DumBO or DumNO??? As Disney continues to pursue the avenue of live action remakes, we had the pleasure of exploring their and Tim Burton’s take on the classic, Dumbo. As with all the new remakes, I always have a bit of apprehension on seeing them. I’m forever worrying about how this generation of little ones will remember the Disney classics and I always wonder if parents today will only introduce the remakes or will they expose their littles to the beloved movies of their childhoods? Of course this is none of my business in truth, but you guys that are familiar with me know that I take the Disney verrrrrrrry seriously!
In comparison to the original, this film is noticeably dark in true Tim Burton fashion. And in contrast, this story focuses more on the “human” side of the story than the animal side. The story follows the Farrier children, Millie and Joe and joins them as their father has returned from war missing an arm. The children’s father, Holt Farrier, played by Colin Farrell, before his departure to war was, with his late wife, a main act in the Circus of Max Medici, played by Danny DeVito. Returning to find that Medici had sold the beloved horses from his main act, Holt is hired by the circus owner to care for his newest “investment” a pregnant elephant from the Far East.
“Baby Jumbo” as he is first referred to is born soon after. The film follows along with the classic during these scenes most closely than the rest of the movie. Isabella is quite stoic and was literally reduced to tears throughout the interaction and subsequent separation of “Baby Jumbo” then referred to as Dumbo and his mother, Mrs. Jumbo. I have to say, that I feel like, even for me….(those that have ever attended ANYTHING of a Disney nature already know this) it was EXTRA gut wrenching…..I, of course sobbed, but worse than usual LOL. At this point in the movie as well, I do want to point out that I feel like the younger kids were losing interest. We took Laynie with us and she was very engaged the entire time but she is a little older. The littles that were sitting behind us had completely lost interest at the half way point and were quite a bit disturbing throughout the rest of the film. So, that being said, I do not recommend this for kids younger than around 8-9 years old. Keep in mind, I am just voicing my opinion and am in no way discouraging you from taking smaller kids, but I do in the same token encourage you to take this into consideration and think about the other guests there viewing the film with you.
Tim Burton touch
Of course I do not want to go into a super amount of detail for those that have not yet seen the film, but I do have to say that the Tim Burton touch was more than evident! My favorite scene in the film was the traditional Elephants on Parade! It was an amazing tribute to the classic with a wonderful, creepy twist! The music brought back thoughts of Nightmare, Willie Wonka, Alice, Sweeney Todd, just to name a few.
My overall take on this film is positive. While I always cling to the classics, of late, I have been really happy with how each of the live actions remakes have both given a new spin but also paid homage to their original counterparts. For this Disney diehard, I will most definitely purchase this upon its release to BluRay and I will definitely view it again and again. Although I do not recommend for very young audiences, my suggestion would be to introduce them to the original and when you feel they are ready, they can enjoy this new spin for themselves! Well done Disney and Tim Burton, well done!
Thoughts from @theprincessndtheblog
Being the first ride I ever rode in Disney, Dumbo has always held a special place in my heart. I was very apprehensive to see this movie. I have always said if the original was a hit, there’s no need for a remake. Although I haven’t been a fan of previous live action remakes, this one was one of the best I have seen thus far. Tim Burton has always been a favorite of mine and continues to wow me with each film he directs. In my opinion, there was no better person to direct this movie than the him. I have always loved the dark spin he puts on things. The animation was absolutely impeccable. The score was breathtaking… Disney knew what they were doing when the chose him to direct this film. The only qualm I had with this movie was the language. This film, along with Incredibles 2, had moments of foul language. For years, Disney had been such a family oriented company. The language in recent films has thrown me for a loop. For decades Disney produced clean, child-friendly content. I have not seen the need for the recent change in choice of language. Other than the few times that improper word choice was used, the movie was a hit!
Our newest section this week is our KIDS CRITIQUE featuring my own Fairy Godbaby, Laynie June Wills.
Here are Laynie’s thoughts….
“I feel that little kids may be scared by this version of Dumbo. If you have not seen the original, you would be confused. I think the appropriate age range for this movie is nine and above. I liked this movie and would recommended it to others.”