The Magician’s Elephant is an animated film about a boy named Peter who is told that to find his long-lost sister, he must follow a magical elephant. The film is streaming on Netflix.
Warning: This article contains heavy spoilers
The city of Baltese was once a magical place filled with joy and laughter but one day the clouds came in and covered the land in despair. A war followed and soon the city forgot all about its magical past.
Peter is a young orphan living with an old retired soldier named Vilna. Vilna saved Peter during the war and raises him as a soldier to prepare him for the harsh world around him.
One day, when Peter is in the market, he sees a fortune teller’s tent and visits her. She tells him that his younger sister who he believes is dead, is actually alive and that to find her, he must follow the elephant.
He goes back home and tells Vilna about this but Vilna insists that his sister is dead and he must not listen to fairy tales about elephants. Below their apartment live a couple named Leo and Gloria.
Leo is very optimistic and indulges Peter’s belief that he must find this elephant while Gloria tries to temper expectations and keep them grounded.
That night, a magician is performing in the city but he’s not very good and the crowd isn’t impressed with his tricks. He feels dejected by the lack of belief in the audience and performs one final powerful spell after calling a member of the audience on stage.
Suddenly, an elephant falls from the sky, crushing the legs of the volunteer Madam LeVaughn. The elephant is restrained and the magician is sent to a prison cell as news of the elephant spreads across the city.
The Countess of Baltese is a young but dignified woman who has been filled with sadness ever since her brother died in the war. No one in the city has any memory of the last time she laughed.
Leo is a captain in her court and he agrees to help Peter gain access to the elephant. When he learns that the animal might be gotten rid of, he sends a letter to the King who is always filled with childlike wonder and loves to be entertained.
The King arrives and the elephant is covered in colorful chalk and presented in front of everyone. She has some chalk in her eye and becomes agitated but Peter notices this and helps her calm down.
As a reward for calming the animal down, the King and the Countess offer Peter anything he requests and he asks for the elephant so that she can lead him to his sister. The Countess says that it is impossible and dangerous so the King provides an alternative.
He tells Peter that he must carry out three impossible tasks and if he succeeds, he will be given the elephant. The first task that Peter has to face is to defeat the King’s greatest warrior in a fight.
Adele is an orphan who dreams of an elephant one night. She tells Sister Marie, her caretaker at the orphanage and when she finds out about the elephant in the city, begs to go and see it.
Madam LeVaughn visits the Magician in prison every day and blames him for crushing her legs with his magic but he pleads his innocence and claims that he was trying to summon a bouquet of lilies instead.
The time for the fight arrives and the King’s fighter is revealed to be Romain De Smedt. Peter remembers a story that Vilna told him about De Smedt back when Vilna was a soldier in the war.
De Smedt had a book of fairy tales that reminded him of home and made him sentimental so Vilna stole the book and it turned De Smedt into one of the fiercest warriors alive. Peter runs home to get the book as De Smedt chases him across town.
He finally catches up to Peter who has the book and as soon as he catches a glimpse of it, he lays down his sword as he’s reminded of the times his mother used to read him the stories from that book.
With the first challenge complete, the King tells Peter that his second challenge is to fly. Vilna tells Peter that it’s impossible and that he must give up this reckless challenge but Leo and Gloria try to help Peter.
The couple could not have children but they have developed an attachment to Peter and care for him deeply. Adele arrives at the square with the rest of the people the next day as Peter climbs up the chapel rooftop.
He jumps down and releases a silken parachute which was Leo’s invention and crafted by Gloria. After successfully completing the second challenge, even Vilna believes that Peter can accomplish his goal.
The Magician’s Elephant ending explained in detail:
What is the third impossible task?
The King is a very playful person and constantly makes jokes but the Countess is rarely impressed by his antics. He wonders aloud whether she’s always like this and someone tells him that she hasn’t laughed since the death of her brother.
After Peter completes the flying task, the King does not have a third task ready for him until he makes a few flying puns and sees the Countess disregard his attempts at humor.
He tells Peter that his third impossible task is to make the Countess laugh.
Does Peter make the Countess laugh?
Peter spends the entire night thinking of the perfect joke to make the Countess laugh. He visits the elephant and talks to her about how he will free her soon and they will have many adventures.
They share a dream where they jump up and down in the clouds and Peter gets a glimpse of the elephant and her family. He realizes that she misses them so much and all she wants to do is go back home.
The next morning, everyone gathers together to see if Peter can accomplish his task. His joke doesn’t land and the King orders his men to take the elephant. Peter tells the King that the elephant needs to be sent back home instead.
The fortune teller reappears and stops time for a moment. She grabs a cat, puts a dash of pepper on it, and places it near the elephant’s trunk. She then disappears and time continues. The elephant sniffs the pepper and sneezes on the King.
The Countess sees this and bursts out laughing and the King accepts that Peter had something to do with this so he can take the elephant with him.
How is the elephant sent home?
Peter says that the Magician is the only one who can send her home since he was the reason she came here in the first place. The Magician had earlier confessed that he did not plan on summoning a bouquet of lilies.
He had actually cast a spell on everyone in the audience to make them believe but was convinced that he failed. Madam LeVaughn tells him that his act set in motion a turn of events that have led to this moment where everyone in the city including the King believes in him.
He accompanies the elephant and everyone else to the city center and using his magic, sends the elephant back home.
Is Peter reunited with his family?
Peter always believed that his sister was alive because he had a memory of him holding her in his arms. Vilna remembers that he saw a nurse with two children in a house and took the boy because he didn’t know how to care for an infant.
Soon after he left, the house was destroyed in an explosion and Vilna assumed the baby and the nurse were dead. However, the nurse and the baby survived and they head to the garrison where they were supposed to meet Vilna and the boy.
The garrison was destroyed and the nurse assumed Vilna had passed away, not aware that he had taken the boy down a different path. The nurse was Sister Marie and Adele was that infant.
After the elephant was sent back home, Adele goes up to Peter and that’s when Sister Marie and Vilna see each other and make the connection.
Adele and Peter are finally reunited and they live as a family with Vilna, Sister Marie, Leo and Gloria as the sky clears up and the magic returns to Baltese.