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The Great Elephant Escape (1995)

Matt Cunningham is a thirteen-year-old whiz kid from Los Angeles who's completely absorbed by his laptop computer. Preferring his travels on the information highway, Matt is dismayed to ... See full summary »



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Complete credited cast:
Beverly Cunningham
Jomo Batiany (as Frederick M'Cormac)
Clive Potter
David Mulwa ...
Lenono Botiany
Rolf Schmit ...
Lenny Juma ...
Edwin Nyutho ...
Constable Ioki


Matt Cunningham is a thirteen-year-old whiz kid from Los Angeles who's completely absorbed by his laptop computer. Preferring his travels on the information highway, Matt is dismayed to find himself on an East African Safari organized by his divorced mother Beverly.But once exposed to the spectacular plains of Kenya, with its magnificent wildlife and breathtaking terrain, Matt's view of the world expands and the portable computer suddenly lies forgotten on the seat of the Land Rover. While Beverly meets handsome Safari guide, Clive Potter, Matt befriends one of the rangers' sons, a young Kenyan boy his own age, named Jomo. Together Jomo and Matt develop a relationship with a baby orphaned elephant whom they name "Ellie." The young pachyderm is being held by the rangers pending her sale to Harlo Ethridge, an unscrupulous American businessman, who plans to make her the centerpiece of his tourist exhibit back in the States. When Harlo arrives to collect his elephant, Matt and Jomo hide ... Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

25 March 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A nagy elefántkaland  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


When Matt plays his mouth organ, the movement of his lips on the instrument do not match the tune we hear. See more »

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User Reviews

28 November 2004 | by (Mountain Mesa, California) – See all my reviews

Strong visual values mark this film, and the camera's capture of that splendorous quality of light distinctive to sub-Saharan Africa nearly gives one the perception of a travelogue for Kenya at its most captivating; however, an unfortunate inclusion of a weak storyline drops the work to a juvenile level appropriate to its targeted audience. The opening scene shows poachers dispatching an elephant cow and an unsuccessful attempt to seize her calf (that becomes a featured performer here), and during the next scene an American divorcée, Beverly (Stephanie Zimbalist) and her pre-teen son deplane, prepared to vacation at a ranch managed by a reformed hunter, Clive Potter (Julian Sands) who has founded an animal orphanage upon his land. The boy promptly makes a friend with a local youngster of about the same age, and the two become involved in an endeavor to regain the mentioned elephant orphan, "Ellie", from her new owner, Etheridge, an American whose acquisition of the beast for his plantation in Florida will fiscally support Clive's animal sanctuary for a year and more. The film then focuses upon an attempt by Etheridge to retrieve his pachyderm from the two boys, and the escape of the title ensues, with the animal's new master being assisted by the same poachers who killed Ellie's parent, all this while Clive and Beverly become enamored of each other, and participants romp through an encampment of bemused Masai and evade various aggressive fauna, including a lion, elephants and hyenas. Obviously not produced with artistic aspirations, this movie is nonetheless handicapped with its continually predictable script and often inane dialogue, leaving only sublime scenery to support one's interest, and there is too little footage of Kenya's animal kingdom, other than the baby elephant. Sands, a resourceful actor, has little to do, merely walking through what must be a pleasant payday while Zimbalist is decorative, and composed. The two youngsters do a bit of ad libbing, but not enough to rescue this tepid piece.

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