- Published: Friday, 03 April 2020 08:41
- Written by Lupe R Haas
Ironically the new DisneyNature documentary titled ELEPHANT is singular but the new Disney+ movie shows it takes a village to survive the harsh environment in Africa. However, the new nature documentary narrated by Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex, is dedicated to Gaia, the matriarch of the group who uses her instincts and past memories to get her herd including her one-year-old nephew Jomo safely to the next watering hole and back. If humans think they have it rough, ELEPHANT puts everything in perspective. Watch video below.
The Okavango delta in Africa is drying out and African elephant Gaia must guide her herd across hundreds of miles through the Kalahari Desert to the Zambezi river. The herd includes Shani, Gaia's younger sister and next in line as the matriarch, and her son Jomo who's about to embark on his first journey across the harsh lands.
As the saying goes, "an elephant never forgets" and when the camera looks into Gaia's eyes, it suggest she's tapping into past memories of her ancestors to guide her group through the path to life. It's not an easy watch seeing the stress of not finding water on these massive mammals. Their journey is grueling, and of course they encounter predators along the way.
Fans of nature videos already know elephants are very dedicated to their herd, and always pitch in to help a calf in distress. In ELEPHANT, the commitment of these herds to each other is heart-warming, and the term "family" doesn't only apply to human relationships. While you see it with other species, more so with these gentle giants.
Personally, I learned a lot more about elephants including that females are pregnant for two years. That's an awfully long time considering they make the migration trek every year.
Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex provides a soothing voice as the narrator when it's straightforward information but during the lighter moments, the lack of experience in voice over work is apparent. In comparison, DOLPHIN REEF (also premiering on Disney+) narrator Natalie Portman handles the shift in emotional tones very well. I hate to criticize Markle given the horrible press she received from the British tabloids that forced Prince Harry to protect his family by leaving the royal family, but it's a small note. It doesn't detract from the beautiful story of love and dedication elephants have for each other.
But if there is another lesson in the DisneyNature's ELEPHANT, it's that humans will also go to great lengths to protect their family including keeping them away from predators like the tabloids.
ELEPHANT is now streaming on Disney+ along with DOLPHIN REEF. Now that's a great double header for the family during these trying times.