Meghan Markle's 'Elephant' documentary released: How to watch

Tom Butler
Senior Editor
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attends the 91st Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey, 2019. (Samir Hussein/WireImage)

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Meghan Markle’s first project since stepping back from duties as a senior member of the Royal Family has been released online today.

The Duchess of Sussex has narrated a new, live action, feature-length documentary, called Elephant which charts the journey of a pride of African elephants trekking thousands of miles across the Kalahari Desert.

Here’s everything you need to know about the Disney+ film on its day of release.

How can you watch Elephant?

ELEPHANT. (© 2020 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.)

The documentary is a Disney+ exclusive. Anyone with a subscription to Disney’s new streaming service can watch it immediately.

If you don’t have a subscription, there is currently a seven-day free trial available for the service, which is £5.99 a month after the trial, or £59.99 for a year’s subscription.

The documentary, produced under the Disneynature banner, was released today alongside Dolphin Reef, another documentary narrated by Natalie Portman.

What is Elephant about?

Here’s the synopsis for the film, directed by Mark Linfield, courtesy of Disneynature: “Elephant follows African elephant Shani and her spirited son Jomo as their herd make an epic journey hundreds of miles across the vast Kalahari Desert.

ELEPHANT. (© 2020 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.)

Led by their great matriarch, Gaia, the family faces brutal heat, dwindling resources and persistent predators, as they follow in their ancestor’s footsteps on a quest to reach a lush, green paradise.”

Is Elephant worth watching?

We wrote about what we thought of Elephant in detail here, but in summary: yes. It’s a captivating film. Beautifully shot and with a charming narration from Meghan that really brings the story to life. It’s a bloodless affair that goes a bit too far anthropomorphising the animals at times, but we didn’t expect anything less from a Disney doc, which effortlessly passes the time in an educational and entertaining way.

When did Meghan record the narration for Elephant?

Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrive at the annual Endeavour Fund Awards in London, 2020. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

It’s not clear exactly when Meghan recorded her voiceover, but we do know it was recorded by Jemma Riley-Tolch and Helen Miles at Pinewood Studios in London.

It was reported by The Times in January that Meghan had signed a deal with Disney for a voiceover to in exchange for a donation to charity Elephants Without Borders. According to Press Association, it is understood that Meghan was approached by Elephant’s filmmakers last summer, who asked if she would consider recording the narration.

What to watch after Elephant

Like all good nature documentaries, once it’s finished you’ll immediately want to know how it was made. Thankfully, In The Footsteps of Elephant, a sister documentary narrated by Jeremy Sisto, has also been added to Disney+ showing you how Mark Linfield’s crew shot the film in location in Botswana and Zimbabwe, with help from the charity Elephants Without Borders.

The documentary, produced under the Disneynature banner, was released alongside Dolphin Reef, another nature film narrated by Natalie Portman.

You can read about the full Disney+ line up here.

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