Tyke Elephant Outlaw
2015 · Unrated · 1h 14m
Tyke Elephant Outlaw is the gripping and emotionally charged story of Tyke, a circus elephant who went on a rampage in Honolulu in 1994, killed her trainer in front of thousands of spectators and died in a hail of gunfire.
Her break for freedom – filmed from start to tragic end – traumatized a city and ignited a global battle over the use of animals in the entertainment industry. Looking at what made Tyke snap, the film goes back to meet the people who knew her and were affected by her death – former trainers and handlers, circus industry insiders, witnesses to her rampage, and animal rights activists for whom Tyke became a global rallying cry.
Like the classic animal rebellion film King Kong, Tyke is the central protagonist in a tragic but redemptive drama that combines trauma, outrage, insight, and compassion. Ultimately, Tyke Elephant Outlaw raises fundamental questions about our deep and mysterious connection to other species.
About the Filmmakers
Tyke Elephant Outlaw was produced by Jumping Dog Productions Pty Ltd and Stray Dog Pictures Pty Ltd, and directed by Stefan Moore and Megan McMurchy. Find out more about the film at tykeelephantoutlaw.com.
“…the film fully delves into its true message, which is to decry the use of wild animals in live entertainments. Voices from both sides weigh in, including an operative for the circus industry who went undercover and infiltrated animal rights groups. Shortly after the Tyke incident, hearings were held in Honolulu to debate a proposed ban on the use of animals, which was defeated. But as one commentator points out, it was still a victory, as no wild animals have appeared in live performances there ever since.” – Frank Scheck. “Tyke Elephant Outlaw: Film Review.” The Hollywood Reporter. 4 Sept 2015
“The film is a heartbreaking reminder of what circus elephants endure, despite what the industry portrays to its audiences.” – Animal Welfare Institute. “Tyke Elephant Outlaw.” 2015
“…it remains impossible not to be moved by Tyke’s fate.” – Ben Nicholson. “VOD Review: Tyke Elephant Outlaw.” Aug 2015
“Tyke Elephant Outlaw is a traumatic and tough look at a tragic event. Does for circuses what Blackfish did for Sea World.” – Empire Magazine
“Heartbreaking film…and it’s the start of some larger, and important, conversations about the way we tolerate animal cruelty for our own amusement.” – Paste Magazine
“A moving documentary… tragic and memorable.” – The Washington City Paper
“A highly intense film… cautionary and moving.” – The Hollywood Reporter