Elephants on Safari

At first it seems silly, a stop animation video of plastic form elephants parading through an African refuge.

See? It’s a little silly.

But if you learn a bit about the Eames Elephant and its creators, Charles and Ray Eames, you begin to see that same warm glow that a child feels with this toy.

Designed by the Eameses in 1945, the Eames Elephant captures the essence of the gentle giants that Charles lovingly photographed. This video, the second of two films involving the Eames Elephant, is a celebrated reminder of the short films Charles and Ray Eames would capture on their trips to India and to the circus, films that showed their interest in both toys and culture.

Charles died in 1978, Ray in 1988, and they both worked on the designs of many great modern works up until the end of their lives.

Initially designed as a molded plywood chair, the Eames Elephant required complex fabrication methods and never made it to production. The two original prototypes were both on display at the Museum of Modern Art in 1945-1946, but only one known original remains today in the possession of the Eames family.

The first in a series of films, “Elephant Safaris – To the Wilds”, directed by Eames Demetrios, is his second film. The first film, “Gathering of Elephants”, shows the current product, a polypropylene version, gathering in mass to swarm the Eames Office in California.


Eames Elephants swarm the Eames Office

You can buy an Eames Elephant for $290 on Amazon. The price varies according to your color choice; the Classic Red, the Light Pink, Ice Grey, White or Dark Lime. They also have a miniature version.

After all, Charles Eames once said, “Take your pleasure seriously”. Which was his way of reminding us of the importance behind a silly stop animation video of plastic form elephants parading through an African refuge.

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