The stork delivers a baby elephant to Mrs. Jumbo, veteran of the circus, but the newborn is ridiculed because of his truly enormous ears and dubbed "Dumbo". After being separated from his mother, Dumbo is relegated to the circus' clown acts; it is up to his only friend, a mouse, to assist Dumbo to achieve his full potential.Written by
Tim Pickett <email@example.com>
While the film won an Academy Award for Best Scoring of a Musical Picture, its key song "Baby Mine" failed to win the Academy Award for Best Original Song. It lost to "The Last Time I Saw Paris" from Lady Be Good (1941). Controversially, the winner was not actually an original song, since it had been previously performed in 1940. See more »
After Mrs. Jumbo closes the door on the other elephants she wraps Dumbo up in his own ears. As she reaches for the second ear, the first ear disappears for an instant. (This was corrected on the blu ray version.) See more »
Through the snow, and sleet, and hail / Through the blizzard, through the gale / Through the wind and through the rain / Over mountain, over plain / Through the blinding lightning flash / And the mighty thunder crash / Ever faithful, ever true / Nothing stops him, he'll get through.
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The RKO logo is in gold on a blue background within a stylish gold border; all of this is on a red background. See more »
A perfect film. The design is beautiful and deceptive in its simplicity. While it may lack the overstuffed quality of `Pinocchio' or the abstract one of `Fantasia,' the style of `Dumbo' is elegant, vivid, and occasionally grotesque in ways that recall not only classic circus posters but also Paul Cadmus paintings and vintage `New Yorker' cover art. In fact, the entire production has a hint of nostalgia about it; for all its dark story elements, the film presents a rosy-hued portrait of old America (with Casey Junior cheerfully pulling his traveling circus through green open fields) that must have seemed very comforting as audiences prepared for the unforeseeable terrors of another World War. (A `Dumbombers for Defense' poster in the film's epilogue is the one joking reference to an increasingly unsteady world situation.) In the midst of this cozy landscape, we find a simple, tender story about acceptance and mother love, with the characters of both Dumbo and Mrs. Jumbo finding a wonderful eloquence in their muteness. These performances are true triumphs of animation. The other characters, both good and bad, are painted with broad, memorable strokes. It's become fashionable to look rather harshly upon the Jim Crow sequence and all its uncomfortable associations, and it can be difficult for a modern audience to watch it without cringing slightly. But it should be pointed out that the crows are not only the film's cleverest characters (both in terms of thought and language), they are also the only ones except Timothy to show any sympathy whatsoever to the little elephant; after all, they are outsiders themselves. The sequence is a play on a stereotype, that can't be denied, but I would argue that it is an attempt to revise that stereotype into something positive and sympathetic. The songs and score are flawless, and the show-stopping, nightmarish pink elephant sequence keeps things from getting too artistically conservative--and, just like the rest of the film, it still thrills us no matter how many times we have seen it. 10 out of 10.
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