Cast: Colin Farrell, Danny DeVito, Michael Keaton, Eva Green, Alan Arkin,
Nico Parker, Finley Hobbins
Directed by: Tim Burton
3.5 out of 5 Stars
Dumbo flies onto the screen in this latest animated-to-LIVE-action film from The Walt Disney Studios. The film takes the original 64 minutes and stretches it to 112 and with artistic liberty, reimagines Dumbo’s story into a refreshing story of strength through loss.
“I’ve been, done, seen about everything, When I see an elephant fly,” lyrics from the animated classic ring true in this updated version. The CGI elephants, including Dumbo, are as impressive here as they were in Disney’s first live action remake, The Jungle Book. The creative geniuses behind this film really excelled at bringing the circus life to the big screen.
This Tim Burton film has some very “Burtonesque” touches which worked perfectly with the dark undertones of Dumbo’s story; both in the classic animated film and this adaptation. We’re introduced to many of the main characters during the first ten minutes of the film, though perhaps a bit too brief of an introduction for some which left many backstories underdeveloped.
The emotions you feel when his mother is taken away will leave a tear in your eye. Disney always has a way at pulling on your emotions especially when it comes to the missing mothers or loved ones that get taken away.
The magic really is in the flying, every time little Dumbo takes flight you feel that inner kid in you come out. You’re as nervous as Dumbo each time he steps up to take flight.
The rest of the film doesn’t quite measure up to that Disney magic you may expect. In most Disney films you feel the ups and downs, you might cry then laugh and then leave feeling such joy. In this film I left feeling like it was a good movie but didn’t have that afterglow I feel after most Disney films.
That said, Tim Burton and crew did a great job bringing attention to the plight of animal captivity in a circus and the realization that it is far from the best atmosphere for wild animals. In the end I would give this movie a 3.5 out of 5 stars. It was a good movie with success in some areas but its a film that you can wait to catch on DVD or on a streaming service.
Synopsis: From Disney and visionary director Tim Burton, the all-new grand live-action adventure “Dumbo” expands on the beloved classic story where differences are celebrated, family is cherished and dreams take flight. Circus owner Max Medici (Danny DeVito) enlists former star Holt Farrier (Colin Farrell) and his children Milly (Nico Parker) and Joe (Finley Hobbins) to care for a newborn elephant whose oversized ears make him a laughingstock in an already struggling circus. But when they discover that Dumbo can fly, the circus makes an incredible comeback, attracting persuasive entrepreneur V.A. Vandevere (Michael Keaton), who recruits the peculiar pachyderm for his newest, larger-than-life entertainment venture, Dreamland. Dumbo soars to new heights alongside a charming and spectacular aerial artist, Colette Marchant (Eva Green), until Holt learns that beneath its shiny veneer, Dreamland is full of dark secrets.