that they can see the positive effects, and they become thankful for the magician's mistake.  They release the magician, he uses magic to return the elephant, and he reconciles with the [now less] grumpy lady.

The King is eccentric and longs for entertainment; so much so that he expresses excitement at the prospect that Peter may die.

There's no divorce, sexual content, running away, or bullying.

The Magician's Elephant - Other Content - Picture of the magician doing a spell and the crowd believing with their eyes closed and heads bowed

Other Content

Magic is a key component of this movie.  Magic used to be a normal occurrence in Peter's town, but the war saddened the people and it faded away.  Now weird magical clouds cover the sky and the city is permanently gloomy.  But when an unskilled magician attempts a spell he doesn't have the skill to do, he accidentally conjures an elephant.  

Meanwhile, Peter talks to a fortune teller who seems to know all about his life, including his future.  She has a crystal ball and deck of cards, although neither are referenced.  She also looks at his palm and makes a coin disappear.  Later we find out she's the narrator and that she can freeze time.

As Peter is doing the impossible tasks to acquire the elephant, people start believing in him and the magical clouds start letting in pockets of sunshine.  By the end of the movie the clouds are removed and regular people are able to perform magic.

In the end the elephant needs to return home, so the people free the magician from jail and the entire crowd believes while he casts a spell to return the elephant.  This scene looks very religious, as people close their eyes and bow their heads and the magician even lays his hands on the elephant.  Additionally, Peter's sister's caretaker at the orphanage is a Nun.  She says her mother is in heaven, and mentions believing in signs and dreams.  

The movie invokes many strong feelings, predominately focused around the loss of a loved one, fear of failure, and believing.

There's no strong violence, time travel, politics, evolution, or LGBT.

The Magician's Elephant - Movie Content Review - Picture of Peter and the elephant


The Magician's Elephant is a movie about believing in the impossible, but how that idea is presented and whether it lines up with your family's values or not will determine if it's a fun watch or a movie to avoid.


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