Even with a short running time, this entry from Roger Corman's "family entertainment" phase overstays its welcome.
Petless due to her new stepfather's allergy, little Jamie (Holly Bulter) befriends a trained baby elephant that briefly escapes a circus touring Florida. Trouble--as Jamie nicknames the animal--is summarily returned to its abusive owner, fright-wigged impresario Alexander Eyestone (Art Turk).
Jamie runs away from home to trail Trouble to Gainesville, stowing away in the van of alcoholic ex-magician Harry (Shawn McAllister). Jamie frees Trouble from Eyestone's infernal cackling and electric cattle prods, but police capture Harry and force him to divulge the duo's junkyard hideout.
A $10,000 reward for Jamie's safe return enables the now-sober Harry to buy Trouble and start his own fledgling circus, with Eyestone's defecting performers in the ranks and Jamie as the official elephant trainer.
This movie was the result of an alliance between Corman's company and the Miami-based family-film dynasty founded by the late producer-writer-director Ivan Tors, whose management of menageries led to the TV shows "Flipper," "Gentle Ben," and films like ZEBRA IN THE KITCHEN (1965). Indeed, LOOKING
FOR TROUBLE could have ambled in straight from the mid-1960s, with its muddy photography, cookie-cutter music, and supporting performances by thespians who apparently learned their craft at the hot end of an electric cattle prod. Pachyderm fans may be disappointed that the elephant star remains
largely off-screen, with the spotlight instead on cute leading lady Butler and her therapeutic pairing with down-and-out Harry.
Aside from a disgruntled clown's line, "The circus ain't no place for kids," it's all quite bland. (Substance abuse.)
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- Released: 1996
- Rating: PG
- Review: Even with a short running time, this entry from Roger Corman's "family entertainment" phase overstays its welcome. Petless due to her new stepfather's allergy, little Jamie (Holly Bulter) befriends a trained baby elephant that briefly escapes a circus tou… (more)