Dumbo Review

Elephants and Tim Burton movies are two of my favourite things, put them together and you get a live action Dumbo movie! This is the first remake of the 1941 original Dumbo that was created by Walt Disney and it is the first Disney live action of the year (Aladdin, Lion King, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil). Dumbo made my list of most anticipated films of 2019 check that list out by clicking here! As I said elephants are my all time favourite animal and Tim Burton is in my opinion one of  the best filmmakers we have ever seen, his movies inspire me daily so after the first trailer (that made me cry) I went into the cinema ready to fall in love and I did. Read on to find out more, there will be spoilers but not too many. Let me know in the comments below what you thought and make sure you give this a share. 
After a brilliant title sequence the film begins with Holt Farrier (Colin Farrell) returning to the Medici Brothers' Circus and his two children, Milly (Nico Parker) and Joe (Finley Hobbins) after World War One. The Circus owned by Max Medici (Danny DeVito) is failing to make money, meaning assets such as staff furniture and horses have been sold. Max has however brought an 'Investment' - a pregnant Elephant named Jumbo. Jumbo delivers her baby much to everyone's excitement, excitement that quickly changes to horror when they see the size of his ears. It is quickly discovered by Molly and Joe that the baby elephant can fly when encouraged by a feather. The baby elephant gets the name Dumbo at his first show, as people laugh at him. Jumbo is then taken away after killing an evil handler as she tried to protect Dumbo. Soon the word gets out that the Medici Circus has a flying elephant, V. A. Vandevere (Michael Keaton) a theme park owner hires all members of the circus and takes them and Dumbo to his theme park 'Dreamland'. Vandevere a collector of all things strange and brilliant reveals his plan for French Trapeze artist Collette Marchant ( Eva Green) to ride Dumbo as he flies. This Dumbo is not a complete word for word copy of the original which is part of the reason it is so enjoyable, yes there are moments that are copies of the original such as Jumbo being locked up and Dumbo seeking her out as Baby Mine is played. Some may find parts of the narrative cheesy, but I enjoyed each and every moment.

Dumbo is a combination of all things Tim Burton. Actors that have been in his films before: Danny DeVito (Big Fish 2003, Mars Attacks! 1996, Batman Returns 1992), Eva Green (Dark Shadows 2012, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children 2016), Michael Keaton (Beetlejuice 1988, Batman 1989, Batman Returns 1992) and Alan Arkin (Edward Scissorhands 1992). Characters that are social outcasts, eccentric yet endearing. Music by the amazing Danny Elfman, Elfman's scores are among my all time favourites! I love the way he uses voices to create such magical and haunting sounds, my favourite from Dumbo is the track 'Collette's Theme'. Dumbo is also full of the visual flare (Swirls, Colour, Black and White) that makes it instantly recognisable as a Tim Burton film. There are also notes of the gothic and moments of twisted imagery (Clowns, Bubble Elephants) that younger viewers may find scary. A giveaway to the plot lies in the colour of the Dreamland gates - they are in a dull grey tone, and this colour is normally associated with danger or mundane in Burton’s films. Some people may hate the stylistic similarities that run through all of Burton's films, but I love them! His imagination, creativity and direction are incredible which is why his films stand out and why every actor gives brilliant performances.

It would be wrong to review Dumbo without actually talking about Dumbo. The animation of Dumbo and all of the animals in this film is so realistic that it is hard to believe they are not real animals. However Dumbo's eyes are a little to big to be real but the big eyes work and only make you love him more especially when moments of the film are seen through his eyes. Also Dumbo has to be one of the cutest characters ever, the way he plays with feathers, the love he has for his mother and the relationship he has with Molly and Joe. Dumbo will melt your heart. This film also made me feel so happy that animals are no longer allowed to be kept by circuses and the film makes a point of showing that animals should be protected, looked after and should be in their natural habitat. I am all for animal welfare so this film really warmed my heart.

I would highly recommend this film, if I gave star ratings then Dumbo would get top marks. A really enjoyable film full of heart and joy, this film will make you cry - I did twice. Is it lacking the emotion of the original? No!!!! There was an effort to include characters from the original such as the mouse and the storks which was lovely. I honestly doubt I will ever get bored of watching Tim Burton films, he is a cinema icon and Dumbo is another feather to his crown. I really hope you all enjoy this film as much as I did, I am certainly going to see it again very soon.

Thank you so much for reading xx



I am really sad that the exhibition for Dumbo is not coming to the UK! It is about time Tim Burton exhibitions came here! Also it looks like Disney has a great party in London, with a Dumbo statue and everything - who knows how I can attend these events? haha!!


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Comments

  1. Jaime31/3/19

    Wonderfully written as always! Glad you loved it as much as I did x

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  2. Thank you so much for reading Jamie! x

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