Water for ElephantsI love Water For Elephants, the Francis Lawrence-directed film that takes place in a 1930s-era circus setting. Released on DVD and blu-ray this week, the film, adapted from the book by Sara Gruen, tells the story of Jacob (Robert Pattinson) as he joins a circus run by the cruel Hans (Christoph Waltz) and falls for Hans’ beautiful wife Elena (Reese Witherspoon).

Water for Elephants is rated PG-13 for moments of intense violence and sexual content, but I don’t recommend it for kids younger than 15. Between a tragic car accident, a cruel circus owner, and the desperate times of the Depression, it’s an unsettling, sometimes shocking movie.

But it’s also a romantic story about finding magic and beauty in the midst of filth and poverty, and it fills up your heart with colorful images and interesting people.

Read my full review of the theatrical release of Water for Elephants.

Download a Water for Elephants Study Guide to use with the book by Sara Gruen.

Bonus Features on the Blu-Ray/Digital Version

  • 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
  • The Star Attraction
  • Raising the Tent
  • Secrets of the Big Top
  • Audio Commentary with Director Francis Lawrence and Writer Richard LaGravenese
  • Theatrical Trailer

Live Extras:

  • Exclusive: Stars of the Circus
  • Blu-ray Highlight: The Traveling Show: From Page to Screen
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Live Lookup
  • Digital Copy

Water for Elephants Trailer:

Here’s kind of a fun video that shows how makeup artist Robin Fredriksz did Reese Wietherspoon’s makeup on the film. Robin’s other makeup credits include Bad Teacher, How Do You Know, The Other Woman, and Charlie’s Angels.


  1. This is a good review about the movie. I have a book about this and I believe that watching the movie will be a great experience.

  2. As a person who is ultra sensitive to the suffering of animals, not sure I could watch this, even if it is fiction. I was shocked to learn recently from watching an episode on Bio that real rabbits were killed for the “boil” scene in “Fatal Attraction.” I thought they outlawed harming actual animals in films longer ago than that, do you know, Jane?


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