Review: ‘Dumbo’ flies to disappointment

Big ear elephant fails to catch interest in viewers


Courtesy of Disney.

Dumbo” (directed by Tim Burton) came back into the theater last Friday, March 29. The film was inspired by Walt Disney’s 1949 animation film “Dumbo.”

Holt Ferrier, played by Colin Farrell, is an equestrian and War World I veteran. He returns from war, where he loses an arm. He comes back to the Medici brothers circus, owned by Max Medici (Danny DeVito). Upon his return, Max tells Holt they have bought elephants. One of the elephants, Mrs. Jumbo, was pregnant with Dumbo.

During Dumbo’s first performance, he was mocked by the crowd when he accidentally shows his giant floppy ears. After the mocking, a tragic event happens to cause a return of Mrs. Jumbo. When Mrs. Jumbo got sent back to her old owner, Dumbo was able to show his talent in flying. Dumbo’s ability to fly brings attention to V.A. Vandevere, played by, Michael Keaton, the owner of Dreamland amusement park. These emotional scenes were able to win the audience’s hearts like how the original movie had done. The storyline didn’t stay with the original movie. In the original, Mrs. Jumbo loses her temper when a group of boys torments Dumbo. Mrs. Jumbo attacks the boys to protect her son, even though in the new movie she still loses her temper.

The scenery was shot beautifully. There were scenes that looked they were shot digitally such as those at Dreamland amusement park. The Medici Brothers circus scenes looked like realistic props; they had a perfect set. The movie felt slow yet too rushed. There are scenes where there are unnecessary talks such as when the owners of both circuses, sit down and talk before Dumbos great debut in Dreamland.

Though the film is PG, children may feel bored while watching the film. The film had hidden jokes which children might not understand. One of the scenes when Dumbo successfully flies during a performance in the Medici Brothers circus, a man walks up with a bottle of alcohol and tries to give some to Dumbo but was stopped by Max. Though Dumbo doesn’t drink the alcohol, it is inappropriate to have those kinds of scenes in a PG movie, even if it was joking.

Overall, the film deserves 6 out of 10 stars. Throughout the 112 minute film, Burton provides an emotional rollercoaster. Though there was not much character development, the movie does an amazing job focusing on Dumbo. The animation was also done perfectly. If the movie focused more on the original film, it would deserve a higher rating.