Dumbo | A Movie Review #5

14 April 2019

The latest Disney movie to be released was Dumbo, directed by Tim Burton. I was incredibly keen to see this film as I'm a lover of the original and the trailer got me crying as soon as I started watching it. I was also really excited to see how Tim Burton would direct this film, as he is known for making dark but lovable films! 

If you haven't seen the original animation film then I'll give you a quick description of what this film is all about. A young elephant who was born with abnormally large ears. Those ears give the little elephant Jumbo Jr/Dumbo a lot of grief but he soon learns, along with some human friends that they also give him the ability to fly! The circus Dumbo is owned by goes on a new venture but as they get deeper, everything doesn't seem as magical.


What I loved about this film, was how Tim Burton added so many nods to the original film. The way he slid them in, was really well done and it gave me such a nostalgic feeling whilst I was watching the film. I especially loved the 'Elephants on Parade' scene as Dumbo's reaction was just perfect and I also loved how it was done differently to the original, making it more magical than scary! Something else that links in with this, is that I loved the musical score, composed by Danny Elfman. It was so beautiful and again, like Tim Burton, Danny Elfman mixed his own musical vision with the old sound score from the original animation film. It was beautifully done.

Like I said, I was really looking forward to Tim Burton's directing direction with this film and I was pleasantly satisfied. He definitely put a darker cloud over circus' which I definitely think was needed as animals in circus' are frowned upon and back when Dumbo (1941) was released, animals in circus' were still a thing. There were some moments which were quite difficult to watch but again, I think is was needed to portray the negative views towards animals in circus'.

I thought the acting in this film was also great and I love seeing child actors succeed and excel. It must have been really difficult for Nico Parker (Milly Farrier) and Finley Hobbins (Joe Farrier) to act certain scenes when with Dumbo as most of the time, he wouldn't have been there (CGI magic). There is a certain scene, where Milly has an emotional talk to Dumbo and it was lovely. You could really see all the emotion in her eyes and it made me choke up. I really hope we see more of Nico Parker in more future films. It was also lovely to see Danny DeVito (Max Medici) back on the big screen and he played his part superbly too! He was funny but charming and loyal, which is everything you want from a circus ring leader! Other actors that were also great throughout the film were Colin Farrell, Michael Keaton and Eva Green.

Now, I couldn't not talk about Dumbo. I was worried that the CGI would be off putting but Dumbo was adorable and beautiful. You can tell he is CGI but it's done well enough that it isn't off putting and he looks pretty real! I really did love him and I definitely lost a tear here and there as he was just adorable. 

Lets talk about the things that I didn't love about this film. I think the main issue I had with this film is that it dragged. The original film is only 1hr 4mins long, where as this film is 1hr 52mins long, almost a whole hour longer than the original film. Obviously, the film definitely needed to be longer as most films now are at least two hours long but because Dumbo is such a simple yet sweet story, I found the film dragged a little. I didn't 100% enjoy the second half of the film but I know it was needed to give the film more depth. Because I found the film to drag a little, I lost interest near the end of the film and I didn't find it as emotional as I was finding it at the start of the film, which for me is a shame as I was expecting a real tear-jerker.

I also found that I didn't feel very connected to the other members of the circus. There is a moment near the end of the film where you are supposed to feel sorry for the members of the circus but as I didn't feel very connected to these characters, I didn't feel the emotion that the film wanted me to feel.

I did enjoy this film. It's a lovely family film but I wouldn't rush back to watch it again. Like I said, I understand it had to be stretched out a little to give the story a little more depth, however I just didn't 100% enjoy the direction they took the film. Maybe because it was a little predictable? I don't know but that's probably the reason I wouldn't rush to see it again. But I did enjoy the film. I loved the CGI version of Dumbo and I loved the child actors in the film too because they did so well! So my final thoughts on Dumbo, is that I enjoyed it but I didn't love it

Have you seen Dumbo yet? What are your thoughts on the film? Let me know in the comments below. 


  1. I wasn't that keen on seeing the new Dumbo but after your review I feel more inclined. I was hesitant because I remember as a child being left heartbroken from the animation (when Dumbo and his mum hold each others trunks, christ does anyone not get emotional when thinking about that!) but I hadn't done much research on the film and am a big fan of Tim Burton so I think I will have to go see this ! It really annoys me now that films are closer to 2 hours than 1 hour, lets be real, the ideal film length is 90 minutes !