Daniel Harris (Mark Rendall) is still reeling from the loss of his mother. To make matters worse, he's being hunted by the school bully, a hundred and fifty pound boy, cruelly nicknamed Butterbutt (Jordy Becker) by the older kids. All Daniel really wants is a pet. But his father, Steven (Nicholas Lea), wishes he'd make some "people" friends instead. Even Molly (Mia Sara), a close friend of the family, who has become sort of a surrogate mother to Daniel has been unable to help. One night, Daniel sees a falling star and he takes a wild chance. He wishes for the coolest pet he can imagine -- one his mother told him never forgets.
While Steven's initials effort to have the orphaned elephant taken off their hands are thwarted, Daniel's bond with Lumpy grows. To Daniel and Lumpy's dismay, Lumpy is finally taken in by the local zoo. Strangely, he is rejected by the other elephants; apparently, they know that young orphaned elephants often die without their mothers.
Daniel sadly watches Lumpy get sicker and sicker in the confines of the zoo until he makes an incredible discovery. But no one seems to believe Daniel when he explains that Lumpy may be extra special. The zoo's keeper, George (William Taylor), cannot see any other option but to send Lumpy to a larger, more resourceful zoo to handle his deteriorating condition. Ultimately, Daniel and his new friend Gilbert "Trout" Goldberg (Alex Doduk), a nerdy class genius, decide to plan a dangerous rescue before Lumpy is shipped off to the San Diego zoo.
The Impossible Elephant is about facing the most difficult situations in life and even when you've failed before, finding the hope and strength to try again. For Daniel, it's about standing up for himself, making new friends, and proving what his mother taught him is true - there is magic in the world, if you believe. For Steven, it's about learning that he can't protect Daniel from every painful experience. For everyone, it's about believing that nothing is impossible.
Peace Arch Entertainment holds the US Pay TV and Free television rights to the project, while WIC Television holds the Canadian Pay TV and Free television rights. Edge Entertainment holds the US and Canadian theatrical and home video rights to the film. The Impossible Elephant will be distributed in foreign territories by Carlton America.
The Impossible Elephant is being produced with the participation of the Canadian Television Fund's Equity Investment Program and License Fee Program, the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit Program and the Saskatchewan Employment Tax Credit.
Running time is around 95 minutes. The Impossible Elephant was filmed on location in and around Saskatoon, SK.
From the EDGE ENTERTANMENT site
What The Press Have To Say.Saskatoon StarPhoenix, 21 September 2000
Big-time movie star lands in Saskatoon
2,600-pound elephant making feature film debut in locally produced, filmed movie
by Betty Ann Adam
A feature film being shot in Saskatoon could be Picolo's big break in the movies.
The five-year-old Indian elephant has acted in commercials and television shows, such as Kratt's Creatures, but this is the first time the playful pachyderm has demonstrated her talent in a full-length feature, her trainer, Charlie Gray, said Wednesday.
The pair were at the Broadway Embroidery and Clothing Company on 14th Street, which was a location for The Impossible Elephant, a film being produced by Edge Entertainment Inc. of Saskatoon.
The picture, with a budget in the $4- to $5-million range, is the most expensive of three films shot in Saskatoon by Edge this year, said Bill Braaten, director of marketing.
Picolo, who will be a male in the film called Lumpy, will play the harmonica and slam dunk a basketball in the film about a lonely boy, Daniel Harris, played by Mark Rendall of Toronto, who wishes on a star for the coolest possible pet.
The 2,600-pound star has impressed her co-workers with her gentle temperament and work ethic.
"It's pretty cool. She's so well trained," said Jordy Becker, a 14-year-old from Rosthern, who plays a bully called Butterbutt and who straddled Picolo's hairy, leathery back for a ride during shooting on Wednesday.
Patrick Dubois, a Saskatoon actor whom the elephant lifts by one arm, said he was excited to be working with the gentle giant.
The elephant even seemed gentle as she obediently tossed a bicycle into a garbage dumpster.
Gray is responsible for that obedient behaviour. He has devoted the last 18 years to training elephants and is protective of his young charge, whom he has cared for since her birth at the African Lion Safari Park at Cambridge, Ont.
Animal coordinator Kirk Jarrett says the bond between animal and trainer is too strong to be a part-time effort.
"Charlie will be a motherly figure to this animal for the rest of its life," Jarrett said.
"Fatherly figure," Gray interjected with mock indignation.
Gray ensures Picolo receives her daily allotment of 75 to 100 pounds of hay, 10 or 15 pounds of carrots, grain, sweet potatoes, oranges and apples. He also takes her wherever she is needed in a custom-made trailer hauled by a semi he drives himself.
The production company has invited the local SPCA to observe the care and treatment of the elephant during the shoot to allay any possible concerns, Jarrett said.
The Impossible Elephant will star Mia Sara (Timecop, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Legend) as Molly Conner, a family friend; Nicholas Lea (Vertical Limit, The X-Files) as Daniel's father and William Taylor (Romeo Must Die, Life) as the zoo's animal keeper.