Following the classic story of the baby elephant who discovers he has the ability to fly, Dumbo soars to new heights as a live-action film. The movie is packed with childhood memories and emotion.
Struggling circus owner Max Medici, (played by Danny DeVito), hires former horse riding star and former military man Holt Farrier, (Colin Farrell), alongside his children Milly (Nico Parker) and Joe, (Finley Hobbins), as caretakers for the newly purchased elephants. When Dumbo is born with humongous ears, Medici fears it to be the downfall of the circus, as they become the joke of the town. However, once it is discovered that Dumbo is able to fly, the circus rises in popularity. Dumbo’s astonishing ability soon garners the attention of V. A. Vandemere, (Michael Keaton), an entrepreneur who wants to showcase Dumbo as the main attraction of his latest entertainment venture.
As the most recent live action Disney movie, my expectations were high because of how successful the previous remakes were. For a live-action film, however, Dumbo loses some of its charms from the animated version of the movie.
Unlike the original 1941 animated Dumbo, the newer film focuses more on human characters rather than animals. This adds a unique backstory for older audiences as Dumbo was the protagonist of the 1940’s film, but Milly and Joe often take the stage in the newest edition of Dumbo. Despite the title being Dumbo, Dumbo himself feels like a side character, only there to aid the character development of others. With the children playing such major roles in the story, Dumbo becomes just another animal meant to unite the family.
While Dumbo is filled with tragedy, the characters provided comic relief that kept an overall positive tone. In several instances, Dumbo is faced with dramatic events that keep the audience on the edge of their seats as they wait for some miracle of events to save the baby elephant. Focusing on the love held within a family, characters are given moments where they truly learn what is means to be family.
Dumbo is an entertaining movie with a twist in the plot that soars above expectations. I would recommend Dumbo for anyone with an affinity for Disney movies or is interested in a charming, yet dramatic movie about a baby elephant with big ears.