mtl Movie Reviews by The Dove Foundation
Phoenix Wilder: And The Great Elephant Adventure
Runtime: 90 minutes
Starring: Elizabeth Hurley, Sam Ashe Arnold, Tertius Meintjes, Hlomla Dandala, Louis Minaar
Director: Richard Boddington
Violence: Boy spends some of the film in peril; image of a dead elephant; guns seen onscreen and threaten characters
Other: Mature theme of poaching
Integrity: New family shows warmth and compassion; protagonist stands up for what he values most
A lost orphan boy and his giant elephant team up to take down an elephant poaching syndicate in Africa.
Phoenix Wilder: And The Great Elephant Adventure rises to the challenge of creating a film that belongs to families while never lessening on relevant, critical issues. Our hero Phoenix (Sam Ashe Arnold), an orphan, goes missing from his new family shortly after his exciting move to Africa by accident, but finds a friend in an elephant. Together, they become entangled with a group of poachers, and Phoenix now wants to help protect the other elephants in danger.
The film, which takes on the subject of poaching very appropriately, recognizes its saints by showing how anyone - even a young boy - can, and should, stand up for what they believe in. By stumbling on this journey and meeting and finding understanding in the elephant, Phoenix's mission is clear: to halt any poaching, and save the elephant's family.
In the film, the elephant is treated almost as a surrogate father figure for Phoenix, Their relationship is beautifully and empathetically understood, forming another strong thesis for the film: to care for others at all times. Elevated by a lovely score and rich, warm cinematography, Phoenix Wilder takes its audiences seriously. Writer-director Richard Boddington is brave enough to take on critical worldly issues and translate them in a way that is family-friendly and altogether wonderful.
Dove is proud to award Phoenix Wilder: And The Great Elephant Adventure with approval for Ages 12+.
Dove Family Approved: Recommended For All Ages
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