Dumbo (1941)

After the whole Fantasia idea wasn’t recieived as well by critics as previously thought, Disney went back to doing animated movies with a story as apose to musical segment films. This is their fourth film, Dumbo.

The film is centered around the title character of Dumbo who is delivered to his mother via stork. When his mother opens the package she finds her son has abnormally large ears. The film deals with Dumbo’s part in the circus, his isolation from the other elephants, relationship with a circus mouse called Timothy and, eventually, deals with Dumbo learning to fly and, breifly, his rise to stardom.

I freaking love this film. Dumbo is great, the animation is great, the songs are good, the story is good. Lets go through this. Dumbo doesn’t even need to say anything and he is probably one of my favourite Disney protagonists. He’s cute, lovable and I love the way that the story doesn’t so much revolve around him, but more on the world around him and I like that because it gives us the opportunity to meet more characters than if it were based just around Dumbo. The animation is better than Snow White, perhaps on par with Pinnochio, although the setting gives for less of an opportunity to show it off than Pinnochio did. The songs are good, at least when you listen to them the first time because frankly many are forgetable. Whilt I like the fact that most of the songs are more of a score sort of thing rather than making it a full-blown musical where all the songs come from characters, even though some songs do like the flying song from the crows. But by far the best song from Dumbo is Pink Elephants on Parade, which comes at the point when Dumbo gets drunk (You know, for kids!) and has some sort of wierd hallucination about a parade of pink elephants. Needless to say, it’s preetty damn freaky…  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=944cPciN-kw

Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the mindfuck…


As for the other characters? Well I like how most of the human characters are seen through shadows in the tents (although they are featured in the actual circus ring). The other elephants are just bitches but are good at helping the audience feel the isolation that Dumbo is experiancing. The mouse is…alright, he kinda reminds me of Jiminy Cricket and is probably just a bit of a rip off. The crows are alright, kinda racist if you really think about it, and the mother, although featured less than the other characters, still hass a massive influence on Dumbo. I think the best scene comes when Dumbo is reunited with his mother, it really is touching and I think that’s the word that describes this film best. Touching. There are so many scenes that make this movie heartwarming, mostly surrounding Dumbo and other character’s  reactions to him. If I had to picck some flaws with it I would say that the ending seems quite abrupt, which is strange because I think one of the strongest things about this film is it’s length. The whole, Dumbo becomes famous is really quick, not rushed per-say, but certainly seems lik they could’ve done more with it. Personally I don’t think they should’ve done, I love the film just as it is.

A great film with an easy to love lead, good music, good animation and a good length. One of my favourite Disney films so far.





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