A nameless baby male elephant was just getting used to life in the herd, when poachers kill his mother, so he runs and gets lost. He's found by a grouchy female, Groove, the sister of a ... See full summary »
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Jeremiah S. Chechik
Roger Aaron Brown
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A nameless baby male elephant was just getting used to life in the herd, when poachers kill his mother, so he runs and gets lost. He's found by a grouchy female, Groove, the sister of a matriarch, who walks off disgusted with life in her herd. Not exactly wholehearted, she still takes the orphan under her wing, 'till we find your herd', but fails to find his herd, or a new home with males -who find him disrespectful and mouthy- or her own herd, which nicknames the kid whispers since his trumpeting is so weak. meanwhile the fear for poachers and (that is, in the movie) lions drives them north over the great river, a long and dangerous journey... Written by
When still very young, little elephant Whispers gets separated from his mother while they both flee from hunters. Whispers gets found by a group of elephants and forces himself under the wing of Groove - who wants to be more independent and find herself. The two set off on their quest to find Whispers' mother but the dangers of the jungle are never far away, whether they be man or beast.
Stuck with several options for children's' movies on a UK bank holiday, I plumed to put this one on simply on the basis of the voice cast involved. The plot is the usual fare with `cute' baby elephant hunting for mother with a bigger, more cynical companion. The thin plot is only used to show the obstacles facing elephants in the wild and to do so in a cute sort of way that will win children over to the animals. In this regard I had to wonder why anyone would turn to this film for this purpose alone. A National Geographic show will look as good as this does and also show the elephants without having to give them voices and comedy characters. If I had the choice over I'd pick a different movie for children or pick a wildlife show for stuff about elephants. The material is not very funny and doesn't really engage, thus leaving it's value as one of the footage - something that a wildlife programme would do as well.
The footage doesn't really fit with the voices and there are no animatronic touches to help it mix. The result is that the voices feel very separate from the animals and takes away from the characters again making it harder to really care about them or get into the story. The very Babe-like Whispers is played by Derryberry (who's name alone deserves a mention!); she plays it a bit too cutesy but it's fitting for a Disney film. Bassett deserves better than this but her voice work is good even if it doesn't fit with the images (true of all the characters). Lumley thinks this is below her and you can hear it in her voice, Archer is hard to catch, White is a weird addition but not as strange as Rivers, Tone Loc and Di Maggio. None of them manage to connect with the images onscreen and it is a problem that weakens the whole film.
Overall this is not a very good film as the plot is basic and the voice work is separate from the images, making the characters difficult to engage with. The film looks great and has tonnes of good nature footage but there are better places to go to get this, leaving the film rather lacking in any specific value and only having the stars and the name Disney to attract those to it.
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