Tim Burton’s Dumbo Soars Onto The Big Screen

Tim Burton’s Live-action remake of the 1941 Disney classic Dumbo hits the big screens 29th March 2019. Dumbo – the film where differences are celebrated and dreams take flight.

Dumbo, the baby elephant, with the cute puppy dog eyes and enormous ears that help him soar above the crowds of the circus; flying around in circles to the amazement of all who watches him from below.


The film begins with introducing siblings Milly (Nico Parker) and Joe Farrier (Finley Hobbins) who are both awaiting the arrival of their father Holt Farrier (Colin Farrell) back from the War. As a train pulls into the station, they both race towards it to see their Dad, beyond all of the steam and smog, standing there at the end of the platform. As they run up to him all smiles, they quickly notice that he is missing an arm. Slightly shocked and apprehensive they greet him with a hug. After their reunion, Holt discovers that his children had lost their Mum to the Influenza whilst he was away.

Holt, eager to get back into his position as a daring horse rider, is told by Medici that his position is no longer available. Max was forced to sell the horses to make money but he did invest in a pregnant elephant.

Max Medici buys Mrs Jumbo with the hope that the new baby elephant will bring more visitors and money to the struggling circus.

Holt is given the role to tend to the elephants. But, this one elephant does not want to be moved. And, when she is moved she goes mad. But why? Because she had given birth to her darling little baby; Baby Jumbo.

Max is delighted to hear the news that the circus has a new edition, and with money in his eyes, he rushes over to meet it. Only this baby elephant isn’t the cute attraction Medici had in mind. Instead, baby Jumbo has two big surprises to show off.

“What is that? A face only a Mother could love”-Max Medici

Circus owner Max Medici (Danny DeVito) enlists former star Holt Farrier and his children Milly and Joe to care for the newborn elephant whose oversized ears make him a laughingstock in an already misfit circus.

Holt is ordered to fix the problem ready for the next circus performance.

It’s just by accident that Baby Jumbo is named Dumbo, confusion hits the the big top and Mrs Jumbo goes mad, causing mayhem and disaster.
Tragedy strikes and a circus member who regularly mistreats animals goes after Dumbo, causing Mrs. Jumbo to go after the guy and she is immediately labeled dangerous and is removed from the circus.

The farrier children feel a connection to Dumbo, as they too no longer have a Mum. Milly and Joe befriend Baby Jumbo and begin to play with him. Whilst playing with a feather they realise just how special this baby elephant is.

“Fly Dumbo, Fly!”- Milly Farrier

As Medici small time travelling circus is struggling, he joins in with the wealthy entrepreneur V.A. Vandevere (Michael Keaton), who wants the flying elephant to draw crowds at his Dreamland park, along with his partner, the beautiful trapeze artist Colette (Eva Green). Vandevere just wants to exploit Dumbo for money.

Drama unfolds as characters band together to save Dumbo.

The film is about embracing differences and hope; Medici wants fame and fortune, Holt wants to form a relationship with his children and Dumbo just wants to reunited with his Mum again

It’s about family learning to accept each other. Throughout the movie we learn that it’s better to run things on a small scale than to gun for the big time – huge corporate businesses taking over. Which is quite ironic seeing as this is a disney movie.

The film is almost 2 hours long so don’t expect it be the same story as the original, there are added extra layers to it. Now everyone loves original movies and it’s hard to do a remake that pleases everyone. Burton does well with the remake of the film, he retells the story well but also adds more characters and plots. Which I personally like. I watched the film with my 11 year old son, who also thought that it was enjoyable. At times he cried and at times he laughed.

A simple story of not only a child searching for it’s mum, but also of acceptance, courage and achievement. We should all accept our differences and embrace them.

The final message ends on a happy note that animals should not be kept in captivity.

Dumbo is available to watch in the cinema from March 29th

We were gifted with tickets to watch the movie for the purpose of this review.