Title: Dumbo (2019)
Directed by: Tim Burton
Screenplay by: Ehren Kruger
Based on: Disney’s Dumbo by Otto Englander, Joe Grant, Dick Huemer, and Dumbo by Helen Aberson, Harold Pearl
Starring: Colin Farrell, Nico Parker, Finley Hobbins, Edd Osmond, Michael Keaton, Eva Green, Danny DeVito, Alan Arkin, Roshan Seth, Lars Eidinger, DeObia Oparei, Joseph Gatt, and Sharon Rooney
Music by: Danny Elfman
Genres: Adventure, Family, Fantasy
Running Time: 112 minutes
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for peril/action, some thematic elements, and brief mild language
Production Companies: Walt Disney Pictures, Tim Burton Productions, Infinite Detective Productions, Secret Machine Entertainment
Distributed by: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Struggling circus owner Max Medici enlists a former star and his two children to care for Dumbo, a baby elephant born with oversized ears. When the family discovers that the animal can fly, it soon becomes the main attraction—bringing in huge audiences and revitalizing the run-down circus. The elephant’s magical ability also draws the attention of V.A. Vandevere, an entrepreneur who wants to showcase Dumbo in his latest, larger-than-life entertainment venture.
People might get excited about Dumbo because it is another Disney live-action film from its cartoon version. The cartoon version is first released in 1941 and many of Disney fans love it. However, as one of Disney fans, I have to confess I have never watched the animation. Nor do I know the whole story. I just know that Dumbo is an elephant with big ears that can fly. So do spare me if I am not too excited when the live-action is finally released in theatre. Nevertheless, since I love Disney, I did not miss the chance to watch it, especially when Tim Burton is involved in the making.
Colin Farell played the character of Holt Farrier, the father of Milly Farrier played by Nico Parker, and Joe Farrier played by Finley Hobbins. The three of them did a great job in portraying their characters. Their chemistry as father and children is great. It’s no doubt for Colin Farell since he’s been doing this for quite some time now. But for Nico Parker and Finley Hobbins, well, they are new but they did a very good job. Nico Parker is a splitting image of her mother. She looks just like her.
I like how Tim Burton managed to create a very adorable Dumbo with its oversized ear and adorable big eyes, that was able to capture the audience’s heart. Dumbo is a misfit. He is being ridiculed by people, yet at the same time, others are amused with his uniqueness. The animation is great, truly. It is so great that you believe Dumbo is real. His facial expression is just spot on. So spot on that one look at him, you can feel the awe or the pity. Seriously I am not exaggerating. The filmmakers have done really well in making Dumbo into live-action. However, I cannot really see the emotional connection between Dumbo and his mother. I think the problem is because there were so many things that were going on in the story. Not only there were too many, but each story also was not being told intensely, thus making the audiences cannot relate to the characters. There are a lot of things to take in and some things just felt off in a way. Still, Dumbo can capture people’s heart.
Eva Green played the role of Colette Marchant, a French aerial artist. I always love Eva Green. She is one of my favourite actresses. She has her own trade that makes her memorable. In the beginning, I have no idea what character she would be playing, I just know she’s in the film. She is doing great, by the way. However, they did not quite give her showing off her aerial skills. I was expecting something like what Zendaya did in The Greatest Showman (2017), but well, I guess that’s not what the filmmakers wanted to show to the audiences in this film. Still, Eva Green was looking good as the aerial artist.
“Just when I thought I’d seen everything…” – V. A. Vandevere
Michael Keaton also here to play the role of V. A. Vandevere, an entrepreneur who owns his own circus place. Colette Marchant worked for him as well. His circus place has everything you can ever imagine in a circus. It is basically a dreamland for every circus artist. Vandevere really has everything, well, except a flying elephant, a.k.a. Dumbo. And he eventually wants Dumbo to be featured in his circus as well. Let’s just say he is pure evil. Pure antagonist. Keaton knows how to handle his character and to show the audiences how much annoying a villain can become.
The overall story is good and pretty much suitable for kids. It is quite entertaining. I don’t know about fun, perhaps children may have fun when watching the film but for me, I don’t really have fun but I do enjoy watching it. Basically, the story is very simple, yet there are so much going on in the film that it can get confusing some times. The filmmakers needed to deepen at least some of the characters so that the audiences can understand them, or at least relate to their story. However, everything happened so fast that I cannot even relate to the emotional connection between Dumbo and his mother. Still, all the cast did a great job in portraying their character. Although I cannot feel the emotional connection, I still have to praise all the actors for giving some chemistry to Dumbo. We all know Dumbo is a fictional character. Everything about him is a CGI effect, yet all the actors were looking great in interacting with him.
I give Dumbo 8 out of 10 stars.