Dumbo (2019) Review

This was an embarrassing remake of Dumbo. First, the hue or color tone of the movie was so unnatural, almost campy, like I had stumbled into a showing of Batman and Robin. It distracted me constantly reminding me that I was at the movies watching actors instead of being part of a story. Secondly, the young female actress did not help that situation at all.

The other hour of it is a snooze to say the least. While there is an attempt from Burton to tell a story that has weight and value, you end up not caring about any of them because the characters are either wooden, clich├ęs, or cartoons. You end up not caring about any of them and it all goes back to the fact that Burton is not a good storyteller.

The biggest offenders for myself were Burton’s rendition of Pink Elephants, which is only a minor callback in this film and lacks nearly all the iconic elements which made “Pink Elephants on Parade” a cinematic spectacle with the original Dumbo. “Baby Mine” had a fairly good rendition, not great, but it was one of the better parts. Also included was a reference to the Crows’ song, however it was only a joking reference which is like pouring salt on the wounds of a person like myself who wanted to see well done renditions of the classic film. The film is also very dark, with generally hazy skies and dark lighting, the average Tim Burton style. It fits the screenplay but as a whole I despised that stylistic choice with a Disney movie about a flying elephant.

While I am giving this movie a lot of hate, I do have one positive thing to say about it. That one thing is a man named Danny DeVito. Most of his jokes landed very well and I even laughed out loud a little bit when he said that the monkey was in his desk in case of an emergency. I feel like he played his part very well and everyone there said they enjoyed his performance. Also, hats off to the costume designers for incorporating the white grease-stained undershirt/tank top in the beginning. It was a simple yet elegant touch that really portrayed to the audience that this guy was a bit of a sleazy bum.

Overall, should you take your kids to see this? If they want to I guess. Do not expect to enjoy it very much, especially if you want the same energy and vibe that the original Dumbo gave us. So sad to see a classic remade into this CGI intensive train wreck.

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