EXCLUSIVE: Netflix has set an all-star voice cast and stellar creative team for new animation The Magician’s Elephant, we can reveal.
Noah Jupe (A Quiet Place), Benedict Wong (Doctor Strange), Sian Clifford (Fleabag), Pixie Davies (Mary Poppins Returns), Natasia Demetriou (What We Do In The Shadows), Dawn French (French & Saunders), Brian Tyree Henry (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse), Aasif Mandvi (Evil), Mandy Patinkin (Homeland), Miranda Richardson (Belle), Cree Summer (Vampirina) and Lorraine Toussaint (Concrete Cowboy) will voice the movie, which is currently in production.
Based on two-time Newbery Award-winner Kate DiCamillo’s novel of the same name, the film marks the directorial debut of veteran visual effects artist Wendy Rogers (Shrek) and is produced by animation vet Julia Pistor (The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie).
Script comes from Martin Hynes (Toy Story 4), production design from Max Boas (Abominable), art direction from Iuri Lioi (How to Train Your Dragon trilogy), editing by Robert Fisher Jr. (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse), pre vis lead will be Gary H. Lee (Kung Fu Panda) and head of story is Mark Sperber (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2). Line producer is Jennifer Teter (Sherlock Gnomes) and computer imagery comes from Animal Logic.
The film will follow Peter, who is searching for his long-lost sister, as he crosses paths with a fortune teller in the market square. His one one question is: 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 journey to complete three seemingly impossible tasks that will change the face of his town forever.
Jupe will voice Peter, Wong will play the Magician and Davies will be Peter’s sister Adel. Today, we can also reveal a first look at the film.
Director Wendy Rogers said: “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. 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.”
Added producer Pistor: “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.”
The film joins Netflix’s fast-growing original slate of animated features which includes Klaus, Kris Pearn’s The Willoughbys, Glen Keane’s Over The Moon; as well as the fall 2021 comedy 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.