Holt was once a circus star until he went off to war and returned terribly altered. Circus owner Max Medici hires him to take care of Dumbo, a newborn elephant whose oversized ears make him the laughingstock of the struggling circus troupe. But when Holt's children discover that Dumbo can fly, silver-tongued entrepreneur V.A. Vandevere and aerial artist Colette Marchant swoop in to make the little elephant a star.
Two elephant props were used during filming "to give [the production team] an idea of his size and his shape in the scene; an idea of the lighting, and that kind of thing; where he's going to be for camera." Creature performer Edd Osmond used a green suit to represent the character while filming certain scenes, as well as an "interactive reference" for scenes that required the actors to be in contact with the character, and as a guide for Burton to use, with Burton later providing information of his performance to the animation team. Unlike most remakes of Disney's animated films, Dumbo mostly used practical sets during filming. See more »
When Dumbo escapes from the circus with Milly's help, he flies over the Brooklyn Bridge and in the background the Empire State and Chrysler Buildings are shown. The Empire State started construction in 1930 and the Chrysler Building started construction in 1928 yet the movie is set in 1919 and early 1920s. See more »
Come on, time to go. We haven't got all day. Get that monkey on the train. The Medici Brothers' circus is taking off!
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The last puff of black smoke from Casey Jr. reveals the opening title design, which zooms slightly forward in 3D. For the transition, the title degenerates into blue smoke. See more »
I think it's time for Tim Burton to stop. This remake has none of the charm of the original film. The first half hour maybe has occasional moments that appear as an homage to the original. There's a few scene's just remade in live action form and even a couple of what I guess could be considered very brief cameos by Mr. Stork and Timothy Q. Mouse, but those characters really play zero part in the film.
Beyond that first half hour it goes off the rails quickly and continues a downward spiral that has almost no relation to the original story, including caricatured antagonists and chase scenes. A cast that includes Colin Farrell, Michael Keaton, and Danny Devito, turn in some of the worst performances of their careers. At least Johnny Depp doesn't make an appearance.
Like his remake of the Chocolate Factory, and just about every other Burton film it has to get creepy at some point. Unfortunately, it does so in what seems such a forced way and what's become such a cliche way in Burton films; and it doesn't even really fit the story line. Danny Elfman's over dramatic score, another predictable staple of Burton's films, doesn't help.
Some of Burton's early films, like "The Nightmare Before Christmas" were brilliant and groundbreaking. Unfortunately, like many of his characters, he's become a caricature of himself with no new ideas, just remaking old ideas in his own style which has become a caricature of itself.
I actually found myself yawning and drifting off during what should've been the climax of the film. But there was little there but a cliched story with a bit of Burton's weirdness thrown in.
If you're a fan of the original, skip this mess of a film and watch the original again. Or maybe watch the first half hour, but skip the rest. There's little you'll recognize from the classic Disney tale.
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