ABC Film Challenge – Catch-Up 2019 – D – Dumbo (2019) Movie Review

Director: Tim Burton

Writer: Ehren Kruger (Screenplay) Helen Aberson, Harold Pearl (Novel)

Starring: Colin Farrell, Michael Keaton, Danny DeVito, Eva Green, Alan Arkin, Nico Parker

Plot: A young elephant, whose oversized ears enable him to fly, helps save a struggling circus, but when the circus plans a new venture, Dumbo and his friends discover dark secrets beneath its shiny veneer.


Tagline – In 2019, a beloved tale will take you to new heights.

Runtime: 1 Hour 52 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Charming

Story: Dumbo starts when Holt Farrier (Farrell) returns from war, to re-join the circus run by Max Medici (DeVito) where his kids Milly (Parker) and Joe (Hobbins) have been living and working for years, Holt has come back injured, with the only job offered to him, being cleaning up after the elephants, one of which is pregnant giving birth to an elephant with giant ears, which only causes chaos on his debut in the circus.

After Dumbo’s mother is taken away, he is left alone, while the children learn about his flying skills, which turns Max’s circus into the talk of the country, attracting V. A. Vandevere (Keaton) who wants to offer Max the world for Dumbo.

Thoughts on Dumbo

Characters – Holt Farrier is a war veteran widow that has returned to his children in a circus. He has been suffering with his time away, this has seen him not show as much affection as his wife would have, he takes the only job he can get which sees him training and cleaning up the elephants, his time back in the circus does bring him back to his kids, where he learns how important life still can be. V. A. Vandevere is the operator of Dreamland, he sales the idea of a better life for the whole troop, even if he has his own ideas to just make himself rich. Max Medici runs the small circus that discovers Dumbo’s talent, he has always been in the game for the money and can’t resist the idea of money when Vandevere arrives but must learn there is more to his life than money. Colette Marchant is the star performer in Vandevere show, she has been for years though she is just the hottest thing he has going for a while, she doe solve to perform. Dumbo is the baby elephant with giant eyes, who loses his mother, but has the incredible ability to fly, drawing crowds from miles.

PerformancesColin Farrell gives us a wonderful performance as the caring veteran who has been struggling with his own problems once returning from war. Michael Keaton enjoy the villainous role, while Danny DeVito is shows the desperation while still bringing the heart needing for the role, Eva Green shines to as the beautiful performer too.

StoryThe story here shows how a small circus that finds themselves with a star attraction in Dumbo, which sees them become a success that the whole country wants to see. The story might focus on Dumbo being forced into performing after having his mother taken away, while deeper down we get to see a family that has been broken from death and war, needing to come back together. We see themes of greed with the circus masters at times, but all together the ideas behind everything all shine through to show that people who do good will get what they deserve in life.

Adventure/FantasyThe adventure shows the how Dumbo comes into the world and put through traumas at a young age before finding his feet and learn that some people are good in life, with the fantasy of an elephant that can fly being the highlight of what makes Dumbo so special.

SettingsThe film uses the settings to show the different sizes of circus that we see Dumbo being part of.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are brilliant bringing Dumbo to life like nothing we could have imagined.


Scene of the Movie – The Dumbo flight.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – It does spend too much time telling Milly she can’t follow her scientist dreams.

Final Thoughts This is the best live action Disney film of 2019, it brings the scale of the idea to life, which looks wonderful and has great performances too.

Overall: Beautiful Fantasy Film.

One comment on “ABC Film Challenge – Catch-Up 2019 – D – Dumbo (2019) Movie Review

  1. Pingback: Dumbo: Movie Review

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