Gaby Acevedo and Hope Hanson

On March 29, 2019, the new Disney movie, Dumbo, will be released in theaters across the nation.  The original cartoon-version of Dumbo was released by Disney in 1941. Now, a live-action version of this beloved classic tale of the little elephant with the oversized ears is being created by Disney. Here is a link to the trailer.

Although many of you may already know the beloved story of Dumbo here is a quick refresher of this classic tale.


image via google.com


The original Dumbo opens with a group of Storks delivering babies to the animals of the W.D.P. Circus. Mrs. Jumbo, one of the elephants, is deeply saddened when she does not receive a little baby of her own. However, as the circus departs the next day a lost stork delivers Mrs. Jumbo her little bundle of joy. Mrs. Jumbo is so overjoyed by her newfound son and decides to name him Jumbo Jr.. Jumbo Jr. was born with oversized ears and as a result, became the laughing stock of the circus. All of the other elephants began to call poor little Jumbo Jr., Dumbo, and unfortunately, the name stuck.

Despite, all of the hate and teasing Dumbo receives, Mrs. Jumbo remains a caring, loyal and devoted mother. She protects Dumbo from a human who continuously mocks Dumbo and who constantly pulls his large ears. However, as Dumbo continues to be mocked and constantly made fun of, Mrs. Jumbo begins to lash out at others, specifically the young boy who had previously mocked Dumbo and the ringmaster in an attempt to protect her precious little son. Tragically, this causes her to be deemed as a mad and uncontrollable elephant. She is sent away and left Dumbo behind to fend for himself.

Then, along comes a friendly mouse named Timothy Q. Mouse, who cannot stand to watch Dumbo suffer at the hands of all the others. Timothy consoles Dumbo and helps him throughout his journey in the circus without his mother. Together with Dumbo, Timothy devises a plan to get Dumbo’s mother back. At the same time, Timothy sneaks into the ringmaster’s bedroom at night and whispers into his ear in order to give him an idea. Timothy tells the ringmaster to allow Dumbo to be at the top of the elephant pyramid. The following morning the ringmaster announces that Dumbo will be that elephant. Sadly, this does not end well for Dumbo because he trips over his oversized ears as he makes his way to the top of the pyramid and causes a major disaster. As his punishment, Dumbo is forced to join the clown act. Terrified, Dumbo must jump from a high, burning stand into a tub of plaster. Fortunately, this act was a success but as a result of this, the ringmaster decided to create an even higher stand for Dumbo to perform his act on.

In order to calm and reassure Dumbo, Timothy takes him out one night and they end up drinking a little too much champagne. In the morning, both Timothy and Dumbo find themselves stuck up at the top of a very tall tree with a bunch of crows. Timothy then discovers that the only way for them to have gotten up there in the first place would have had to have been if Dumbo flew. After discovering this, Timothy is able to convince Dumbo to learn how to fly and they use this secret talent to help Dumbo in the circus. At first, Dumbo is afraid and does not want to attempt flying; however, after the crows in the tree gave him a “magic feather” that would allow him to fly, Dumbo was able to learn to confidently fly!

The following night, when it was time for Dumbo’s clown act, Dumbo–with Timothy riding in his hat–jumped off of the high stand and instead of falling into the tub of plaster, he flew over the crowd and shot peanuts at the elephants who had previously been making fun of him, through his trunk. This surprising act truly amazed the crowd as a flying elephant has never before been seen.

The movie then wraps up with Dumbo a famous elephant with Timothy as his agent, and Mrs. Jumbo being released and her reunion with Dumbo.




As for this new live-action adaptation of the original film, the storyline, while keeping true to many of the major points of the 1941 film’s storyline (such as Dumbo’s separation from his mother and the discovery of his ability to fly), there are certain to be some deviations found in the new movie. While what exactly these deviations are won’t be known for sure until the movie’s release at the end of March, there are some big changes that have been hinted at being included in the new film.

One of the most important changes that might be made to the plot of the new movie is the ending. PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) appealed to director Tim Burton by means of a letter, asking that he revise the ending of the original Dumbo movie with his upcoming remake. Within the letter, PETA’s Senior Vice President, Lisa Lange, wrote: “We’re hopeful that in your adaptation of Dumbo, the young elephant and his mother can have a truly happy ending by living out their lives at a sanctuary instead of continuing to be imprisoned and abused in the entertainment industry.”

In recent years, there has been a lot of pressure from the public and organizations such as PETA about the treatment of elephants and all animals used in entertainment businesses. In their letter, PETA also praised Burton’s choice to computer generate the elephants in his Dumbo rather than live animals. Whether or not Burton will change the ending, though, will not be known for sure until the movie’s release.

Image via Movieweb.com


Another change that’s been made to the remake of Dumbo is the retraction of the character Timothy Q. Mouse, who played a rather significant role in the original version of the film. How this will affect the storyline is yet to be known, but the loss of the character will likely result in other changes in the plot. Another set of characters that has been removed from the remake of Dumbo are the flock of crows that teaches Dumbo to get over his fear of flying. Again, this is another change that is likely to have effects on the overall plot. Both of these changes, however, open up the possibility for exciting and interesting new characters who will fill the roles of the old characters in the new film.

Yet, despite the possible changes, the storyline is sure to be the same, for the most part.  Judging from Disney’s other live-action remakes that have been released in recent years (such as Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast), the storyline will be basically the same and (other than maybe the ending) there won’t be any major changes made to the plot.

While the fact that the story of Dumbo is already a classic and beloved by people everywhere makes this new live-action version a surefire hit, the movie also has a five-star production team and cast filled with well-known names. Actors Michael Keaton, Danny DeVito, and Eva Green (among others) are coming together under the direction of Tim Burton to make Dumbo. When watching the trailer, the talent that this group brings to the film is obvious.


Image three courtesy of thisisinsider.com


While in the cartoon version of this movie, the acting relies solely on the voices of the characters, hopefully, having live actors will make the movie even more emotional and heart-touching than the original—and with such an amazing selection of actors having been cast for the movie, the acting is sure to be marvelous.

The original 1941 animated Dumbo movie is a Disney classic, and from the looks of the trailers that have been released, the upcoming movie seems a promising rendition of its predecessor.






For PETA quote specifically: https://www.peta.org/blog/peta-asks-tim-burton-to-change-ending-of-dumbo-and-implores-him-to-use-cgi-instead-of-live-elephants/