Our protagonist is Jomo, the young elephant son of Shani, second in command of a herd. Shani has also been raising her spirited son Jomo, a very energetic young elephant who just wants to play with the other animals, such as lechwes and baboons. I had, perhaps dumbly, been expecting something more along the lines of Planet Earth, narrated with dreamy authority by the likes of David Attenborough or Sigourney Weaver, or Life, given voice by Oprah Winfrey. The Herd continues their journey to a small little island. The herd leaves the desert to join the other elephants on the long journey, they take a lunch break to have a family reunion with other herds of elephants, with some not seeing Gaia for over a year. . Jomo is unimpressed, but soon lets go of being the baby of the family and warms up to his new playmate. The Duchess of Sussex has narrated an upcoming documentary about elephants, titled "Elephant," for Disney's streaming service, Disney+, and it becomes available to watch on April 3. Canada's Premier Investigative Documentary Program Fridays at 9 PM on CBC Television But by morning, Gaia dies, with the herd sharing a mournful goodbye to their matriarch, while the lions share their feast. So for that reason—and, yeah, sure, for the elephants too—seek out Elephant when it drops on Disney+. "Elephant" was released on Disney Plus on Friday. Meghan will voice Disneynature’s new documentary, Elephant, while Natalie Portman will narrate Disney’s other upcoming documentary, Dolphin Reef. The incredible, true-life story of a baby elephant born into a rescue camp in the wilderness of Botswana. Likewise, narrator Meghan Markle makes clear that while this herd has survived its perilous journey, not all do". [1][2] It is the fifteenth nature documentary to be released under the Disneynature label. Meghan Markle makes a triumphant, royal return to the world of entertainment in the new Disney nature documentary, “Elephant.” The film, which premieres Friday on Disney Plus, is perfect for the whole family. But the elephants always come through the scares intact until near the end of the film, when one matriarch dies of old age. Disney Plus/Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images ‘Elephant’ was released on Disney Plus on Friday. . The 35-year-old elephant will now be … They are soon confronted by a rival herd of elephants, who are going after the newborn calf. The water is ruined by its previous visitors, so the elephants munch on Mopani trees but are chased off by caterpillars eating the entire trees. "World's loneliest elephant" gets new home 00:48 Islamabad — Pop music icon Cher was in Pakistan over the weekend to join a lonely elephant on his long-awaited journey to salvation. Jomo starts making new friends with the other baby elephants, and for ages, Shani reunites with many of her long lost cousins. I am very pro-elephant. We adults might find it ridiculous, and somewhat counterproductive to the understanding of animal behavior, when the film imbues its subjects with human motivations for things that have been simply edited into reality. Addis Abeba, September 29/2020 – The new documentary film “Ethiopia’s Elephant Crisis,” by award-winning American journalist and filmmaker Antoine Lindley, brings to the forefront the challenges that Ethiopia faces in wildlife conservation, especially its efforts to … But Markle had mostly forsaken her old life to marry into the British royal family before she and Harry suddenly yanked themselves out of it, so her involvement in this film was a bit of a surprise. Isn’t that crazy?? (Another gem: “Oh nuts, a crocodile!”) I aver that none alive on this planet, save maybe a few old stuffs rotting away in a drafty English palace or two, do not want to be blessed with that aural treasure. My girls watched the new Elephant documentary on Disney Plus and they loved it! Meghan Markle’s first post-Megxit project is Disney Plus’ new documentary “Elephants.” The documentary is a sweet tale about African elephant Shani and her son Jomo on an epic journey across the Kalahari Desert. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement (updated 1/1/20) and Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement (updated 1/1/20) and Your California Privacy Rights. The Elephant Queen (2020), Apple TV+. Gaia's herd and other herds of elephants have no luck trying to find food, but a male elephant (who is visiting his family) uses his trunk to drop a bunch of seedpods from trees. The ViacomCBS cable network has begun production on … But it helps the filmmakers wring some human-esque drama out of this process of fast and feeding. But these elephants are drinking at the world’s first manmade waterhole – rigged with cameras to give an unrivalled view into animal behaviour. Soon after, Gaia starts to get tired and weak and finds the food hard to eat. From the awards race to the box office, with everything in between: get the entertainment industry's must-read newsletter. The iconic Cher’s name has become synonymous with so much more than music over the decades. Quite unlike a more serious nature documentary would, Elephant names its subjects. As the elephants settle in for the night, the lions attack Jomo, but he is saved by Shani. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Condé Nast. "[4] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 61 out of 100, based on 11 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". That said: did I watch the new Disneynature documentary Elephant (streaming on April 3) for the love of elephants? The documentary to air on the Smithsonian Channel in 2021 is tentatively titled "Cher's Elephant Airlift." Nature & Ecology Documentaries. People who poach elephants are monsters, and the people who help preserve their natural habitats are saviors. But then I realized that this was just how the movie was supposed to sound, soothing and playful, for the benefit of the children meant to be watching it. Even if you’re not really on the film’s storybook wavelength, you can appreciate its stunning visuals. Everyone munches happily. — Denise (@so_many_books) April 3, 2020. Kaavan “The Loneliest Elephant” and Pop Music Icon Cher / Smithsonian PR. Markle is an engaging narrator, a warming voice of omniscience who gives lively shape to a story that’s . It's a tender scene as the herd gathers around her and feels for her last breath with their trunks, covering her eyes with her ear when she's finally gone. Elephant is an American nature documentary film about elephants directed by Mark Linfield and Vanessa Berlowitz and narrated by Meghan, Duchess of Sussex. BBC One - The Secret Life of Elephants Documentary series revealing the emotional and dramatic lives of elephants in Kenya's Samburu reserve. Looking for more? And in a new documentary… Continuing their journey, the Herd trudges through sand storms. Elephant is an American nature documentary film about elephants directed by Mark Linfield and Vanessa Berlowitz and narrated by Meghan, Duchess of Sussex. They are soon joined by other elephants who visit, play, and drink from the water. Ad Choices. What More Do You Need? ADDIS ABEBA – The new documentary film ‘Ethiopia’s Elephant Crisis,’ by journalist and filmmaker Antoine Lindley, brings to the forefront the challenges that Ethiopia faces in wildlife conservation, especially its efforts to save its endangered elephants. Gaia realizes that the Angolan falls are early, and she and Shani immediately gather the herd to use the shortest route, but they soon find themselves confronted by a pride of lions. The movie heavily anthropomorphizes Jomo and his compatriots, which is probably not the most responsible thing to do from, like, a zoological perspective. Shani helps Gaia gather the herd, with Jomo by their side. Some viewers, though, may feel uneasy knowing that her body will likely be attacked by surrounding lions as soon as the herd moves on. But the real showcase here is Ms. Markle, of course". Once I acclimated to that reality, Markle proved just the right fit for this story of tenacious elephants. But I’m sure those storylines will keep little ones engaged. They reach the islands, and The Herd enjoys their times in Victoria Falls and even munch on palm nuts. The filmmakers had breathtaking up-close access, taking us to remote locations where many of us will probably never set foot. Plot Summary | Add Synopsis Meghan Markle's first post-royal gig as the narrator of Disney's upcoming documentary titled "Elephant" has been dubbed cheesy and "shallow" by critics ahead of its streaming debut. When the land is about to dry up, Gaia leads the elephants to an almost dry waterhole to enjoy the mud before leaving the desert. When the water dries up, Gaia notices a baby elephant suffocating and stuck in the mud, so she goes to its rescue, and the baby is reunited with its mother. The website's consensus reads, "Disneynature: Elephant adds to the studio's tradition of kid-focused, beautifully photographed nature documentaries that are just engaging enough for parents. (Her older sister, Gaia, is the matriarch.) Many a young elephant advocate will be christened by this film. Who among us right now, as disease stalks the streets outside, doesn’t need the respite provided by hearing Meghan Markle, apostate of the House of Windsor, say, “Oh, dear,” after an elephant farts? I’ve never met an elephant, but I love them all anyway. It is far below the cliffs where the elephants are, but thanks to the help of a flock of Quelea birds, the herd makes their way to Victoria Falls, the place that Gaia has been searching for. (If you have a trip planned to the salt flats of Botswana, take me with you!) I want them to survive and thrive and do all their elephant things for millennia to come. — Cover Story: How Reese Witherspoon Turned Her Literary Obsession Into an Empire— The Best Movies and Shows on Netflix to Watch While Stuck at Home— A First Look at Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story— An Exclusive Excerpt From Natalie Wood, Suzanne Finstad’s Biography—With New Details About Wood’s Mysterious Death— Tiger King Is Your Next True-Crime TV Obsession— The Best Shows to Stream If You’re in Quarantine— From the Archive: A Friendship With Greta Garbo and Its Many Pleasures. The film was released alongside Dolphin Reef as a Disney+ exclusive on April 3, 2020. Kaavan, dubbed the "world's loneliest elephant", has arrived in Cambodia by cargo plane on Monday to start a new life at a sanctuary. well, true in the purest sense, though given a heavy zhuzh by the Disney machine. Disney Plus/Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images Meghan Markle's first post-Megxit project is Disney Plus' new documentary "Elephants." Shani and Gaia sense the ground trembling, which meant a river close by, but they are despaired when they reach the river. The Herd happily drinks, but are soon confronted by crocodiles. Having never seen a Disneynature documentary before, I was initially thrown by the cutesy tone of Elephant. Directed by Mark Deeble and Victoria Stone, Chiwetel Ejiofor narrates new documentary The Elephant Queen.. Set in the African Savannah, at the centre of this story of love, loss, family and coming home is elephant mother Athena. As the elephants drink, Jomo plays with a group of warthogs. Vanity Fair may earn a portion of sales from products that are purchased through our site as part of our Affiliate Partnerships with retailers. To revisit this article, visit My Profile, then View saved stories. When she's suddenly orphaned at one month of age, it's up to the men who look after her herd to save her life. [5], Elephant received positive reviews, Common Sense Media rated the movie 4 out of 5 stars, stating "Parents need to know that the nature documentary Elephant is appropriate for all ages, but some viewers may find it a little slow-going. Shani soon uses Gaia's memories, and begins to lead the herd back to the Delta. The herd moves on and finds another waterhole (this time with water). What better way to welcome Meghan Markle back to America than supporting the work she’s now freely allowed to do? … Look, elephants are great. These scenes include possible drowning, predators like lions and hyenas, a baby elephant with his head stuck in the mud, and more. Shani stands her ground at the rival matriarch, and the rivals retreat. The film was released alongside Dolphin Reef as a Disney+ exclusive on April 3, 2020.[3]. In The Kalahari Desert in Southern Africa, many African elephants prepare to migrate from their home to a grassy paradise. November 25, 2020 by Corey Andrew. Shani teaches the young elephants how to get sap by ripping the thick bark. It transports viewers to Africa, where we meet a herd of elephants on their monthslong journey to find water. The Elephant Queen, which tells the true story of a Kenyan elephant herd as they travel in search of a new home, will stream on the platform when it debuts November 1. Watch now for free. They make their way home to Okavango, where the land is bursting back to life. The documentary is a sweet tale about African elephant Shani and her son Jomo on an epic journey across the Kalahari Desert. Meanwhile, in the highlands of Angola, rain starts to pour, which means the water is going off to the Okavango Delta, Shani and Jomo's home. So when Markle’s sing-song delivery began, I thought at first she was doing a terrible job. The film—directed by Mark Linfield, Vanessa Berlowitz, and Alastair Fothergill—concerns a family of elephants who live in the Kalahari Desert, making yearly migrations from a flooded river delta to the edge of Victoria Falls, an endless cycle of chasing water that seems pretty exhausting. And Elephant affords her, and us, some exciting opportunities. The filmmakers confront that by introducing new dangers for the elephants, creating moments of suspense throughout the film. The film lets you feel that ache in every closeup of a weary elephant eye, every pan across cracked gray skin. Will be used in accordance with our Privacy Policy. Life of Elephants [National Geographic Documentary HD 2017]Africa. Cher & Smithsonian Begin New Documentary Showcasing Elephant Rescue. They don’t call it the animal kingdom for nothing. © 2020 Condé Nast. All rights reserved. Our protagonist is Jomo, the young elephant son of Shani, second in command of a … On the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 79%, based on 24 reviews, with an average rating of 6.70/10. She and The Herd start making their way back to Okavango. The elephant was a main exhibit at … To revisit this article, select My⁠ ⁠Account, then View saved stories. A week later, an elephant gives birth to a newborn baby calf. New film sheds light on Ethiopia’s elephant crisis NBE September 25, 2020 The new documentary film “Ethiopia’s Elephant Crisis,” by award-winning American journalist and filmmaker Antoine Lindley, brings to the forefront the challenges that Ethiopia faces in wildlife conservation, especially its efforts to save its endangered elephants. These visually stunning, thought-provoking nature documentaries are nothing short of majestic. The Herd is led by their great matriarch Gaia and her younger sister Shani, who has helped keep their family safe. An elephant who attracted worldwide attention has arrived at his new home after some help from pop icon Cher. [6] VanityFair praised the movie and Meghan Markle's performance, stating "It’s a solid nature movie, not quite factual enough to be a true work of scientific observation, but engaging and persuasively conservationist in its subtle way. ", Phineas and Ferb the Movie: Candace Against the Universe, Night at the Museum: Kahmunrah Rises Again, The Crimson Wing: Mystery of the Flamingos, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Elephant_(2020_film)&oldid=992731815, Short description is different from Wikidata, Pages containing links to subscription-only content, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 6 December 2020, at 20:31. But the real showcase here is Ms. Markle, of course. There’s lots of talk of succession in the documentary, a funny bit of meta irony considering Markle’s place in a very scrutinized human dynastic drama. Shani finds her leadership to the other elephants difficult. I gotta be honest, I didn’t. BBC Documentaries - The secret life of ElephantS. Cher is teaming with the Smithsonian Channel for a documentary about relocating the "world's loneliest elephant" to a new home. Some could be scary/upsetting for certain viewers, especially when the youngest elephants are put at risk. Well, she was an actor before she married international ginger idol Prince Harry, second grandson of Queen Elizabeth—so narrating a documentary isn’t totally out of her ken. I watched the new Disneynature documentary Elephant—which is, as the title suggests, about an elephant—because of its narrator. The film, a cloying and not terribly scientific but still compelling look at one herd of elephants making their way from the Okavango Delta to the Zambezi River and back again, was must-watch for me because one Meghan Markle, billed as Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, is the person telling its story. It is the fifteenth nature documentary to be released under the Disneynature label. I highly recommend it plus Duchess Meghan’s voice is lovely. Luckily no one was hurt when they crossed the river. The Herd soon accepts Shani as the new matriarch, while Jomo teaches the newborn calf how to play with the other animals. Anyway! At one point Markle says, “The matriarch is a force to be reckoned with,” and there’s no doubt she knows what she’s talking about. An overweight elephant, once dubbed the world's loneliest, has arrived in Cambodia after being rescued from a life of misery in a Pakistani zoo. A pleasant surprise, though. It doesn’t shy away from the harshness of nature’s rule, but it does find—or, create—as much brightness as it can elsewhere. The Herd rests on the island for the night. [7], 2020 American nature documentary film about elephants, "Disney+ Honors Earth Month with New Disneynature Films Debuting on April 3", "Meghan Markle Narrating Disney Plus Nature Documentary 'Elephants, "Disney+ Premieres Disneynature's 'Elephant' Early This April Alongside 'Dolphin Reef, "Meghan Markle Narrated This Documentary About Elephants. The elephant named Kaavan was flown to a … Shani shows a confused Jomo a life lesson. When they've reached a dry waterhole, they noticed an elephant skeleton. It’s a solid nature movie, not quite factual enough to be a true work of scientific observation, but engaging and persuasively conservationist in its subtle way. Among those … Quite unlike a more serious nature documentary would, Elephant names its subjects. Clearly aware that there have already been numerous slavery documentaries, this four-part series seeks to tell a different story by uncovering new evidence. 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