I like to believe that anything is possible in life. The next magical moment may be waiting for me around the corner, producing equal parts hope and wonder amid life’s day-to-day issues. And after seeing the film Dumbo from Disney and director Tim Burton, I’m happy to say I know anything is possible.
In 1919 the circus was the place to be. Traveling from city to city, it brought all of the excitement and magic of show business to the smallest towns across America. The Medici Bros. Circus is headed by none other than Max Medici (Danny DeVito).
As Holt Farrier (Colin Farrell) returns from the war with one less arm, his children and Max welcome him back to the circus family. But life has changed since he’s been away. The horses that were the centerpiece of his act have been sold, and his wife has passed on, but Max does not turn family away. He assigns Holt and his children the job of caring for the elephants.
Max, a normally stingy individual, has opened the pocketbooks and purchased a pregnant elephant in the hopes that the baby will help turn his fortunes around. When that baby elephant is born with giant ears, that prospect may be gone.
But Holt and his children Milly (Nico Parker) and Joe (Finley Hobbins) work hard, and soon they find that the new elephant dubbed Dumbo can do something unique: Given the right circumstances, he can fly. Will this new revelation help with the solvency of Max’s traveling show, or will other individuals try to take control of the lovable Dumbo?
What a beautiful film to look at. Burton captures the essence of the time period with every aspect of the film. Glorious costumes, sets and landscapes will envelope you in the era.
The attention to detail in creating Dumbo, a creature that is so lovable and attractive, is amazing. The elephant is brought to life in astonishing detail that has all the realism of a Jurassic Park dinosaur along with the lovability of a character like E.T.
My only real problem was a thin story that just seemed not to matter. I didn’t much care one way or another for our villain V.A. Vandevere (Michael Keaton), and the other supporting roles were underwhelming.
I am, however, a believer. Elephants CAN fly, and Disney has re-established the magic and marvel that is Dumbo.
Dumbo is available On Demand and on DVD beginning June 25. Check your cable system for availability