Dumbo will make you believe an elephant can fly!
I went to see Dumbo with mixed emotions. I haven’t seen Dumbo since I was a little kid so remember the big parts of his being separated from his mother and being able to fly but that was about it. I appreciate the talent of Tim Burton but I find his movies a bit much for my taste. So was unsure of what to expect from his new Disney helmed film.
I was delighted from the opening moments the bright colors, energy of the film and once Dumbo appeared well he lit up the screen for me. I saw it with people of all ages and would consider it very kid friendly. It had a few violent and sad scenes, a few sharp words but nothing that would drive a child to nightmares.
The movie stars Colin Farrell, Michael Keaton, Danny DeVito, Eva Green, Joseph Gatt, Finley Hobbins and Milly Farrier. I found the film really connected with me when the trio of the Farrier children and Dumbo. It had the magic I’d expect and were the moments when I had a glimmer in my eye. I found the three of them fighting against the path laid out refreshing and very relatable. I truly appreciate Eva Green but found her accent a bit distracting as well as the storyline of Holt Farrier finding his confidence after the war and losing his wife, and Collette Merchant escaping being a trophy to V.A. Vandevere was unnecessary and distracting to what I connected with my childlike wonder. Namely the circus folk (who I wanted to see much more of!), the kids, and Dumbo. Once they went from being hardscrabble carneys traveling the rail to the wonder of bougie Dreamland amusement park (any similarity to Disney is by mistake tee hee) it became more of Ocean’s Circus with everyone trying to save our big eared friend.
I liked the film and how Disney kept Tim Burton from making the film over the top with his odd vision but wished that they had kept to the core of the movie aka its namesake DUMBO! I wanted more Dumbo and the wonder I felt when he was on the screen. I did enjoy it and believe it’s a great film for families, kids of all ages and those of us kids at heart. It’s a great film to enjoy with and casually discuss teamwork, kindness, vaccinations, bullying, and that family comes in all shapes, sizes and orientations.
Directed by Tim Burton, DUMBO is set in 1919 at the end of World War I. Veteran Holt Farrier (Colin Farrell), who was a famed horse trainer/rider before the war, comes home to his two children, Milly (Nico Parker) and Joe (Finley Hobbins), who live with the traveling Medici Brothers Circus, which is run by irascible ringmaster Max Medici (Danny DeVito). Because Holt is now an amputee (he’s missing an arm) and his beloved wife died during the 1918 influenza pandemic, Max tells Holt he can’t return to his horse act. Instead, Holt is asked to take care of the circus’s latest acquisition: Mrs. Jumbo, a pregnant elephant who’s about to give birth to a baby that should prove a profitable draw for the troupe. But when Mrs. Jumbo’s baby is born with enormous, floppy ears, everyone laughs and calls him “Dumbo.” What no one knows is that Milly and Joe have discovered that the little elephant can fly. When Dumbo makes his soaring debut, New York amusement park impresario V. A. Vandevere (Michael Keaton) swoops in to convince Max to move to Coney Island and become part of his fabulous Dreamland destination.