Dumbo flies low in theatres

Disney remake falls short of expectations

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Dumbo flies low in theatres

Photo obtained via Creative Commons

Photo obtained via Creative Commons

Photo obtained via Creative Commons

Photo obtained via Creative Commons

Emma Johnson, Reporter

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Disney’s new movie Dumbo stars Danny DeVito, Colin Farrell, Michael Keaton and Eva Green in Tim Burton ‘s remake of the 1941 animated classic.

In this live action version, Burton creates a more familial connection for audiences as the main humans in the story are a family finding their way back to each other with the help of Dumbo.

Danny DeVito’s circus owner enlists Colin Farrell’s character, a former star in the circus who just returned from war, and his children to oversee the elephants and the one whose exceptionally large ears make for a laughingstock in an already struggling circus. With the help of the kids Joe and Milly, Dumbo learns to fly, gaining the attention of the ruthless entrepreneur Vandevere, played by Keaton, who buys the circus to exploit Dumbo for his amusement park.

Throughout the movie, Burton’s taste in darker themes such as expressing more sadness with the loss of Dumbo’s mother and the loss of the children’s mother ignites a motivation for the two parallel story lines to come together and make Dumbo a successful circus act.

As much of a heartwarming story the movie is about learning to be yourself without and not caring about what others think of you, the plot still seems underwhelming in a way that makes it questionable. The characters seem overly dramatic which takes away from the heart of the movie.

Dumbo goes deeper than the classic movie released in 1941, with the original ending happening in the middle of the new one. The point of that is to create an ending for the human characters as well, but it ultimately makes you question the common sense of it.

Overall, with themes such as learning to be yourself, and that is is OK to be yourself, Dumbo makes you feel like you were back in your childhood watching the original for the first time. It also addresses the social issues of women at the time and their struggle to be accepted as smart and independent with the daughter Milly not wanting to be in the circus because she wanted people to focus on her mind rather than her performance, which initially was hard for her father to accept.

The movie has all the elements of a feel-good come from behind story, but certain aspects of the characterizations seem too under whelming to want to watch it again.

Rating: B-

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