New Release: Water for Elephants DVD and Blu-ray

Release Date: Nov. 1, 2011
Price: DVD $29.99, Blu-ray $39.99
Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

Water for Elephants movie scene

Robert Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon join the circus in Water for Elephants.

The colorful 2011 romance drama Water for Elephants showcases the decadence of a bohemian circus and the majesty of its animals against the backdrop of a long-gone era.

Based on Sara Gruen’s 2006 best-selling novel of the same name, the movie stars Reese Witherspoon (How Do You Know), Robert Pattinson (the Twilight films) in another swoon-worthy role and Christoph Waltz (The Green Hornet) as, you guessed it, the villain.

The film’s Depression-era story concerns Jacob Jankowski (Pattinson), a young man with little money who abandons his veterinary studies at Cornell University following the sudden death of his parents. With no other family or home, Jacob stows away on a train carrying performers of The Benzini Brothers circus, leading to him to being hired as a veterinarian for the troupe’s animals.

Jacob initially enjoys the excitement that comes with a traveling circus, building a rapport with the troupe and falling for the star of the show, Marlena (Witherspoon). But things begin to go wrong when he and Marlena become prey for the circus’ owner, Marlena’s abusive husband August (Waltz). As the circus begins to crumble from within, Jacob and Marlena fall in love through their shared compassion for a very special elephant.

Directed by Francis Lawrence (Constantine), the PG-13-rated movie grossed a not-bad $58 million during its wide release in theaters.

The Blu-ray and DVD contain the following bonus features:

  • “Robert Pattinson Spotlight”
  • “Feature Performer Reese Witherspoon”
  • “The Traveling Show: From Page to Screen”
  • “Working Without a Net: The Visual Effects of Water for Elephants” (Blu-ray only)
  • “The Star Attraction: Raising the Tent” (Blu-ray only)
  • “Secrets of the Big Top” (Blu-ray only)
  • audio commentary with director Francis Lawrence and writer Richard LaGravenese (The Horse Whisperer)
  • theatrical trailer

The Blu-ray also offers these BD-Live extras via online connection:

  • “Exclusive: Stars of the Circus”
  • “The Traveling Show: From Page to Screen”
  • theatrical trailer
  • “Live Lookup”
  • digital copy
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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.