Whispers: An Elephant's Tale Movie Review

Here's an experiment that has worked in the past (The Adventures of Milo and Otis) but which doesn't quite fly this time out.

Whispers: An Elephant's Tale -- like all live-action kiddie-fare about animals with human voices -- is about a lost baby elephant and his presumably incredible journey to find his way back home to mom. While Whispers might look like a real baby elephant on your TV set, he has a real human voice (that sounds remarkably like Babe the pig's) -- only his lips don't really move when he talks. Niether do the other animals, who communicate with more sarcasm than you'll find in the typical episode of Friends.

You don't really train a wild elephant the way you do a single dog and a single cat, and Whispers has the look of something partly staged and partly caught be accident like any other nature shot. The script seems to have been written to match the video -- whether it's a lion attack or an elephant that gets stuck in a mud puddle. Needless to say, this lacks both the heart and the sense of adventure you'll find in Milo and Otis.

Animal-fanatic children will probably love Whiispers, just be warned it's so simplistic that it's probably only appropriate for kids who don't yet know that animals can't really talk -- when they're too young to realize the immensity of the tragedies in the film (one word: poachers) and unable to comprehend the sociological content of the movie. In fact, they'll probably like the appropriately-themed animated shorts (one Goofy, one Donald Duck) included on the DVD even better.


Whispers: An Elephant's Tale Rating

" Grim "

Rating: G, 2000


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