Dumbo (2019)


“All right, Dumbo, give me a showstopper.” – Holt Farrier

Number of Times Seen – 1 (22 Apr 2019)

Brief Synopsis – A circus trainer returns home from fighting in World War I and due to his injury is relegated to care for the elephants including a young calf who is ridiculed due to his long ears.

My Take on it – Ever  since Disney started making live action versions of its popular animated films over the past few years, I have been one of the moviegoers who has usually found these adaptations quite mediocre since they fail to really expand on the animated stories and generally retell the same story.

For that reason alone, I wasn’t really that interested in seeing this film, but the fact that my kids wanted to see it gave me the extra push to check it out.

I must admit that I was quite impressed with the way they did this adaptation since it is quite different from the original film and takes the story in a whole new direction which makes it that much more interesting a story to watch unfold.

The choice to focus on the humans in this film instead of the animals is a great one because it is able to show us an even more powerful storyline that involves both humans and animals without a need to make the animals talk.

The story plays out in a very intriguing way which works on numerous levels.

This film’s message is quite poignant and they do a great job showing how people who are different need to try and find their own special talents that will help them earn their own place in the world.

At the same time, the story deals with how people must learn to accept others who are different in spite of those differences.

This film stands on its own and is very different from the original animated film which allows it to flourish because it finds a way to tell a story about a young elephant, a celebrated horse trainer and his two young children who all do their best to find their place in the world.

The cast is great with Colin Farrell, Danny Devito, Michael Keaton and Eva Green all shining as they help bring these complex and intriguing characters to life.

Bottom Line – Great adaptation of the animated Disney film that takes the story in a whole new direction and is much more interesting than the original. The focus on the humans works really well and I really enjoyed the way that the story plays out.  The film has a great message about accepted those who are different and more importantly how one who is different must try and find his or her place in life while at the same time seek out their own talents due to their differences. The film has some nice references to the original film, yet still manages to stand on its own. Great cast led by Farrell, Devito, Keaton and Green. Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Colleen Atwood opted not to make a single black and white striped clothing item, saying it was too predictable to use in a Tim Burton film as it was one of Burton’s visual trademarks. (From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy (8/10)

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6 thoughts on “Dumbo (2019)

  1. totally disagree here. I was very disappointed by Burton’s live action re-do. Dumbo was great. Cute as hell. Those eyes. Those ears. The reveal comes very quickly and maybe that’s a mistake, not sure. As for the human characters… Some have said that the whole idea of Keaton’s amusement park swallowing up the smaller circus (with it’s star attraction) is a metaphor for Disney studios gobbling up everything (ESPN, ABC network, 20th Century Fox, Pixar, Marvel – and putting it all under one enormous Big Top umbrella… they could be right). Which is fine, but as for the performances. Eva Green was solid, with not much to do other than look good on a trapeze. Of the two kids – the boy was very good, the girl has a great face and said her lines well – but I got NO emotion from her. Like she was wearing a mask,. DeVito stole the show – he was terrific. Colin Farrell, who is a favorite, had such a remote, damaged role to play – that he was almost not even there. And Michael Keaton was a low-key, bad guy who played it straight down the line. Maybe they should have given him a moustache to twirl. His henchmen were all cliched and by the book. Not at all what I expected from Burton. It did have snatches of magic (mostly with Dumbo) and some excitement – the burning building bit that goes wrong – but until the end – when Dumbo and Mom are reunited in Africa – and it looks like a trailer for the new Jungle book – and Dumbo soars above the elephant herd who trumpet their love for the new baby – the movie never really took off for me.

    Liked by 1 person

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