In another of their live-action re-makes, Disney re-introduces us to their adorable iconic character, Dumbo. One of their belittled characters, this new story is full of hope. The tale is about a young elephant, born into a dying world: the Medici circus. When his mother is cruelly taken from him shortly after his arrival, the curious young elephant must rely on Milly and Joe Farrier (Nico Parker, Finley Hobbins) for his care.
Milly is serious and relates to this new arrival to her family on a personal level. When Captain Farrier (Collin Farrell) returns home, the children must learn to find a new normal with their broken father, and find joy again. Their journey all begins with a small elephant named Dumbo.
Dumbo (2019) Disney Review
Every moviegoer is different and everyone is going to see or react differently to a story. For me, Disney’s live-action films present wonder and magic. Dumbo seems to have affected many viewers in a negative way, and while I can respect that, I also find this character and its characterization far too lovely to walk away from anything but happy.
In places, this story is very bittersweet. It’s tender, and emotional; it will even break your heart a time or two, but its ultimate choice is to uplift the characters, Dumbo and the viewer. That isn’t always an easy thing to accomplish, and yet I feel as if this production does so with ease.
Conducted by Tim Burton, this film has his stamp all over it. From the aesthetics to the costumes, this is 100% a Burton film. But it’s also his most normal film. With exception to perhaps two scenes, it’s creative, but in a tame way; and this film is beautiful. From the animation to the plight of the characters, it’s the kind of story we want to see. Sometimes the getting there is a little bit of a challenge, but the journey is also what makes the story so wonderful.
In addition to newcomers and Irish actor Farrell, Michael Keaton and Danny DeVito alongside Eva Green, co-star. Everyone brings their a-game, but I was particularly excited to see Farrell in this given this is an unusual role for his resume; as Holt, Farrell finds a role I think he excels in. He’s fantastic as the physically and emotionally broken war veteran. He plays the characters with the right balance of depressive state, and expressions of healing. Of course, the real star of the show is the sweet Dumbo; anyone who says he’s not cute (which I have seen) is, I’m sorry, just wrong. *smile*
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What I see when I watch this film is hope. It’s the story of a group of world-weary people, who though ready to give up, become inspired by an unexpected, enthusiastic hero. What I see when I watch this, is a story of bravery. It teaches us to do the hard thing even if it may hurt. I see a curious hero who sees the world in unique ways, and by turn inspires us to do the same. There’s magic still weaving through the story, and the script, costumes, atmosphere and cast all intertwine to pull everything together.
Dumbo is a story of second chances, courage and a reminder of childhood wonder. It’s a story that surprises and makes us cry, delights and excites. It also gifts us with the best possible end, which is to leave everyone happy and hopeful for a bright future. This is exactly where any story should leave us. Disney again strikes gold with another of their live-action re-makes, and the result is magnificent.
(Disclosure: this post does contain affiliate links; if you buy anything through these links, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. Read the disclosure page for details.)You can find Dumbo (2019) on Amazon Video (digital) or Bluray and DVD. Disney’s original Dumbo (1941) is also available! Reviewing the magical, emotional and wonderful live-action #Disney re-make: #Dumbo (2019) - A Story That Teaches of Courage and Hope Click To Tweet
Content: there’s some minor non-graphic instances of someone being mean to an animal. Audiences laugh over Dumbo’s appearance. There are some instances (a large fire, escape plans, etc.) that may frighten a young viewer. The film is PG.
Photos: Walt Disney Pictures