Dumbo

"Very Good"

Dumbo Review


What you probably remember about your childhood experiences with Dumbo is a little elephant with big floppy ears that enabled him to fly. You probably don't remember the psychedelic sequence of pink elephants marching to song.

But yes, Dumbo swings from simple morality fable to Dali-esque, mystery-beverage-induced fantasy in what some critics call the best animated film of all time. I tend to disagree, seeing Dumbo as both overly simplistic yet bafflingly wandering story that is probably too intense for kids -- what with Dumbo stuck in a burning building as faceless clowns fail to rescue him to being shunned by society, there's enough horror to send any kid crying for mommy.

Still, Dumbo is at least one of Disney's most mature films -- as inferred above, it's very adult in nature, its themes of alienation being evergreen, just a bit wrongheaded in their delivery. Some of the songs are good, but once the cigar-puffing black crows are introduced and the pink elephants start to rise, the whole thing falls apart in a rush to the finish. And what a quick finish it is. Dumbo stands as the shortest Disney animated feature ever released (at 64 minutes) and also the cheapest ever produced (at less than $1 million)..

Some praise it, but I find the animation to be, for lack of a better word, cartoonish -- like you're watching little more than a Merrie Melodies. In fact, Dumbo's predecessor, an 8-minute short called Elmer Elephant, can also be found on the Dumbo DVD. The visual similarities are striking. John Canemaker (the historian who comments on the recent Snow White) provides a commentary track here, talking for at least 63 of the 64 minutes. His insights into the film are bold and eye-opening; his genealogies of everyone involved with the movie's production are not.

[]Join the Disney Movie Club and get three free Disney DVDs![][]

Mama loves mambo. Er, Dumbo.



Facts and Figures

Run time: 64 mins

In Theaters: Monday 17th November 1941

Box Office Worldwide: $1.6M

Budget: $812 thousand

Production compaines: Walt Disney Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 97%
Fresh: 36 Rotten: 1

IMDB: 7.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Ben Sharpsteen

Producer:

Starring: as Mr. Stork (voice), as The Ringmaster (voice), John McLeish as Narrator (voice), as Timothy Q. Mouse (voice), James Baskett as Crow (voice), Billy Bletcher as Clown (voice), Jim Carmichael as Crow (voice), Hall Johnson Choir as Choral Sounds, as Jim Crow (voice), as The Elephant Matriarch / Mrs. Jumbo (voice), Noreen Gammill as Catty the Elephant (voice), Eddie Holden as Clown (voice), Malcolm Hutton as Skinny (voice), The King's Men as Choral Effects, Harold Manley as Boy (voice)

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

The Beguiled Movie Review

The Beguiled Movie Review

In her inimitable loose style, Sofia Coppola remakes the 1971 Clint Eastwood movie from a...

War for the Planet of the Apes Movie Review

War for the Planet of the Apes Movie Review

The surprisingly thoughtful prequel trilogy comes to a powerful conclusion with this robust, dramatic thriller,...

It Comes At Night Movie Review

It Comes At Night Movie Review

This sharply original horror film not only approaches its premise from an unexpected angle, but...

Okja Movie Review

Okja Movie Review

As Tilda Swinton reteams with her Snowpiercer director, Korea's Bong Joon Ho, it's perhaps unsurprising...

Spider-Man: Homecoming Movie Review

Spider-Man: Homecoming Movie Review

This may be the third reboot of this franchise in 15 years, risking audience exhaustion,...

Despicable Me 3 Movie Review

Despicable Me 3 Movie Review

Actually the fourth film in the series (don't forget the prequel Minions), this animated super-villain...

Baby Driver Movie Review

Baby Driver Movie Review

Wildly energetic and so cool it hurts, this action movie has been put together in...

Advertisement
All Eyez On Me Movie Review

All Eyez On Me Movie Review

There's a clear sense that this Tupac Shakur biopic is hoping to build on the...

Hampstead Movie Review

Hampstead Movie Review

Deliberately appealing to older audiences, this undemanding comedy-drama comes with a hint of social relevance...

The Book of Henry Movie Review

The Book of Henry Movie Review

Apparently, this offbeat script had been making the rounds in Hollywood for some 20 years...

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

With this fifth Transformers movie, it seems clear that Michael Bay is still trying to...

Churchill Movie Review

Churchill Movie Review

This drama about the iconic British prime minister tells a darkly personal story set over...

Gifted Movie Review

Gifted Movie Review

This is one of those films that dances right up to the edge of soapy...

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Notorious British filmmaker Nick Broomfield teams up with Austrian music documentary producer Rudi Dolezal to...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.