The Magician’s Elephant
An orphan looks for his long-lost sister in Netflix’s The Magician’s Elephant, an earnest animated adventure full of magic and hope.
Set in a war-weary town, the film tells the tale of young Peter (voiced by Noah Jupe) whose encounter with a fortune teller (Natasia Demetriou) changes his life. When the soothsayer reveals that Peter’s sister is alive and the way to find her is tied to an elephant, the protagonist is led to a pachyderm that is unintentionally conjured by a struggling magician onstage. Peter must then perform three impossible tasks set by the king to win the elephant and fulfil his mission.
Sweet and heartfelt, The Magician’s Elephant delivers lessons on perseverance and kindness. It’s a tad too long, fairly predictable, and not exactly the most exceptional of films – Netflix itself has far more memorable animated offerings – but the movie still holds enough warmth to keep you engaged and encourage you to follow your dreams.
Dots: A Game About Connecting
A “minimalist game that was designed to be a soothing experience”, Dots is a simple yet addictive puzzle app that revolves around – you guessed it – joining the dots! You are given a board of multi-coloured dots; all you have to do is connect adjacent same-coloured dots vertically or horizontally to win points. Making a square removes all the dots of that particular colour and gives you a higher score.
There’s a single player version that comes in three variants: race against the clock in timed mode, apply some strategy playing with limited moves, or relax with the endless version of the game. And there’s also an online multiplayer mode if you’re feeling a little competitive.
It’s downright amazing watching your doodles become proper images on Scribble Diffusion, a website that lets you turn your sketches into refined pictures using AI. Just create a sketch (don’t worry, drawing skills are strictly optional here), add a description of the image you’re trying to create, and let the web app work its magic.
Even a very rough sketch can yield fascinating results. Making a small alteration to your drawing can create interesting changes to the final picture, and modifying the description can create an entirely different image altogether.
It’s a well-made, fun project and a wonderful showcase of the power of AI.