Dumbo Flies Above our Expectations

Jazlyn Caballero, Reporter

Many original Disney films are being recreated, and I’m here for it, especially since my all time favorite movie Dumbo is one of them. Tim Burton brings animated classic, Dumbo, to life. When a struggling circus discovers  that Dumbo’s big ears can make him fly everything changes. Max Medici, ringmaster, assigns former circus star, Holt Ferrier and his children to care for the big eared elephant. On his first show, Dumbo fails to put on a show and his mother causes a catastrophe, causing his mom to be sold and taken away. Milly and Joe Ferrier tell Dumbo that if he continues to fly and put on a good performance, he will bring in money to buy back his mom. All that changes when V.A Vandervere, entrepreneur and theme park runner, proposes his plan to make Dumbo famous.  The message told in the story is to believe in yourself and ignore people that are getting in the way of your success.

Throughout the story, the Ferrier family’s story is told. When Holt comes home from war one year after his wife died of disease, his children Milly and Joe are distant and angry that their father wasn’t there for them, especially Milly. All Milly wants is for her father to apologize for not calling or coming home when her mother passed away. She also wants her father to understand her and what she wants to do. Holt, on the other hand, wants Milly to continue the family “business” and stay apart of the circus because both him and his wife were apart of the circus. As the movie progresses,  Milly’s attitude changes and gets more involved with the circus. . Not only does Milly change, but her father does as well. He slowly gets used to the fact that his daughter wants to be a scientist/inventor. Along with Dumbo getting closer to escaping and finding his mother. they also both realize that Dumbo and mama Jumbo should be free and not in the circus.  Though it takes some time, Holt understands why Milly does not want to be apart of the circus. By the end of the movie, Milly and her father have a strong connection about what they both want- to be understood and supported by each other. They also help bring down Vandevere and his theme park, to reunite Dumbo and his mom. Even though this is a retelling of the Dumbo story, this movie was  different than the original. Instead of Timothy the Mouse, Dumbo’s companion in the original film, Including humans instead of a mouse made the movie and plot more progressed and modern. Instead of there being multiple villains in the new movie, they made V. A Vandevere the main one. Dumbo’s original story changes in this remake as well.  Instead of storks delivering baby Dumbo as they did in the original, Mrs. Jumbo is pregnant.  The storks still make a cameo when we meet the baby. Despite the  differences, there are a few easter eggs. Fans looking for easter eggs alluding to the original will be pleased by the inclusion of  songs from the original being hummed or recreated throughout the movie. Such as “Baby Mine”, the song Dumbo’s mom sings to him when they get seperated in the original film.

The use of color in Dumbo  was unique. Using a vintage yet vibrant color palette with muted tones interspersed with bright pops of color throughout the movie helped express the time period and what a circus would look like in the 1940’s. Not only was the color amazing, but also how real Dumbo appears. They put amazing detail into Dumbo to make him look realistic. The way they made him fly was spectacular. Not only the way they made him fly but the way his facial features looked. Dumbo’s eyes and his smile added that extra touch of reality.

Growing up watching Dumbo, this movie was everything that I expected. Dumbo gave us all the feels, crying, laughing and smiling throughout. Even though I am not the biggest fan of TIm Burton films, this movie was incredible in so many ways. The filming was amazing, the animals looked real, and it shares a beautiful story between two families. A message that audience members can relate to is the feeling of not being heard or understood by parents or people that are “above” you.  Both Milly and Dumbo struggled with that throughout the movie. Another message that everyone including me can relate to, is struggling to achieve or believe when people put you down. Whether that includes your appearance, or your background. I would recommend this to anyone who loves Disney remakes or live action films.