Dumbo: My Review

“Movies are like an expensive form of therapy for me.”
Tim Burton

Dumbo: My Review

I’ve always admired Ian Fleming. Here is an author with an aesthetic who never let himself to be trapped in his aesthetic. In the midst of writing all of those great spy novels, he wrote a charming story called Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. The female lead’s name was Truly Scrumptious.

When watching Dumbo, you get the feeling that Tim Burton is trapped in his aesthetic. This is the chance to make a lovely movie for children with family and fantasy and cartoon-like villains. And, he blew the chance and made a Tim Burton film.

There are three calling cards to this movie. The classic animated, which we don’t get to see anymore because of racist crows; Dumbo, Disney and Tim Burton. The older set of viewers might enjoy the nostalgia, the Tim Burton fans will love his darker view of life and Disney fans will be disappointed.

The very first question of “who is your audience” was not answered. I am mystified who this movie is made for this time. I saw a parent walking his kid out of the movie in the first ten minutes. There is some assumption that the movie should be for kids but it is way too upsetting to watch in the early scenes, also for me to watch.

It felt to me that Tim knew it. He can’t produce anything other that what he does. It can work great with Alice in Wonderland because it has a true hero ending with six miracles before breakfast, a girl in armor and a sword who wins the day and then walks out on her family’s plans to have her own life of adventure.

With Dumbo, there is this very jarring and odd ending where you see warm colors for the first time in the movie. It was as if Tim was scrambling to make it all okay and warm and happy.

Reviewers are calling this a kid’s movie and suggesting that the middlin’ box office is because the teen flick Shazam is next week, people are holding on to their ticket money. But, I dunno. It would be hard for me to recommend this movie.

Y’see, while I want to believe that an elephant can fly. And I was willing to take the step that baby Dumbo could glide on his wings. It was too much for me to believe that they could flap and he could give rides.

Both the Jungle Book and Dumbo released as a live action (it is really almost all CGI, words matter) with only one song from the great soundtracks of the original animated versions. Aladdin and The Lion King are coming soon, will they try to only give us one song? I think that is greatly daring! It is the music that made those good movies really great.