Flash Movie Review: Dumbo

I FOUND SOMEONE I COULD RELATE to and it was an elephant. Don’t laugh; this little elephant was a character I not only could sympathize with but identify with because of what he was going through in his young life. It was on a Saturday and I remember we took the train down into the city. A theater there was doing a weekend showing of the animated movie Dumbo. As we walked around the corner and I saw the movie theater, I got upset because of all the people lined up trying to get into the theater. I thought for sure all the tickets would be sold before we got up to the box office. By downtown standards this theater was one of the smaller ones which was part of the reason for my fears. All I knew about this little elephant was its ability to fly and I desperately wanted to see it for myself. Flying was something I dreamt about and was hoping I could learn something from Dumbo. As you can see at a young age I was already heavy into fantasy, looking to create a different reality around me. I could not stop fidgeting as we slowly made our way up to the box office.     WITH TICKETS IN HAND WE FOUND seats in the theater; I could not have been more excited. When Dumbo was being made fun of, I felt his pain. I was overweight and endured similar name calling. If I could I would have jumped into the screen to defend Dumbo and let him know he was not alone. I was visibly upset as I sat in my seat. And then suddenly, my sadness and pain disappeared in a puff of air, that I felt from Dumbo’s large ears when they flapped to give him flight for the first time. Seeing that little elephant rise up into the air was pure magic for me. I was told I had big ears, so I wondered if it was at all possible I could teach myself to use my ears along with my flapping arms to allow me to lift off the ground. There in that movie theater I had found someone like me; I wanted to do everything Dumbo could do. If I was ever afraid or uncomfortable I could simply fly away from the situation, soar above any of the pain or name calling I was experiencing. After all these years, I now have the opportunity to see my flying friend once again in this live action, fantasy film.     WHEN CIRCUS OWNER MAX MEDICI, PLAYED by Danny DeVito (Batman Returns, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia-TV), bought a pregnant elephant; he never imagined the birth of a baby elephant could change his life so drastically. This family movie also starred Colin Farrell (The Beguiled, The Lobster) as Holt Farrier, Michael Keaton (American Assassin, The Founder) as V.A. Vandevere, Eva Green (Based on a True Story, Penny Dreadful-TV) as Colette Marchant and Alan Arkin (Argo, Going in Style) as J. Griffin Remington. While watching this picture I had a visceral reaction to what was being shown on the movie screen. Except for the variety of fanciful visuals, I thought this movie was an abomination. How did the movie studio okay a story that was dark and so not kid friendly? I was completely shocked by the script and found absolutely nothing fun or joyful in this picture. There were little glimpses of a possible pleasurable scene but for the most part the script and over the top soundtrack drowned any hope of enjoyment. Days later I still was confused how this film got made of such a classic iconic character from animated history. Unless you want to punish your child or yourself, there is no reason to go see this poor version of the classic tale.

 

1 ½ stars

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About moviejoltz

From a long line of movie afficionados, one brother was the #1 renter of movies in the country with Blockbuster, I am following in the same traditions that came before me. To balance out the long hours seated in dark movie theaters, I also teach yoga and cycling. For the past 3 years, I have correctly picked the major Oscar winners... so join me as we explore the wonder of movies and search for that perfect 4 star movie.

Posted on April 1, 2019, in Fantasy/Sci-Fi and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. It was interesting to read your review and see the way you honed in on the darkness because that was the impression I had from the trailer. It felt to me that the trailer was almost like it was a horror movie honed out of a children’s movie. I actually found the original Dumbo too disturbing for my tastes, too bleak. My kids have, therefore, never seen it. I very much doubt we will ever be watching this version.

    On a broader note, I am really not into this schematic Disney have of taking their back catalogue of animated movies and turning them into live action remakes. ‘Jungle Book’ worked but was largely superfluous and I really wasn’t impressed with either ‘Cinderella’ or ‘Beauty and the Beast’. Both seemed entirely unnecessary and both just retrod old ground but with less charm. The new ‘Aladdin’ looks dreadful too. Can’t they invest their creative energies into innovation and originality instead?

    • I don’t know how Disney green lighted this project. It will be considered a flop from what I am hearing and I hope Disney takes a step back and brings in decent writers, to give them a chance. Thanks for the views and comments.

  2. I never even liked the original animated Dumbo, it seemed pretty dark even to me as a kid. Thanks for watching this version so that the rest of us don’t have to…

  3. I loved the original dumbo and I think it had it’s purpose, relate-able to kids like you and I, who were made fun of, giving us hope that one day we too, might soar to great heights some time in the future. THAT is what made it not seem dark. That little guy gave kids hope. I haven’t seen this version, but I agree that the live versions are a waste of money. Has the imagination gone out the creatives at Disney?

    • Another Dumbo lover who gets it, thank you. I have said this before but I think one of the issues is the marketing department; they look at what could make money instead of letting the creative juices flow. Thank you for the comments.

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