First in 1939, two years before Walt Disney released his beloved animated flying elephant “Dumbo” to the world, we had flying monkeys in “The Wizard of Oz” which was scary. Then jump ahead in the early 1960’s, we were introduced to a flying nanny, with the help of an umbrella, in “Mary Poppins”. Between all that Disney has had a hat full of offering for us. I really enjoyed Dumbo as a kid and especially a flying baby elephant. Now 80 years later we have an amazing talented man named Tim Burton. You know the name. You know his work. And now you must know he has released a live-action adaptation of Disney’s “Dumbo”.
It’s the same story about a struggling circus and the workers about to be out of jobs. A man Holt Farrier (Colin Farrell) is put in charge of the elephants in the circus even though it’s about to close it’s tents. Hard times happen. He takes the job and with the help of his two kids manages to help as much as possible even with one arm tied behind his back. The kids see Dumbo flap his ears in his cage and float in the air.
Of course that news falls upon deaf ears even their father until Holt tries to get Dumbo to repeat his trick in order to save the circus. The kids come to see that a feather makes him flap his over-sized ears and fly. The news soon gets in the wrong minds and Dumbo’s mother is held hostage to force Dumbo to keep racking in the bucks for the circus. Danny DeVito plays Max Medici who heads the circus then there are henchmen like V.A. Vandevere (Michael Keaton) who wants Mother taken away. The kids and all the crew scrape up a plan to save it all. I will give credit to all involved in making this a wonderful film remake and the behind the scenes crew from the music dept to the special effects team. In summary you know the story and although it has some Tim Burton creepiness to it, it is one of his finest in some time. It also stars Eva Green, Alan Arkin and newcomer kids Nico Parker and Finley Hobbins. It opens on March 29 and will have to face off with “Captain Marvel” still, “Shazam” when it opens April 5th and “Us”. B