Disney’s live-action Dumbo remake looks to be making one big change to the animated original. Directed by Tim Burton from a screenplay by Ehren Kruger, Dumbo promises to be an emotive story with a lot of heart, just like its original animated counterpart. However, there are sure to be substantial differences from the original movie which, at just 64 minutes long, is the shortest Disney movie of all. While the trailer definitely captures the visual style and essence of Dumbo, one big change means that an overriding problem with the original will be fixed.
In the 1941 animated classic, Dumbo is entirely mute, something that is still quite rare for the central character of a movie. That means we’re reliant on other characters to drive the narrative of the story; the animation of the time also means that Dumbo is pretty limited in terms of facial expressions. We see worry, sadness, and happiness, but the subtle nuances of character that animators can display now were simply unheard of. The story comes from the other animals, since humans barely feature other than creatures to be afraid of. There’s Mrs. Jumbo, Dumbo’s mother who is taken away for being too protective of her baby, then there’s Timothy Mouse, Dumbo’s best friend and biggest champion and finally, there are the crows, who – like most of the audience – have never seen an elephant fly.
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