The Prince & Me: The Elephant Adventure

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This is the fourth movie in a franchise about a pair of young royals. King Edvard (Chris Geere) and Queen Paige (Kam Heskin) of Denmark are celebrating their first anniversary, and they have been invited by the King Saryu of Sanyoon (Vithaya Pansringarm), a small country in southeast Asia, to attend the wedding of his daughter, Princess Myra (Ase Wang) to a wealthy businessman, Kah (Prinya Intachai). Soren (Jonathan Firth) is now Edvard and Paige’s personal assistant, and will of course, be coming along. There are several problems for the royal family of Sanyoon to contend with. There is a rebel faction in northern Sanyoon, the Red Ming, that is said to be wanting to overthrow the Sanyoon government. Princess Myra is marrying Kah under duress. She is in love with a staff member in the palace, Alu (Amarin Cholvibul). Alu works in the stables at the palace, and has been Myra’s friend and confidante for years. There is another player whom cannot speak for herself in Sanyoon, but she cannot speak for herself. She is an Asian elephant, Kayla. According to tradition, the wedding cannot take place without the blessing of one of the line of mystic elephants, and Kayla is the avatar of one of these elephants. Kayla goes missing a week before the wedding, and Edvard, Paige,and Soren are going to look for her. King Saryu sends along Rayen (Selina Lo), as their guide. Rayen is excellent tracker, and knows the jungles well.

There is so much dysfunction in Sanyoon, it is a wonder this country manages to keep a royal court. Kah is exploiting the Red Ming, and polluting their water source. No one in the court knows this, but somehow the Danish expedition manages to find out when they are searching for Kayla. While the players from the Danish court are rather polished and familiar with their roles, the Sanyooni players seem stiff and inexperienced. The set design of Sanyoon is stunning, and has the classic look we expect to see in many Buddhist countries in Southeast Asia. While the movie is entertaining, it feels a bit predictable. Kah looks to be more like a newscaster reading from a teleprompter than a conniving con artist that is only interested in using royal influence to make even more money. The only few of the Sanyooni that seem natural are Alu, and the leader of the Red Ming. She’s a motherly figure whose name we never learn, but has leadership qualities King Saryu needs to know about. The Danes are fun and funny in their mishaps in the jungle, and it is cute to see Edvard and Soren break from their formal shells. Paige is as endearing as ever, and never lets anyone forget that she is still pretty much a Wisconsin farm girl.

If you like these movies, you should see The Prince & Me: The Elephant Adventure, but if the writers continue with scripts like this one, I cannot foresee this franchise lasting much longer.

I give this film a Musing review of ★★★☆☆☆