As a little girl, my Mom remembers reading the book about DUMBO, the adorable elephant with the humongous ears. She also remembers the parallels of both her and this mythical creature from a book being separated from the mothers. A pain that no child should ever had to endure…animal or human. After all, like Milly says “No one wants to be alone.”
Having seen DUMBO for the first time, I have to admit that I was a blubbering mess. Those big blue, pitiful eyes and adorable ears captured me for two hours and left me feeling the vulnerability of a little girl who at the end of all she wants is her Mommy to keep her safe. Dumbo finds himself being torn from his mama (Jumbo) after she wilds out tying to keep her baby safe. Now under the care of the Medici Brothers circus, Holt (Colin Farrell) and his kids Milly (Nico Farrier) and Joe Farrier (Finley Hobbins), Dumbo has the pressure of flying in order to keep the circus running in the hopes of seeing his mama once again.
Tim Burton is all over this delightful version of the Disney classic, but without his usual signature darkness that inhabits his other films like Edward Scissorhands, Alice in Wonderland and more. The story gets a little stagnate in the middle, but for the most part is an enjoyable and emotional journey back through one of the most iconic children classics much like the holiday favorite Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Rudolph and Dumbo suffer from feeling alone because they are different. They are original and stand out in a crowd. Being different is a not a curse but a blessing of the best kind. A lesson Dumbo learns all too well.
Michael Keaton (V.A. Vandevere) feels like a more subdued grey-haired version of Beetlejuice, but is deliciously devilish and I’m there for all of it!!! The camera absolutely loves Nico Parker (daughter of “Westworld’s” Thandie Newton). He little face just lights up the screen and you believe her every single second she speaks. Colleen Atwood and Danny Elfman knock it out of the park once again with their costume design and musical composition.
Being a child a heart, I was enthralled and the children I witnessed seemed to have a great time harnessing a memory to last for a lifetime. This is first of five live actions films Disney has slated for release in 2019 (Aladdin, The Lion King, Kim Possible and Maleficent), they are jumping off to a fantastic start. Dumbo flies into theatres nationwide on March 29th and will make a great family outing for the impending Easter holiday.