Disney’s newest attempt to bring back the good old days with the remake of the 1941 classic “Dumbo” started as a giant flop, and it does not look like it will soar. This one hour and 52-minute movie left me disappointed and wishing I could just watch the classic instead. The movie itself has received a lot of mixed reviews, and I personally give this movie a 5 out of 10 rating. It was okay, but there were so many things that didn’t make sense and so many things that could have been improved. Ultimately, these flaws made the movie suffer.
Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love Dumbo’s character, and I have ever since I was a little girl. However, I found myself uncomfortably shifting in my seat as I watched the mistreatment of Dumbo and multiple other characters, including circus performers.
The animation was nice but could have been better, especially for a Disney movie. There were times where I was really impressed with the computer-generated imagery (CGI). However, there were many scenes where you could tell they were using a green screen, or the animation was obviously fake and overly saturated. One scene that I did like was at the very beginning when the animated train carts looked so worn down but still had the vibrant color that screams “Circus!” I also liked how they kept in the hallucinating dream from the original film but made it more kid-friendly by having it be a magic bubble show instead. This scene was very well done and impressive.
The storyline was slow but was similar to the original movie at the beginning. About 45 minutes into the film, the plot goes in a different direction and the movie goes even further downhill. The movie set and props were good at the beginning, but as the plot changes, the set starts to cross overtime periods, making the movie less reliable.
In the original movie, the cast consists entirely of animals, but in the 2019 remake, the main cast is comprised of humans. I personally think this is what really harmed the movie. The characters were flat, boring and underdeveloped.
It often felt forced when Holt Farrier, played by Colin Farrell, interacted with his children or implied love interest Collette, who is played by Eva Green. The lead villain V. A. Vandevere, played by Michael Keaton, was very plain and had overly basic motives. The film misses its overall message of embracing one’s flaws when Dumbo is born and everybody thinks he is hideous. They are so ashamed that they try to hide him from the public at all costs, and the only reason he is shown is because news had already gotten out to the public about the new baby elephant. They don’t even think of Dumbo as a good or cute baby elephant until they realize he can fly and make money for them.
I agree with the message the movie was trying to get across as a whole—animals should be free to live happily, and we should embrace our flaws. I will also always love Dumbo as a character. However, I feel the movie flew past these messages and chose to wow the audience with visuals instead.