The acclaimed National Geographic “Secrets” series returns to Disney+ with a four-part miniseries called “Secrets of the Elephants.” This miniseries, narrated by Natalie Portman, looks at the lives of elephants and how some of their qualities are quite similar to humans. The series looks at elephants in both Africa and Asia to see how they interact with each other and with the nature that surrounds them.
This is part of the series produced by James Cameron. The man behind “Avatar,” “Terminator” and “Titanic” provides a visually stunning backdrop to evaluate the lives of elephants. While this is far from the first documentary to details how elephants think, feel and act; very few of these documentaries look at beautiful as this. There’s no question that if James Cameron attaches his name to a project, it’s going to look amazing.
One of the most stunning representations from these elephants is how they pay respect to Tolstoy, a giant among giants. He is the largest elephant in this series and is viewed as a role model for younger elephants. While searching for food, he wandered onto a farm and got speared. That spear wound eventually became infected and that infection spread through his body killing him. After farmers removed his ivory tusks, so poachers wouldn’t take them, the other elephants came by to pay their last respects. It’s very similar to a wake and funeral for humans. Some elephants stood quietly over his corpse while others touched him with their trunks. It’s a truly similar way to honor their dead.
If you love elephants, or nature documentaries in general, I highly recommend this docuseries. The “Secrets” series has gone a long way in addressing nature in stunningly beautiful way. It’s more adult-centric than the DisneyNature documentaries, so the kids may not enjoy this one as much. But, there’s still a lot to love about “Secrets of the Elephants.”