Ever since I was a child, the 1941 Classic cartoon ‘Dumbo’ was a cartoon very close to my heart, though I must say they were very highly emotional scenes that I think was too much for a kid to take in, but still managed to be pleasant with good morals, songs and above all a positive ending.
Now years later, I get to watch Dumbo as a married woman with my hubby, and I can’t express the excitement I was going through when attending the movie premiere! I kept wondering how the movie would be? Would it do justice to the classic cartoon, would it maintain its innocence and not over corrupt the story with extreme CGI.
Brief Review of the Movie
Dumbo is a live-action remake of the 1941 Disney animated classic. It tells the story of a baby circus elephant named Dumbo who’s teased for his enormous ears. This upsets his mother who accidentally kills a circus employee, she then gets sent away. Dumbo goes in depression, and then Holt’s children help and encourage Dumbo to Fly! When his handler, Holt (Colin Farrell), and Holt’s children discover that Dumbo can fly, owner Max Medici (Danny Devito) realizes that the elephant could save his circus. Dumbo’s success attracts even more fame and recognition, especially from V.A. Vandevere (Michael Keaton), the persuasive owner of an extravagant spectacle called Dreamland that has some dark secrets.
Well, I must say I was pleasantly surprised, the movie was good and yes I’d say it almost does justice for the movie, the storyline, the realistic looking elephants and above all the realistic looking baby elephant ‘Dumbo’ and yet maintain its adorableness that to me was a winner.
Now the movie does boast a great star cast (Colin Farrell, Danny DeVito, Micheal Keaton & Eva Green) For me the most worthy performance was given by Danny and Michael. The rest of the cast for me was cold and didn’t emote their feelings well. I mean come on, Dumbo is supposed to be a highly emotional movie, but I do understand and appreciate Tim Buton toning down the emotion to make it more bearable for kids. But still I felt Collin Farrell didn’t carry the father role well, and the Nico Parker who plays Collins, daughter, as Millie seemed very icy cold. I get it she’s intelligent and has just recently lost her mom, but still, it would be good to see a bit more emotion from her. Finley her brother (Joe) has a better performance but not the highlight.
With imaginative director Tim Burton at the helm, you can expect this remake to have impressive visuals, as well as a potentially dark/creepy tone that might be too scary for younger or sensitive kids. Though the classic version was a controversy calling it racial etc, we must bear in mind this was an animation from the 1940s and at that time this was acceptable. We can’t compare them or judge the animation based on the beliefs and understandings of today, that being said the movie does give out positive messages about the importance of family, appreciating differences and above all the value of freedom for wild animals.
I would rate this movie a 7/10
Parents note – there are a few reptile scenes, and a scene of a monkey jumping on your face, which might scare the little ones, besides that, I think it would be suitable for children from 6 and above.