The Magician’s Elephant Trailer Teases Enchanting Netflix Adaptation – Latest Hollywood News

The primary trailer for Netflix’s upcoming animated journey The Magician’s Elephant teases a fascinating adaptation of Newbery-winning writer Kate DiCamillo’s 2009 novel.

In an almost two-minute first take a look at the animated characteristic premiering globally on March 17 and helmed by first-time director and animation and vfx veteran Wendy Rogers (Puss in Boots, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian), the streamer guarantees an emotionally heartfelt and visually gorgeous coming-of-age fable in regards to the need to attach and belong, embracing risk, and the ability of hope and compassion.

“The primary time I watched the film, I used to be struck by the sheer great thing about it — it’s a attractive movie visually,” DiCamillo says of the Rogers-helmed adaptation. “But additionally, there’s a actual, real coronary heart to the movie. It’s deeply transferring. That’s the true magic of it.”

Coming greater than a decade after an adaptation was first introduced with producer Julia Pistor hooked up — and simply over a yr after a musical stage adaptation made its debut on the Royal Shakespeare Firm, the animated characteristic is led by a recognizable voice solid, which incorporates Brian Tyree Henry, Benedict Wong, Mandy Patinkin, Lorraine Toussaint, Cree Summer time and Aasif Mandvi.

Noah Jupe voices the movie’s lead character, a younger orphan by the title of Peter who, whereas looking for his long-lost sister Adele (Pixie Davies), crosses paths with a fortune teller (Natasia Demetriou) in his city’s market sq.. Determined to search out the one household he has left, Peter asks her a singular however vital query: is his sister nonetheless alive?

To find the solution, the younger boy should discover each a mysterious elephant — at the moment within the arms of the Aristocracy although looking for to be reunited together with her family — in addition to the magician (Wong) capable of conjure it. “This elephant will lead me to my sister,” Peter could be heard saying within the trailer. “I need to ask you to provide her to me.”

This ask sends the boy on a sweeping quest the place he should full three seemingly unimaginable duties in trade for the elephant. Armed with optimism, Peter units out to attain his personal dream and within the course of, could magically change the face of his city perpetually.

“For me, the center of the film and the e book is the magic of effectively and actually connecting with others,” DiCamillo tells Latest Hollywood News. “The Magician’s Elephant is a narrative about discovering one another — discovering love and forgiveness — towards all odds.”

The most recent big-screen adaptation from DiCamillo, the writer behind The Story of Despereaux and Due to Winn Dixie, the film additionally counts Sian Clifford, Daybreak French, Kirby Howell-Baptiste and Miranda Richardson amongst its voice solid. The Magician’s Elephant is produced by Julia Pistor (Jimmy Neutron, Lemony Snicket’s A Collection of Unlucky Occasions), written by Toy Story 4‘s Martin Hynes with pc imagery by Animal Logic.

THR spoke to the movie’s director Rogers and producer Pistor about adapting it for the display, COVID’s impression on the movie’s lengthy journey to completion and the importance of the film’s female-led crew.

What initially attracted you to this story? And what’s the story’s inventive coronary heart for you no matter the medium?

WENDY ROGERS As I used to be studying The Magician’s Elephant, I fell in love with the characters, the themes and the fable tone! I used to be instantly captured by Peter — his willpower and empathy — and I knew I had to assist him discover his sister.  The e book has a splendidly lyrical, whimsical tone and Peter’s journey conjures up hope and reconnection for the townspeople, reminding them that something is feasible. Martin Hynes’ script adaptation has included further compelling motion and journey in Peter’s journey to win the elephant and discover his sister.

JULIA PISTOR I liked the tone of the e book — the mixture of quirky, enjoyable and exaggerated characters, poetic language and sophisticated themes that Kate wove collectively. These qualities acted as organizing rules for us as we tailored the e book right into a screenplay. We labored to maintain the identical tonal steadiness — quirky comedy subsequent to the poetic — as we realized the film. 

When studying the e book for the primary time, I used to be impressed by the unifying themes across the energy of “what if.” I liked the story construction — a braid of individuals’s tales and aspirations that appear so disparate and but come collectively in a single large heartfelt and satisfying decision on the finish due to the courageous and empathetic actions of the hero Peter. An incredible coming-of-age story — not only for Peter, however for the entire city. This can be a inventive coronary heart for me.  

This coronary heart additionally impressed us to design a recent group of characters that mirror the world and a fabled city that displays its folks. In working to be true to this coronary heart we additionally had the chance to solid an unbelievable ensemble of actors. However, after all, the actual coronary heart is the elephant.

The elephant and Peter in 'The Magician's Elephant.'

The elephant and Peter in ‘The Magician’s Elephant.’


How else did you concentrate on transferring the story from web page to display? What had been the issues that felt important to deliver over?

ROGERS There have been moments within the e book that introduced my coronary heart into my throat. Gloria feeding Peter stew, realizing all of the consolation and care that he has been lacking in his life — it broke my coronary heart in one of the best ways.  Peter’s empathy for the elephant when he seems to be into her eyes — one other nice lump in my throat! In fact, I would like the viewers to like these characters as a lot as I do. Resonant themes from the e book remained north stars all through the difference: believing within the unimaginable and taking motion in that perception, the ability of curiosity and asking “what if.” How can the world ever change if we don’t query it? 

PISTOR Translating a e book into a movie is difficult however rewarding.  Not all books are structured to simply go onto the display. One usually has to invent further materials as a way to ship on the movie expertise versus the reader expertise. This was true for The Magician’s Elephant. It’s a wonderful e book however it does probably not have a second act. For that reason, Martin invented the character of the King and with him some larger-than-life, virtually unimaginable challenges that our hero wanted to perform as a way to win his prize and hopefully discover his sister. 

We had been all the time aware that the characters, motion or restructuring that we did was within the tone of Kate DiCamillo’s unique e book — and within the tone of Kate DiCamillo normally.  We’re all enormous Kate followers and we all know she loves good comedy as a lot as she loves deep themes and real-world coronary heart. Her capability to steadiness comedy and sophisticated themes was one thing that was crucial for us to emulate and hold.

It was crucial to us that we hold a lot of the language of the narrator and lots of the characters in our adaptation. The e book has a particular sauce in the usage of language and it was vital for us. In reality, the voice of the narration within the e book is so vital and distinctive that we created a personality within the movie to embody that. 

How lengthy did it take you to supply The Magician’s Elephant and had been there any challenges to getting it accomplished?

PISTOR I first learn the e book in 2008 and developed it as a live-action movie. The movie didn’t get made, however I used to be dedicated to it for years believing deeply within the potential of Kate’s e book and Martin Hyne’s adaptation.  After I talked about the script to Netflix in 2018, Melissa Cobb remembered studying the e book to her daughter when she was a toddler.  We determined collectively that the property can be greatest served in animation. Animation actually allowed us to ship on the nuanced themes and coronary heart of the story whereas additionally delivering on the left-of-center comedy, characters and larger-than-life, whimsical journey. Simply as we had been greenlit, nevertheless, we had been despatched dwelling attributable to COVID! So, the most important problem was studying the best way to make this movie remotely from our residing rooms.  

ROGERS COVID definitely offered a problem for crew collaboration. I missed being within the room with artists and animators, however it’s wonderful how we tailored to the pressured distant working model and “zoom life.”

Why did you finally go together with this artwork model for the movie and what about it for you embodies and celebrates the style, journey and characters of this story?

ROGERS I needed a really bodily grounded world and animation model for the surreal moments of magical realism to play towards. We pushed the design to have patina and age — I’ve lengthy been a fan of Rebecca Dautremer and our manufacturing designer Max Boas and I had been very impressed by her gouache model and texturing. We actually needed to create a world that felt lived in and imperfect, with misplaced and located artwork strategies and visual brush strokes within the texturing. 

Simply earlier than Netflix approached me to pitch for The Magician’s Elephant I had been on a visit driving round Eire and coincidentally had taken so many images of clouds. They’re certainly one of my favourite issues to {photograph}! For our city residing underneath clouds, I used to be impressed by the tender diffuse lighting of the midnight solar and the surreal ominous type of mammatus clouds. With these varieties as inspiration, we stylized and designed the “boba” clouds for our movie. The clouds are an vital metaphor representing the lack of hope. We needed to all the time really feel their presence and surreal mild however not have the world be grey and darkish. Max and our artwork director Iuri Lioi designed a lighting scheme the place the clouds seize the daylight from above and alter shade primarily based on the time of day, glowing at evening from the solar energy they’ve absorbed throughout [daytime].

PISTOR This story, from e book to display, has all the time embodied magical realism. However a problem that we confronted in animation is, what’s magical realism in a world the place something is feasible? We count on animals to fall from the sky in animation, so how can we create a world that feels actual but additionally has the whimsy and magical realism to permit for the sudden? Magical Realism is way simpler in live-action. So I used to be smitten the primary time I met Wendy and she or he expressed her imaginative and prescient for the movie. There are solely a handful of individuals inside the animation group who would know the best way to take the watercolor look that she aspired to and translate it to 3D in a vibrant and up to date method. 

Wendy Rogers is certainly one of them and she or he assembled and led a exceptional crew that delivered on the promise. The Guache look of the movie offers a grounding actuality whereas additionally permitting for flights of fancy and a surreal picture-book tone. A lot of the story takes place underneath clouds that by no means “break.” It was a problem to create a world underneath clouds that may not be unhappy and depressed and monochromatic. We would have liked a design that allowed us to indicate the world with solar earlier than and after the clouds however that we might wish to be underneath for almost all of the movie. The artwork model chosen supplied attractive shade and texture and alternative for lighting underneath the surreal clouds.

Peter in The Magician's Elephant

Peter (voiced by Noah Jupe) in ‘The Magician’s Elephant.’

How did the female-led crew assemble for this and do you are feeling like your perspective and your inventive relationships strengthen what folks will finally see on display?

ROGERS After I first met Julia to pitch for the venture, we realized we had been very aligned within the emotional coronary heart, themes and tone of The Magician’s Elephant. We’ve developed a powerful friendship and artistic partnership. Julia is a really skilled and memorable producer. I’m extremely grateful to have such an incredible producing companion for my first time directing.  

PISTOR Kate DiCamillo has all the time been an advocate for feminine voices and was sort to let me be concerned in taking her stunning e book and turning it right into a film. I believe from the start we’ve aspired to have feminine management on the difference. It’s vital to me as a producer to provide girls a voice within the motion pictures I make. Netflix Animation was additionally very clear that they needed to provide girls administrators alternative of their animated movies and thus launched me to Wendy early on. Wendy and I solid a partnership that I believe is exclusive to 2 girls working collectively as producer and director. I believe we’ve got shared experiences working within the business — each optimistic and destructive — and had been capable of help one another actually as a result of we spoke of those challenges actually collectively.  We had been additionally capable of have sincere conversations with Netflix Animation leaders and our executives (who’ve been girls) in the identical method. 

It set a tone for the kind of manufacturing we needed, the kind of communication we needed amongst our groups. We pushed for a vulnerability that allowed for everybody to do their greatest work and be open to new methods of working and considering. Lots of our manufacturing management utilized to work on our movie —leaving different initiatives — as a result of they needed to work with Wendy, a feminine director, to help her in her first movie and to study from her as a pacesetter within the business. It was additionally vital for us to mentor the ladies on the movie, to share our experiences with them as they develop into the subsequent technology of producers and administrators. Everybody on this movie, no matter gender, introduced coronary heart and kindness to their work. That isn’t associated to being a lady or a person. However there isn’t a denying that qualities which can be vital to us as girls leaders helped elevate the movie. 

Interview edited for size and readability.

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