When a young elephant is born with oversized ears he helps a struggling circus when two children realise he has the ability to fly. This soon catches the attention of a man who wants Dumbo to be the star attraction of his new venture, but is everything as it seems?
I need to firstly admit that I cannot really remember the animated version (I did download it to watch before seeing this, but ended up not) so I guess I went into see this film without really remembering much. Although other than the fact that it is an elephant with big ears the story isn’t really that strong or big anyway.
Max Medici is the circus owner who had bought the new elephant because she was due to have a baby. This baby was going to be the star attraction of his show. Holt Farrier had just returned from War and used to be the star circus star, due to losing a limb he takes a job looking after the elephants and attempting to reconnect with his two children Milly and Joe.
When Milly and Joe spend a lot of time with Dumbo who was laughed at and ridiculed during his first show due to his big ears. Which really does break your heart, even though he is an elephant and this is just a film it manages to still hurt. That is because people are cruel and really do judge others by how they look, no matter on the situation.
Vandevere an entrepreneur who has a new idea away from the circus travelling and creating what we would now call a theme park! It doesn’t take long to realise he just wants to make money for himself and have the fame to go with it. This is when you end up feeling sorry for Max as he was taken in by it all and didn’t really make the best decisions at all.
It is strange how emotionally attached you can get to a CGI elephant and that is something that is really pushed during this film, which at 1 hour 52 minutes is on the long side and stretched as much as possible. I felt as though the score was what really reminded me that this was indeed a Tim Burton film! Plus the scene with the bubble elephants, it just reminded me so much of his previous films. It certainly is not as dark or gothic as his others but this is a Disney PG (UK rated).
Performance wise I thought Nico Parker was a stand out as Milly and that was certainly good to see. We usually do get good child performances in Disney films right? Danny DeVito was very endearing and I thought that’s was very nice to see. Reunited with his Batman Returns co-star Michael Keaton, who was over the top and as a super fan I obviously enjoyed him even though it border lines on ridiculous at times. Colin Farrell is always good as well to be honest.
I guess I am going to say that this is a pretty average film on the whole, just too stretched over the running time and that takes away from trying to keep viewers engaged. Dumbo does look very cute though!