Dumbo Movie Review: A Bad News for Tim Burton and Disney
Dumbo, an old cartoon from very old time and pages from history of cartoons, a classic turned into real action movie by Disney and Tim Burton has not performed well as expected. It is a bad news as it was supposed to show the new generation who Dumbo really is.
Like Edward Scissorhands, Dumbo is about someone who is exiled for being a freak. Like Ed Wood, its protagonist finds a way to overcome that rejection through showmanship. And like Big Eyes, Dumbo has plenty of big eyes. Most of all, Dumbo is a circus movie, which is something Burton seems to have been itching to make for decades, loading up everything from Pee-wee’s Big Adventure to both his Batman films to Big Fish with clowns and circus performers.
The timeline, characters, plot points, climax, resolution: almost everything is different in the 2019 adaptation Dumbo. That’s not to say that Burton’s rendition doesn’t stay faithful to its source in certain ways. Fans of the original will recognize the baby elephant’s big ears, his ability to fly, the nastiness of those who mock him and the love shared between him and his mother. One bad news is that iconic and audience favorite scenes from the originals have been removed from this new adaption.
Considering all of the main characters in the 1941 film are animals, the most obvious and immediate difference in the new Dumbo film is its lack of humanistic animals. Things may be magical in Tim Burton’s film, but they’re not so magical that the CGI-animated Dumbo communicates with other elephants, mice, birds and other animals, as he does in the original version. Though the Dumbo character of 2019 appears to have humanlike emotions, we never get a deep look inside his head, beyond the routine wide-lens shots of the world through his big eyes.
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