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Tricia's retro film review: Dumbo



Dumbo is the 1941 animated feature produced by Disney. Mrs. Jumbo receives her child from the stork. It turns out that her child has unusually big ears. All the other animals tease him and call him Dumbo. His mother will have none of this and attacks some kids tormenting him. She is locked up, but Dumbo soon befriends a mouse named Timothy. Dumbo becomes a clown, but Timothy wants more for him. After accidentally getting drunk one night, he hatches a plan with some crows to help him out. Will Dumbo be able to prove himself?

The movie is pretty good, but the ending is too rushed. They should have expanded the scenes where Dumbo is practicing how to fly with the feather. His friendship with Timothy is a nice riff on the myth that elephants are afraid of mice. The animation is lovely and colorful. The Pink Elephants song is justly famous for the deranged animation. Most of the time the images are funny, but the image of the elephant composed entirely of heads is creepy. The only problem with the scene is that alcohol isn’t a hallucinogenic drug, but it’s a small problem. The scene would never fly today in modern kid’s movies, as parents would frown at the idea of characters getting drunk. Interestingly, Dumbo’s mother doesn’t get killed after she attacks the kids in order to save her son. To be fair, it would have been pretty depressing for a Disney movie to actually do that. Besides, the scenes are heart wrenching enough that it’s a relief once they’re reunited. Although the other adult elephant’s apparently have no qualms about leaving a child elephant parentless. Despite its flaws, Honolulu Disney film fans should watch this movie.

More at: Tricia’s Retro Film Reviews

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