horror and science fiction DVD and movie reviews and previews from curledupdvd.com - curled up with a good dvd
horror and sci-fi DVD reviews and previews from curledupdvd.com - curled up with a good dvd
DVD reviews, previews and info - family and children's
  action movies on DVD
  animation on DVD
  art house and international / foreign language films on DVD
  comedies on DVD
  documentaries on DVD
  dramas on DVD
  children's and family DVDs
  horror and sci-fi on DVD
  suspense on DVD
  television series on DVD
  Blu-ray DVD reviews


Elephant Tales - family and children's DVD / international DVD review
ELEPHANT TALES Rated G by the MPAA curledupdvd.com rating: 4 stars
Actors: Jonathan Wood, Jean-François Balmer, Richard Bohringer, Patrick Bry, Dorinda Hafner
Director: Mario Andreacchio   Distributor: MGM Video & DVD
DVD release: 09 December 2008   Runtime: 96 min. (1 disc)
Format: AC-3, Animated, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, DVD-Video, Full Screen, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
DVD features: Audio tracks (Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround - English, French), Subtitles (English, Spanish)

In the wild plains of Africa, two elephant brothers - teenaged Zef and youngster Tutu - are happily engaged in playing together: chasing zebras, teasing their parents, and generally enjoying life in the veldt. Two cheetahs "narrate" Elephant Tales as the story progresses. In the darkness of night comes The Badness (always capitalized), leaving Zef and Tutu without family or herd. Not sure what to tell the distraught Tutu, Zef ultimately says that their mother has gone into the rainbow. From there the tale moves on through the adventures of the two brothers and their friendships with young giraffe Stretch, Chump the chimp, and Cub, the lion baby.

The action is charming and light-hearted despite the overtones of death brought by poachers. The film is certainly aimed at a very young audience - three to seven or so. Because of that, there are no solid explanations of what exactly the poachers are, or what the horns (Rhino) and tusks (Elephants) are being used for, although we do see boxes of harvested horns/tusks. No actual killing occurs onscreen, and for the most part the storyline focuses on the friendships of diverse animals, all searching for their families and herds.

Generally speaking, children enjoy anthropomorphism and will relate to the bewilderment of young Tutu and appreciate the antics of Chump and Stretch. It would have been of some benefit, though, to include some conservationism and poaching background, so that young viewers could understand why the young animals were orphaned. The scene with the poachers has no guns in it, although gunfire is heard earlier in the movie. The six-year-old watching the movie with this reviewer questioned why the men were trying to capture all the animals. Perhaps that is a good thing - that parents or grandparents watch the movie with their youngsters and let the questions flow naturally. There are certainly confusing elements in the movie which are not adequately explained, including the diet of the animals and where the "pieces of rainbow" come from that the animals eat along the way.

No special features about the background of the movie or how it was made are included. The production company is Australian, the filming done on location in South Africa. Elephant Tales misses the mark as a viable entry in children's film and will probably only be watched once or twice by any child exposed to it. However, the photography is good, the animals clever and funny, and the charm of the two brothers worth watching for their family values. Let the children in your life decide whether this is a keeper or not.
  buy this DVD now or browse millions of other great products at amazon.com
reviewed by Laura Strathman Hulka
    action | animation | art house/international | comedy | documentary | drama | family | horror/sci-fi | suspense | television    
    browse DVDs alphabetical by title    
    contact | home