I’ve been a big fan of the live-action Disney remakes since Alice in Wonderland debuted in 2010. While many folks think we should “leave the classics alone,” I tend to think of these “years-later” versions as giving the modern day filmmaker a chance to tell the story from their own perspective. Let them expand upon the story or take a creative detail and dwell on it. Dumbo happens to be a personal favorite movie from the Disney canon, and I’ve been awaiting this March 2019 release since the D23 Expo in 2017 when I caught a glimpse of the life-size baby elephant statue. It was FREAKISHLY realistic, showing the exact character in his eyes and ears. It was a fully formed Dumbo baby.
Why Are They Remaking Dumbo?
I’ve heard a lot of griping (mostly non-Disney fans) about the remakes and live action sequels to classic Disney films. Some folks say they “should leave the classics alone,” but I once heard a producer say that this a chance for the new generation of storytellers to explore the story, and I really liked that. Other fans and non-fans alike say they shouldn’t make the films unless they can expand upon the story, filling in plot holes, etc.
To those people, I say Dumbo is for you. Nearly twice as long as the original film, the first hour sees the retelling of the classic Disney movie, and leave audiences wondering what comes next as the second half of the film rolls. Adds producer Justin Springer, “In the animated feature, Dumbo flies for the world at the end of the film. We wanted to find out how the world reacts when people learn that this elephant can fly.”
I thought that the remake was very well done. It proudly had the elements of the original movie we wanted (sans Timothy Mouse, but I feel the daughter replaced him) and expanded the story to a full theme. It truly tells us where Dumbo came from, where he is going and fleshes out the story of the humans around him, as befitting a 1919 circus elephant.
What You’ll See in Dumbo
While I was so engrossed in the film I couldn’t look for hidden Mickeys, you will see stuffed animal Dumbos that are a carbon copy of those in the Disney store or at Walt Disney World Resort. Yes, they are not from 1919, but I think my kids will be enchanted to know they already own a piece of this movie at home. Dumbo is a big part of our house!
Casey Jr. makes a cameo, just as he does in the original movie. You’ll hear his song, too… I cried…
Storks and Crows: Our friend the stork gets a nod, but the racist crows are no more. Many of Dumbo’s feathers are black, a nod to the original feather given to him, but they are downy and more ostrich-like than crow-ish. The crow’s song is turned into a great announcement in the center ring that keeps the punny message of the song live. There’s even a modern twist here audiences will enjoy.
Kids may hold onto parents during a darker scene when the “bad guys” are spooked by the animals trying to intimidate them and escape their cages. When you realize that the animals are the good guys, kiddos should quiet down and root for them. After all, these bad guys are VERY mean! Otherwise, it’s a young kid-friendly movie. I have no qualms about taking my preschooler to see Dumbo!
Full Dumbo Trailer
Make Your Own DUMBO Origami Elephant
Follow these video directions to create your own origami Dumbo. Color him in or give him an outfit similar to his 1941 film counterpart!
Live Action DUMBO Runtime and Rating
The original Dumbo from 1941 was Disney’s shortest feature film, running just 64 minutes. It’s new sibling, the 2019 Live Action Dumbo, beefs up the story to run 115 minutes. The film is rated PG.
Dumbo Opens Friday, March 29, 2019
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. “The idea of running away to join the circus is a feeling that has always stuck with me,” says Burton. “I never really liked the circus with the capƟ ve animals, the clowns, the uncomfortable death-defying acts and—did I menƟ on?—the clowns! But I understood the idea of it, joining a weird family of outcasts who don’t fit in with normal society— people who are treated differently. That’s what ‘Dumbo’ is about.”