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Dumbo Movie Review (2019) | Fails to Recreate Magic

Dumbo movie turns out to be pretty average. Classics are not to be messed with if you have grown up living it. But in an age where movies press out in huge numbers, some things are simply unavoidable. There is no escaping it when technology literally dictates every movie that we have seen growing up and tries to resuscitate them so that every generation knows about it.

An elephant that can fly! A contrasting concept like that is bound to raise brows and dilate eyes. It doesn’t matter which generation you belong to, the fascination tacked to it would be just as real the moment you first came across it.

So Tim Burton, with all the technology to leverage now, decided to breathe life into a timeless classic. A bold endeavour since it flew in with extremely high expectations. Unfortunately, Dumbo live-action movie fails to recreate the magic of that animated film we were so fond of.

It has its moments yes, the oohs and aahs of wonder, hiding magic in tiny pockets of awe. But there is nothing like exhilaration filling you up with grandiose or choking you down with pizzazz. It feels a tad bland, to be honest, something you might not cherish for the rest of your life.

Bringing Dumbo Alive

A thing of wonder like Dumbo has been created magnificently with all the CGI filling up buckets of its detailing. Dumbo looks brilliant and convincing even though there are several instances when it doesn’t. But it’s fine when you notice on how painstaking the CGI on the baby elephant is. The whole team of Visuals has done a fine job.

You have made me a child again.


The mannerisms have superlative resemblance sans the eyes. The latter makes it a tad unrealistic even though it tries to be another USP of the elephant which already had big ears.

You have something very rare. You have wonder. You have mystique. You have magic.

Dumbo is a little baby elephant, a cuteness overload, who doesn’t know what it is capable of. It has been created to be this perceptive beast who understands that its one true flying ability could help bring its momma back.

The Screenplay of Dumbo Movie

Another thing that is great about the movie is its screenplay. There are tons of words in Ehren Kruger‘s screenplay capable enough to send you into a whirlwind of thoughts. Some of the lines have been brilliantly imaged like:

Maybe I don’t want the world staring at me.

Even the character of V. A. Vandevere portrayed by Michael Keaton has been given some great lines. A visionary and an opportunist who tries to take a miracle out of its box and place it on a golden pedestal for the world to witness.

You have to learn to do it all alone.

However, in doing so he forgets that a creature like Dumbo has a heart of its own. That’s the one true tragedy we have to live with every day. The audacity of man to think that he owns the whole planet, and then to mould every life form that breathes here to its very own pleasing.

Messages to Take

Goes without saying every Disney movie walks in with some endearing message to learn from. If you look at Dumbo movie up close with a sentient magnifying glass, it is no different.

The message remains loud and clear that the unique things you thought were ugly about yourself are in fact nothing but special abilities that help you stand out from the crowd, and standing out isn’t a curse. It is what sets you apart and makes you one of a kind.

The final shot where we see Dumbo and his mother being released into the wild, a place where they actually belonged, slaps a strong message on the face of people who think otherwise. That we have to be kind to every form of animal on the planet, that we should not use them for our selfish motives either for entertainment or leisure or for the sheer audacity of what man could accomplish.

For a vile man like Vandevere things go downhill eventually, and you have your poetic justice spreading its wings wide. A father like Holt Farrier (Colin Farrell) learns the hard way that it is important to listen to the fancies of his children to really connect with them.

Your children need you to believe in them.

Eva Green and Dumbo movie Elephant

Colette Merchant (Eva Green) finds her place in the world finally understanding that it is not under someone’s roof that one thrives but under their very own shadow.

You can order Dumbo movie from here:

Absence of Emotions

Dumbo is a baby elephant who tries to fit in a world that refuses to accept him. His mother is taken away something that should have been shattering to watch. But why does it not make you emotional?

Dumbo movie could have been very stirring but it fails to be. Even the story of Farrier’s children who have been living without a mother doesn’t crack you open. Why doesn’t it?

Maybe the depiction of another character like that of Annie Farrier, wife of Holt, would have wiggled some teardrop cells. You know like maybe a montage of shots showing her immense import in their lives first, and then the sudden absence could have tingled something. But no! The Dumbo movie doesn’t leverage its emotional quotient. There was so much we could have got, but it ends up getting overlooked. It is not hard to see that it has something to do with the direction and editing of the flick.

The Final Verdict

Dumbo movie does fine for a movie if it were to exist in a world where the animated version from 1941 didn’t exist. If a concept of flying elephant were to exist at a time when you were hearing it for the first time, it would have definitely blown you away. But in times like now, when you were already aware, a live-action Dumbo movie was literally screaming for theatrics which it dearly lacked. The grandeur that was supposed to blow your brains out was non-existent here.

Even though the movie feels complete per se, you feel not so thrilled. That’s one of the biggest drawbacks that the movie carries forever inside its womb.

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You can check out the trailer of Dumbo movie here:

Dumbo

7.2

Direction

7.0/10

Plot

7.3/10

Visual Effects

7.7/10

Screenplay

7.3/10

Editing

6.9/10

Pros

  • Great Visual Effects
  • Good Story

Cons

  • Lacks the thrill of awe
  • Average stuff
  • Fails to blow you away
  • Doesn't leverage the emotional quotient

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