Dumbo (2019)

Review Transcript

Dumbo is directed by Tim Burton and stars Colin Farrell who plays a man named Holt who is put in charge of taking care of the newborn elephant Dumbo, who is made fun of because of his oversized ears. Danny Devito, who plays the owner of the struggling circus, begins to attract masses after Holt’s kids figure out a way to make Dumbo fly. One of these attendees is played by Michael Keaton who is the antagonist, V.A. Vandevere and wants to utilize Dumbo for his gigantic more successful circus called Dreamland.

Kids are really going to enjoy Dumbo, who is adorable and you want to see him win in the end. The film can pull on your heart strings a bit as it works hard to get you to feel for this baby elephant- from hearing the masses laughing at him, to close-ups of those scared blue eyes, and to knowing that he misses his mom- the innocent Dumbo was a loveable CGI character.

The movie is beautiful to look at. I really admire Tim Burton’s bright saturated colors that bring this story to life. Even at night-time scenes, the sky isn’t pitch black but has an attractive bright blue glow.

However- unless you’re a die hard Dumbo fan, I don’t think this movie is compelling enough to go watch alone or with other adults. While the film is a family-friendly movie, the problem older audiences may have is that is very safe with no surprises. I felt like a director like Tim Burton would’ve ventured out and taken some risk, but it does seem Disney wanted to keep this beloved classic in a safe zone. It feels very formulaic and while it does have likeable characters and emotional moments, the lack of surprise made it a little hard to sit through the almost 2 hour length. When you can easily guess how scenes will play out and how the movie will end, it’s boring. Many scenes feel similar to one another- as we see Dumbo attempt to fly 5-6 different times and the movie takes place in only a few different locations that mostly all feel the same.

Michael Keaton’s villainous V.A. Vandevere felt very fake and over the top. I didn’t buy his character as a realistic threat.

Final Verdict:If you have kids, take them! If not, you should probably stay home
Rating:B-