The Reviews for Disney's 'Elephant' With Meghan Markle Are In

Meghan Markle did voiceover work for Disneynature's documentary Elephant, about a herd in Africa crossing the Kalahari Desert. Early reviews are in.

Commonwealth Day Service 2020
(Image credit: Karwai Tang)
  • Last month, it was revealed that Meghan Markle would do voiceover work for Disneynature's documentary Elephant, about a herd in Africa crossing the Kalahari Desert.
  • Early reviews are in: Some praise Meghan's performance, while others say it's cheesy.
  • We knew about her voiceover deal way back in January, and how a donation was being made to Elephants Without Borders for her work.

After Disneynature revealed the trailer for Elephant last month, including that Meghan Markle would be providing the voiceover, royal fans (me included) have been eagerly awaiting the chance to see the film. The documentary will drop on Disney + on April 3, but in the meantime, critics have already had the chance to review it. And reviews are...let's call them mixed.


And the movie’s narrator, Meghan Markle (actually billed here as Meghan, Duchess of Sussex) is an ideal guide, telling the story as if she was reading a children’s book but keeping every viewer right on the edge of their seats for this journey.


"Meghan Markle does an inviting version of the wholesome but amused Disney narrator singsong as she delivers lines like, 'Shani has already lost track of Jomo. There he is!' [Jomo twirls his trunk around in the water like a helicopter blade.] 'What is he doing? It’s time for a pool party!'"

The Times:

"The departing duchess narrates Disney’s tale of a herd of elephants crossing the Kalahari Desert from the Okavango delta to the Zambezi River, and boy does she lay it on thick. The silken tones that Meghan employed on the legal series Suits and which were often muzzled during her time as a full-time royal are now given free rein...To anyone raised on Attenborough's urbane all feels a little bit shallow."

The Guardian:

"...spectacular torrents of schmaltz. [Meghan] takes to Disney-narration like an anthropomorphic duck to water...But again and again, Meghan is given outrageously unverifiable things to say, such as: 'Gaia remembers these birds leading her mother to the water….' And Shani later supposedly '…looks back on all the lessons she learned from Gaia.'"

The Telegraph:

"But in place of the huskily reassuring Attenborough baritone is the honeyed alto of one Meghan Markle—or Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex as she is credited here, in her first screen role, sort of, since she and Prince Harry announced they were stepping down from their royal duties in January. (Her voiceover was recorded in London towards the end of last year, and Disney+ have made a donation to the Elephants Without Borders charity.)...Meghan turns out to be a fine match for the tone of the piece which vacillates between regal and cutesy-poo with occasional gusts of girl-power uplift."

I checked, and as of this moment Rotten Tomatoes doesn't have a score for the film yet, and we may get more reviews in the next day or so.

To be honest, though, I don't care what the reviews say. I'm still totally going to watch.

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Katherine J. Igoe

Katherine’s a Boston-based contributor at Marie Claire who covers fashion, culture, and lifestyle—from “Clueless” to Everlane to news about Lizzo. She’s been a freelancer for 11 years and has had roles with Cosmopolitan and Bustle, with bylines in Parents, Seventeen, and elsewhere. It’s “I go to dinner,” not “Her huge ego,” but she responds to both.