‘The Magician’s Elephant’ Ending Explained: Does Peter Find His Lost Sister?

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Welcome to the Ending Explained for The Magician’s Elephant, a new Netflix animated film arriving this weekend. Wendy Rogers directs the film, and it is based on the book of the same name written by Kate DiCamillo. The film joins movies such as The Sea Beast in showing that Netflix can be the place for new, quality animated movies that compete with titans such as Disney and Pixar. There should definitely be space for more players in the medium, and here, Animal Logic studios have proven that they are up to the task.

The film follows the structure of a fairy tale, and it even plays with the conventions to let you know that that is what is happening. The film is very family-friendly, and both adults and children will be able to enjoy it. The voice cast is quite amazing, and they bring to life a very eclectic and diverse set of characters. Peter, our main character, might be a bit too unreal or perfect, which might dissipate some of the tension from many scenes. Still, nonetheless, the movie manages to entertain and carve itself a place among this new wave of Netflix animated films.

The following paragraphs contain spoilers for The Magician’s Nephew. Read at your own risk.

How Does The Elephant Appear In The City?

The film begins by introducing us to the city of Baltese, a coastal city that displays an extraordinary level of architecture, culture, and energy. The city seems to be the perfect place to live. One thing that makes Baltese even more impressive; is the presence of magic. The citizens can conjure magic at their will, and they use it in their everyday lives. It is quite impressive. However, the winds of change are blowing, and with them, they bring something that will change the city forever. War.

The city becomes dark, always covered by clouds, and the people lose their magic. It is quite sad, but time passes, and it seems like everyone has forgotten what they could do. The war brought too much darkness, and people could not escape it. It is here that we meet our main character, Peter. He is an orphan living with his guardian, an old soldier who fought in the war. The old soldier is preparing Peter to face the real world, which he labels dark and sad. The result is that Peter’s life is without any pleasure. He eats poor food. He cannot play with others, etc.

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It is dreadful until Peter finds a fortune-teller tent in the main market. Peter uses his food money to get a session with the fortune-teller. During this meeting, it is revealed that Peter’s sister still lives. The old soldier has been telling him all his life that his sister is dead. The fortune-teller gives Peter one last clue by saying that if he wants to find his sister, he must follow the Elephant. What Elephant? Peter doesn’t know any elephants in the city. He shares the news with Leo and Gloria, their downstairs neighbors, and with the old soldier, who is angry because Peter has let himself be manipulated.

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The old man explains Peter’s story sounds like a fairy tale, and fairy tales are not real. Peter confronts him and asks him if he has lied to him before. The old soldier dismisses the question. Meanwhile, in the city, a terrible magician is bombing in front of a large crowd. He has one last trick and asks for a volunteer, an old lady. The magician tries to conjure something, and it happens. He conjures an elephant that crushes the old lady’s leg. The Magician is put in jail. He tries to explain himself, but the people in this town don’t believe in magic at all.

Does Peter Find His Lost Sister?

We see that Adele, Peter’s sister, is alive and has visions of an elephant that will take him to her family. She forces her nun guardian to travel to Baltese to find this elusive elephant. Peter hears the news about the elephant and discovers that the magician has been sent to jail and the elephant will be killed. He begs mercy from the countless, but she says that is probably the outcome. Leo, a military officer, tells the king about the elephant and visits the city he rules for the first time.

The king mostly likes to party, but when hearing Peter’s predicament, he has an idea. If Peter manages to do three impossible things, he will be given the elephant to do as he wants. The first thing is to defeat the king’s best soldier in a sword contest. When hearing the soldier’s name, Peter remembers that he has a fairy tale book with that name on the back of the cover. The duel begins, but Peter presents the book instead of a sword, and the soldier remembers his childhood and admits defeat, giving Peter victory.

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For the second task, the king asks that Peter should fly. This is, of course, impossible. So, Peter has one day to come up with a plan. He receives help from Leo and Gloria. The couple has no kids, but they are good people and treat Peter like their son. They introduce him to a parachute prototype that hasn’t worked, but Peter is willing to take the risk. He jumps from the top of the city’s church and manages to fly. Everyone is excited, and they start believing that Peter might get it.

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Peter has a dream about the elephant and realizes that it has a family and was taken from them when he came to the city. Also, Peter’s next task is to make the countess laugh, which has never happened since her brother died in the war. Peter tells a joke he has prepared but fails. However, the countess laughs out loud when the elephant soaks the king with mucus and other fluids. Peter decides to make the magician return the elephant to its family.

Peter believes it is more important to give happiness to others than to search for his own. The elephant is returned to its home, and Peter finally meets Adele, his sister, who has been witnessing all the tasks. Magic returns to the city and Adele and Peter make a big family along with Leo, Gloria, the old soldier, and the nun.

  • Nelson Acosta

    Nelson Acosta is a professional writer and translator based in Caracas, Venezuela. He is also a member of the Caracas Circle of Cinematographic Critics, a film critic association in Venezuela that aims to preserve and educate audiences on worldwide and Venezuelan cinema. He studi...