If Netflix wants to be producing six animated features annually within a few years, it is moving in the right direction. The streamer has announced yet another original feature in production: The Magician’s Elephant.
Here’s the synopsis:
When Peter, who is searching for his long-lost sister named Adel, 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 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.
And here are the details:
- The Magician’s Elephant is the directorial debut of vfx veteran Wendy Rogers, who cut her teeth on live-action productions like Waterworld and Batman and Robin before joining Dreamworks in 1997. There, she worked on Shrek as a visual development artist and on Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron as a digital effects artist. Other credits include The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian.
- The film is based on the eponymous 2009 novel by Kate DiCamillo, the two-time Newbery Award-winning children’s author. Three of her other novels have been adapted for the screen: The Tale of Despereaux (which inspired Universal’s cg-animated film of the same name), Because of Winn-Dixie, and Flora & Ulysses.
- Martin Hynes, who received a story credit on Toy Story 4, is writing the screenplay for The Magician’s Elephant. The producer is Julia Pistor (The Spongebob Squarepants Movie). The two were attached to an adaptation of DiCamillo’s novel as far back as 2009.
- The animation is by Animal Logic, the Australia-based studio behind the Lego Movie series, Happy Feet, Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole, and Peter Rabbit. The 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, and Benedict Wong.
- When it comes to original animation, Netflix is leaving its rivals in the dust. Its slate of features includes Australia-set comedy Back to the Outback, Richard Linklater’s semi-autobiographical Apollo 10 1/2: A Space Age Adventure, Guillermo del Toro’s stop-motion musical Pinocchio, Aardman’s sequel to Chicken Run, Chris Williams’ Jacob and the Sea Beast, Henry Selick’s Wendell & Wild, and Nora Twomey’s My Father’s Dragon.
Image at top: visual development art by Max Boas with character design by Brittany Myers. © 2020 Netflix.