This month on Dispodopolis we discuss the live-action movie Dumbo. It has almost been eighty years since the original animated feature was released in the movie theater in 1941. It was released six weeks before the tragedy of Pearl Harbor that launched us into World War II. We dive in Tim Bruton’s interpretation of this classic movie that brought me as well as countless others to tears. We discuss how it differs from the original and how it honors the original. We also talk about the cast and crew that brought this new version to life.
Dumbo takes place in 1919 and sets itself around a struggling group of individuals that are pulling themselves up from the devastation of World War I and the pandemic flu of 1918 that wiped out millions of people. The opening scene shows the hope and the beauty of the circus and the necessity of the distraction so desperately needed in small towns across the United States. We see life on the rails and are introduced to Casey Junior as well as the family it carries.
The opening scene begins our story as the circus train stops in Joplin, Missouri. Here one of their fellow circus family members, Holt Farrier, returns from the war to a broken family and a wife that has passed away. The same day Dumbo is introduced and Holt having lost his arm is given the job of tending to the elephants. The story runs it course as Dumbo reveals his hidden talent to the children and the children present it to the world.
The cast is a mixed bag of amazing and okay. I can’t fault Eva Green who plays Colette Marchant and Collin Farrell who plays Holt Farrier. They perform their rules beautifully as well as the children played by Nico Parker and Finley Hobbins. The play Milly and Joe Farrier respectively. Where fault begins is with Michael Keaton’s shallow one dimensional villain, V.A. Vandervere and Danny Devito’s unscrupulous and sometimes menacing Ring Master, Max Medici. I wanted more depth in Keaton and more despising behavior from Devito. I couldn’t decide if it was the directing or the editing.
Tim Burton honors the original animated feature Dumbo in at least three obvious ways that bring beauty to the new live action feature. The storks gracefully cross the sky as Mrs. Jumbo gives birth and one even stops on the roof of the circus car. The ring master as the Colosseum in Dreamland runs through the lines of “When I see an elephant fly.” The last nod is seen again at Dreamland in the Colosseum when bubbles are lifted up through the center ring of the building and form the familiar pink elephants from Dumbo. The beauty and luminescent value of the bubbles are unworldly and mesmerizing to Dumbo as well as me.
As we wind down our discussion of Dumbo we jump into our latest experiences with MaxPass. MaxPass is a special service at Disneyland that helps you reserve Fastpasses the day of your visit on your phone instead of running from Fastpass kiosk to Fastpass kiosk. It is available at an additional charge at $15 a day per person or if you buy with your tickets online it is $10 a day per person. It really comes down to how many people are in your party and what is on your plate for the day.
Below is a listing of the first times available in the morning for FastPass reservations. The opening time this morning was 9:00 am. Toon Town didn't open until 10:30 am. At this time you couldn't reserve a time for Fantasmic! and that is why it isn't available.
Before we jump into our discussion of Dumbo and MaxPass we ask ourselves the question, which intellectual property at the parks would you like to see developed into a lego set? This question stems from the release of the latest edition of Lego family, Steamboat Willie. This falls on the celebration of Mickey’s 90th birthday.
We would love to hear from you and your family. If you have any comments, questions or fun and fancy free thoughts for us, email us at email@example.com. Please enjoy our latest podcast, Dispodopolis.
Images from: waltdisneystudios.com