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Sophie & Sheba (2010)

Sophie (original title)
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A seventeen year old girl growing up in the zoo her family operates, focuses on her love of ballet and animals. Her parents are forced to sell Sheba the elephant to a traveling circus in ... See full summary »


Leif Bristow
1 nomination. See more awards »





Credited cast:
John Rhys-Davies ... Alistair Winston
Erica Durance ... Natalia
Deborah Kara Unger ... Tina Bradshaw
Brittany Bristow ... Sophie
Augustus Prew ... Blake
Thure Riefenstein ... Magnus
Aidan Devine ... Nate Collins
Peter Loung ... Acrobat
Natalie Radford Natalie Radford ... Abby Collins
Jen Georgopoulos ... Hoop and Trapeze Artist
Dylan Miles Dylan Miles ... Spectator
Faith Curnew Faith Curnew ... Circus Goer
William Curnew William Curnew ... Circus Goer
Tyler Curnew Tyler Curnew ... Circus Goer


A seventeen year old girl growing up in the zoo her family operates, focuses on her love of ballet and animals. Her parents are forced to sell Sheba the elephant to a traveling circus in order to afford the tuition for her ballet school. When Sophie discovers this she abandons her dreams of becoming a dancer in order to get Sheba back. When she falls in love with Blake, a circus artist, they both struggle to rescue Sheba. Written by Filmfinders

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

love | ballet | zoo | elephant | dream | See All (11) »


The Story of a BIG Friendship...



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some scary action and mild language | See all certifications »


Official Sites:

Official site





Release Date:

5 December 2010 (Canada) See more »

Also Known As:

Sophie & Sheba See more »

Filming Locations:

Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



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User Reviews

Good family film
24 August 2014 | by vchimpanzeeSee all my reviews

Sophie is a teenager whose parents run a zoo. The location is never specified, although the film was made in Canada and the TV reporter has a C on her microphone. But Sophie plans to go to the American Ballet Theatre, so the film might be set in the United States.

Since she was four years old, Sheba the elephant has been her best friend. So Sophie is devastated when her parents, dealing with financial problems, have to sell the elephant to Winston Family Circus. Sophie offers to give up her dream of ballet if that's the problem, but that doesn't do any good. Sophie heads to the circus hoping to get the elephant back.

Once there, Sophie witnesses trainer Magnus mistreating Sheba and demands that something be done about him. Alistair Winston, who runs the circus his grandfather founded, is being interviewed on live TV, and Sophie's rant interests the reporter, but Winston keeps trying to stop her.

Having been accused of animal abuse, which of course Winston's circus would NEVER do, Winston must hire Sophie as Sheba's companion. he demands Sophie earn her keep, which she is willing to do. Magnus has a real problem with Sophie being there. In fact, he has a problem with Sheba. It's not just that Sheba is untrainable, though Sophie could do it. He hates elephants, and there's a reason for that. And Magnus CAN train animals; he does a wonderful job with Caesar the black jaguar and genuinely cares for the animal. Magnus actually believes Sheba will put an end to the circus he will be the next to inherit.

Winston disagrees that Sheba is a problem, and when he sees Sophie and Sheba work together, he sees a great opportunity to entertain people. Still, it is not true that he genuinely cares about anyone there, even though he appears to. He does care about the circus that his family started, but also about making money. His best friend, now and when he was a child, is his ventriloquist dummy CW (named for his grandfather Cornelius Winston), so he has to admit he knows what Sophie is going through.

Sophie's human best friend is Natalia, a perky acrobat whose hair color changes daily. Natalia can be sad, though, and she does have a terrible incident in her past. Blake was once her partner in the act but now he is the pooper-scooper. He might be a potential romantic interest to one of the girls.

So will Sophie get her elephant back? Will she join the circus permanently? Will the various problems of the other circus performers be solved?

Brittany Bristow is a wonderful actress (following in the proud tradition of Murphy and Snow), at least for this type of film. She can dance quite well too, and we don't get to see nearly enough of that. As Sophie she has an adorable personality when that is appropriate, and a strong determination and intelligence. Or what Winston calls being a manipulative "minx". And someone, probably not her since the face isn't visible, is quite an acrobat.

Erica Durance gives her usual good performance. I like her best perky but she shows she is capable of more. She doesn't really show her full range here, but that's okay.

John Rhys-Davies makes a wonderful villain. He's totally convincing when he seems to care about the various people in this film, and I'm not quite certain they should be so suspicious of his intentions. Sure, Winston has a greedy side, but he genuinely shows he is good when he has to.

And of course Sheba is quite talented. I don't know the elephant's real name or how many there were, or even if some of the "acting" was animatronic or CGI, but Sheba is talented.

This being a circus, we get to see lots of talented performers. Most of them are only on screen for ten seconds or so, but they are very good. There is one little person whose name I don't remember who has plenty of dialogue and seems to do a good job with it.

I wasn't happy with most of the music, but this is what young people like. It wasn't really all that bad. Sophie's best dancing, though, was not to classical music, but something like "Once Upon a Time in Mexico"--still good.

This is a family film, but not necessarily for younger or more sensitive children. There are a few moments of terror and mild violence, as might be expected with wild animals, and with people with the wrong attitude. Nevertheless, Sophie's claim of abuse is an exaggeration. It's easy to see how Magnus could have abused Sheba, as frustrated as he got, but on screen he never reaches that point. After seeing "Cold Mountain" the same day I saw this, I say what little violence this has is absolutely harmless.

It's not perfect. This is one of those formula films, even including the line "That went well", and while it's not overly preachy, the film does seem to take the position that animals don't belong in circuses.

It's definitely worth seeing.

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