In 1941, Disney released an animated film titled, “Dumbo.” The film earned very positive reviews from critics and movie goers alike. Plus, it made a profit at the box office. To this day, Dumbo remains as one of Disney’s animated classics. The film is about the titular baby elephant who gets separated from his mom by a traveling circus exploiting his ears to amuse an audience for profit. With the help of a mouse named, Timothy, he gains the courage to use his giant ears to release his ability to fly.
Although an iconic entry to Disney’s filmography, it drew controversy in recent years over crow characters portrayed as black stereotypes. I swear to god I’m not making this up & not a big time racist, the leader of the crows is named, “Jim Crow.” Back then, Hollywood was kinda racist towards different races if you recall any cartoon from The 30’s or 40’s depicting racist caricatures that won’t be acceptable in today’s world. If any of you parents or grandparents aren’t aware of this, it’s gonna be pretty tricky to explain to your kids & grandkids.
Seven Decades Later, Disney produced remakes based on the company’s entries including “Alice In Wonderland,” “Maleficent,” “Cinderella,” “The Jungle Book” & Beauty & The Beast.” Most of them are either a hit like The Jungle Book or a miss like Alice In Wonderland. Disney recruited Tim Burton to direct a remake of Dumbo, he already directed Alice In Wonderland & produced a sequel called, “Through The Looking Glass.” The remake stars Colin Farrell, Danny DeVito, Eva Green, Michael Keaton & Alan Arkin in lead roles.
Dumbo earned mixed reviews from critics. So far, it’s currently making revenue at the box office.
Besides Dumbo, Disney’s remakes of “Aladdin,” & “The Lion King,” will come out on May 24th & July 19th. Starting with Dumbo, let’s see if Tim Burton’s version is as good as the original before Disney’s upcoming remakes will be out in May & July.
The following review contains very important SPOILERS. If you’ve never seen the original version or the remake, read at your very own risk.
High & Low Qualities
High: Colin Farrell, Danny DeVito, Eva Green, Michael Keaton & Alan Arkin all did a good job for their respective performances.
Fun Fact: Will Smith turned down the role of Holt in order to portray Genie in Disney’s upcoming Aladdin remake.
Michael & Danny reunite in a Tim Burton film. They both worked in “Batman Returns.” Their roles as hero & villain are swapped. It’s kinda like a DC Comics storyline using a what-if scenario with Penguin donning a batsuit while Batman conducts an organized crime.
Visual Effects are spectacular bringing the title character to life.
Set Pieces retain the original’s interior designs.
Danny Elfman ( a veteran of Tim’s work) orchestrated music for the remake.
Cinematography lacked extensive use of Shaky Cam.
Dumbo’s flying scenes felt suitable to showcase his talent in live action format.
Every time you see Dumbo onscreen, it makes you want to give him a hug or kiss.
WWE announcer, Michael Buffer, known saying “Let’s get ready to rumble!” Makes a cameo appearance saying “Let’s get ready for Dumbo!”
Like the original, Dumbo is shown wearing clown makeup. Coincidentally, Tim Burton’s Batman has The Joker, known for his clown like appearance. Speaking of Joker, Joaquin Phoenix will portray The Clown Prince Of Crime slated to come out in October. Both Dumbo & Joaquin’s version of Joker have mommy issues. The latter’s origin story about his mother will possibly factor into his background.
The remake has less filler than the original. The infamous Pink Elephants Sequence” is trimmed down. The original for the trippy scene lasted for five minutes.
Low: Tim Burton did a poor job taking full responsibility for retelling an animated classic. First Alice In Wonderland, now Dumbo?! Tim show some dignity you made good entries in your filmography!
Ehren Krueger (Michael Bay’s Transformers films) did a terrible job coordinating the script.
The human characters weren’t interesting at all, except Danny DeVito & Michael Keaton’s characters, Max Medici & V.A. Vandevere.
Timothy The Mouse is excluded in the remake. In the original, he’s the one who encouraged Dumbo to learn how to fly. The kids serve as replacements.
Animal characters never had enough of screen time.
Dumbo’s mother never sings “Baby Mine” to her son. It’s sung by a circus performer which is blasphemy! Gonna have to Double Down this con for butchering a sad moment.
Unlike the original, animals in the remake never said a single word. Can you imagine if Jon Favreau’s upcoming remake of The Lion King with every single character never given lines?
Nico Parker (Thandie Newton’s real life daughter) did a terrible job for her unemotional performance. Is she a student of Hayden Christensen? Thandie if reading this article, do me a favor & please take your kid to Lee Strasberg’s acting school. Nico’s acting pretty much explains why she’s robotic like Megan Fox in Transformers, because it’s written by one of the guys who wrote Michael Bay’s films.
Dumbo’s mother never uttered his given name.
Colin Farrell’s character, Holt, who only has one arm is somewhat capable of climbing his way to the top of a circus tent. How the heck is a one arm man capable of climbing without an extra arm. In real life, it would be impossible to climb without an extra hand. (no pun intended)
V.A. Vandevere idiotically destroyed his amusement park by impatiently attempting to turn the power switches on and off. He wasted millions of dollars & possibly killed many visitors offscreen when his park literally went up in flames. Seeing him climb with one arm broke my Suspension Of Disbelief.
The Final Verdict: D-
In my opinion, Dumbo is a misguided cluster fudge lacking its charm as the original did. My Final Verdict for the original is a B- due to filler, running time was an hour long & don’t forget the racist crows that haven’t aged well. The remake is worse than the original. If you want to save your money, go buy “Kingdom Hearts III” or wait til’ “Shazam” is out on April 5th.
I hope Disney doesn’t screw up Aladdin & The Lion King, because the former is my favorite animated Disney film of all time & The Lion King is also one my favorites since I was a kid.