What Big Ears You Have! – Review of Dumbo

9th March, 2011 - Posted by DisAnim - Comments Off on What Big Ears You Have! – Review of Dumbo

Dumbo was made on a low budget to recoup the losses incurred on Pinocchio and Fantasia. And it worked. Despite spending far less on it, Dumbo was a huge success, both financially and critically. In fact, Time Magazine declared Dumbo to be “Mammal of the Year.”

I think both the movie and the character deserve the acclaim. The film was Disney’s return to the roots of animation—simple design and character acting. It shows, too. But it’s not a bad thing. The movie moves quickly through the story and has fun sequences (even the creepy pink elephant segment is entertaining). And in the end, it has a good moral (albeit quite rushed).

We’ve all been in Dumbo’s position at one point or another—humiliated and miserable. He’s such a depressed, yet innocently so, character; it’s hard not to have sympathy for him. When he discovers he has incredible talents and can finally be happy, it gives the audience a good feeling. Well, it gave me a good feeling, at least.

While we all can compare ourselves with Dumbo, we probably forget the crows. They saw potential where others didn’t. And they were willing to believe in someone that others mocked. Dumbo is the hero of the movie, but the crows were what provided him self-confidence—a black feather, in this case.

Other characters are also memorable. Casey Junior, with his trademark song, is a favorite (despite only being a train). Timothy Q. Mouse is the Jiminy Cricket of the circus, and the gossiping elephants are recognizable from almost any neighborhood or organization. And of course, Mr. Stork, while only featured in a small role at the beginning, provides as much entertainment as the rest of them.

Dumbo is about an elephant. But it’s also about the love shared between mother and child. And it’s about masked potential. It sounds like a Freudian analysis just waiting to happen. But in the end, it’s a sweet film about caring for others.

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Posted on: March 9, 2011

Filed under: 04 - Dumbo, Reviews

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