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Elephantine Fiction

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An index of fictional works that revolve around members of the mammalian order Proboscidea (elephants, mammoths, mastodonts, deinotheres, gomphotheres, etc.). To count, the work must feature a proboscidean as central to the plot (whether as protagonist, main antagonist, or major supporting character); merely having one in it doesn't qualify.

Compare Elephant Tropes, an index for tropes about portrayals of proboscideans.

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Examples

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    Eastern Animation 

    Films — Animated 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Dumbo (2019): A live-action remake of the 1941 animated classic.
  • Operation: Dumbo Drop: American soldiers during the Vietnam War must try to replace a South Vietnamese village's ceremonial elephant.
  • Larger than Life: A down-on-his-luck motivational speaker inherits an elephant from his uncle (who worked in the circus), and decides to sell her; after finding two buyers, he needs to get to California within five days.
  • Tom-Yum-Goong: A martial arts student's elephant is stolen by mobsters.
  • Whispers: An Elephant's Tale
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    Literature 
  • Bill Peet wrote a few stories starring elephants:
    • The Ant and the Elephant: An elephant goes out of his way to help an ant, a turtle, a hornbill, a giraffe, a lion, and a rhino after they all get into a chain of sticky situations.
    • Ella: The title character is a vain and spoiled circus elephant who decides to run away after being subjected to manual labor (which she believes to be unfit work for the star that she is), and learns a lesson in humility when she's essentially enslaved by a farmer.
    • Encore for Eleanor: A circus elephant injures herself after her act goes awry, and is retired to a zoo.
    • Goliath II, which was adapted into an animated short film.
  • Babar: A series of children's books by French author Jean De Brunhoff, about an elephant who leaves the jungle and learns human ways, then returns to become king of the elephants.
  • Bravelands: A key member of the mismatched animal trio is Sky Strider, a young female African savanna elephant.
  • The Discworld has four major supporting characters, all elephants.
  • The Elephant & Piggie series for early readers features Gerald the elephant and his best friend Piggie. Gerald wears glasses and is depicted as a realist and a worrywart.
  • David McKee's Elmer the Patchwork Elephant series revolves around a multicolored elephant with an impish sense of humor, who wants to look like the rest of his herd (in the first book).
  • Horton Hatches the Egg: An Honorable Elephant named Horton agrees to egg-sit for a lazy bird named Mayzie.
    • Horton Hears a Who!: Horton tries to protect a microscopic civilization on a speck of dust (which he places on a clover for safekeeping) from destruction.
  • The Humphrey series of picture books, such as Bath Time with Humphrey are Slice of Life children's picture books about a toddler elephant named Humphrey and also sometimes his big sister Lottie.
  • The Jungle Book: Hathi is regarded by all as the Master of the Jungle, and the enforcer of the Law. He and his three sons help Mowgli to destroy a village as punishment for its inhabitants' mistreatment of his human mother.
  • Just So Stories: "The Elephant's Child" explains how the elephant got its trunk.
  • Stephen Baxter's Mammoth Trilogy (Silverhair, Longtusk, and Icebones) stars a family of woolly mammoths.
  • The One and Only Ivan: Two elephants feature prominently in this story:
    • Stella, a former circus elephant, who is Ivan the gorilla's closest friend.
    • Ruby is a young calf who is brought to live with Stella, though after the older elephant dies from an old injury, Ivan takes the youngster under his wing.
  • Water for Elephants: Protagonist Jacob Jankowski is entrusted with the care of an elephant named Rosie.
  • The Way Things Work: An educational book whose fictional aspects almost all involve woolly mammoths.
  • The White Bone: A Xenofictional work about African elephants.
  • Takashi Yanase made a children's book called Little Jumbo (Chiisana Jumbo) which is a whimsical and cute story about a young elephant. The story was later adapted into an animation short by Sanrio Animation in 1977. Yanase later made a followup story in 1987 called Goodbye Jumbo (Sayonara Jumbo) which shows Jumbo as an adult elephant.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Walking with Beasts: A family of woolly mammoths are the focus of the final episode, "Mammoth Journey."
    • Moeritherium and Deinotherium appear prominently in the episodes "Whale Killer" and "Next of Kin," respectively.

    Puppet Shows 

    Theatre 
  • Seussical: Horton from Horton Hears a Who and Horton Hatches the Egg is one of the main characters (though how much he looks like an elephant depends on the production's costume choice).

    Western Animation 
  • Babar and the Adventures of Badou: A Sequel Series to Nelvana's Animated Adaptation of Babar, starring Babar's grandson.
  • Benjamin the Elephant (Benjamin Blümchen, "Benjamin Blossom"): A German animated series focused on a strong and kind-hearted elephant. Based on a German audio series by Elfie Donnelly from 1977.
  • Cro: Narrated by a mammoth whose family are significant supporting characters.
  • Ella the Elephant is about a young female elephant named Ella and friends, all of whom are elephants and who live in a World of Funny Animals populated entirely by anthropomorphic elements. Ella and the others get into adventures as Ella tries to solve problems using her magic hat.
  • George of the Jungle: In this parody of Tarzan, the Tantor role is played by Shep, George's "big, grey, peanut loving poochie."
  • Goliath II: The story of an elephant calf who only stands as tall as one of his elders' toenails.
  • The Large Family: A Slice of Life series featuring a world of anthropomorphic elephants.
  • The Legend of Tarzan: As in the original film, Tantor remains an important character.
  • The Lion Guard: A matriarch elephant named Ma Tembo is one of the key animal leaders of the Pride Lands, and the Guard frequently cross paths with her family.
  • Looney Tunes:
    • "Hobo Bobo": A baby elephant hitches a ride on a ship to America so he can join the circus.
    • "Gone Batty": Sequel to "Hobo Bobo", where Bobo is the mascot of a baseball team forced to play after the other players are indisposed.
  • Tom and Jerry: "Jerry and Jumbo" features Jumbo the baby elephant. After getting lost and stumbling into Tom and Jerry's house, Jerry gets the idea to paint Jumbo to look like a gigantic version of Jerry in order to mess with Tom.
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