Some stories are best left as they are. This is a fairly unavoidable takeaway from Tim Burton’s unnecessary live-action/CG remake of the Disney animated classic Dumbo. Though not remotely as noxious and garish as his 2010 version of Alice in Wonderland, Burton has not solved the puzzle of figuring out a halfway decent creative reason for this film to exist. An A-list cast, high budget, and all the other trappings of a modern blockbuster can’t get this thing off the ground.
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Since the animated musical Dumbo hit theaters in 1941, the lovable, big-eared elephant has become an iconic Disney mascot, as recognizable as Mickey Mouse or Donald Duck. That can be partially attributed to Dumbo’s outsized presence at Disney Parks, with the Dumbo the Flying Elephant ride becoming a longtime hallmark of Disneyland, Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, Tokyo Disneyland, Disneyland Paris, and Hong Kong Disneyland. But the original 1941 animated film also holds a special place in Disney fans’ hearts, not just for the heart-wrenching effect of the film’s famous “Baby Mine” scene, but for Dumbo‘s bolder, weirder sequences, like the trippy pink elephants.
Tim Burton‘s Dumbo pays homage to all of this and more. The film has to fly high while carrying the baggage of expectations before it, but producers Derek Frey and Justin Springer, as well as costume designer Colleen Atwood, told journalists during a visit to the set of Dumbo that this will only make the live-action adaptation soar more.
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“The unique thing about making a movie is making a sort of circus anyway,” Dumbo producer Justin Springer told us and a group of journalists on the set visit to the Disney live-action movie. But Dumbo takes that circus to a whole new level.
The Tim Burton-directed movie has a fantastical bent to it, a “storybook” approach to 1919 that’s seen in the anachronistic elements and the lavish settings. But there’s still a more grounded feeling to Dumbo that Burton and producers Springer and Frey wanted to bring with the involvement of real-life circus performers in the film. Because Dumbo may be a CGI elephant that can fly with the help of his oversized ears, but at least everyone around him can abide by the laws of physics.
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Tim Burton has largely built his career making movies about societal outcasts, and he’ll be back with the story of another outcast later this month in Dumbo, his second live-action remake of a Walt Disney animated film. The earliest reactions have arrived, so read on to get a sense of what critics are saying about Burton’s latest cinematic spectacle. Read More »
Dumbo soars into theaters later this month, and will likely give Disney another box office victory after the outstanding performance by Captain Marvel this past weekend. However, there are probably some viewers out there who need a little bit of convincing to head out for yet another live-action remake of a Disney classic. That’s why Disney is starting to make their big marketing push with the release of the first Dumbo clip, showing off the cute little blue-eyed, floppy-eared baby elephant. There’s also a new featurette going behind the scenes of the extravagant circus set. Read More »
Tim Burton is distracted. He’s in the middle of directing the live-action adaptation of Dumbo, an ambitious, big-budget production that requires balancing fantastical and elaborate sets with even more fantastical visual effects. But I got the feeling that this harried appearance was just part of Burton’s nature — a million thoughts racing at once while he attempts to answer press questions. It’s a surprisingly energetic persona from a man who is famous for donning all black and a dour complexion, but maybe that’s why he always wears the grim color: he can’t be bothered to think about anything else.
“It’s hard for me to talk [about Dumbo] right now because I don’t know if it’s a comedy or a drama,” Burton hurriedly tells us in between takes. “But I’ll let you know when I’m done with it.”
Hearing Burton refer to his Dumbo live-action adaptation as a comedy might be a bit confusing — humor isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when one thinks about a Tim Burton movie, or the melancholic 1941 animated movie, either. But there is an unexpected warmth emanating from the Dumbo director and from the lavish, sprawling set around which he paces.
/Film got the chance to visit the set of Dumbo in London along with a group of other journalists, where I was immediately transported back into a storybook version of 1919. Here, a modest barn interior with a dirt floor and pieces of rope sits a couple hundred feet away from an elegant, Art Deco-style apartment decorated with vintage movie posters and marble floors. There, warm pinks and faded yellows adorn the backs of children running through a brightly lit town square.
And there isn’t a Gothic Victorian castle in sight.
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I have some good news for Disney: they’re finally going to make some money. I know they were worried about that, but the House of Mouse can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that finally, one of their movies will earn some dough at the box office. That movie is Dumbo, Tim Burton‘s live-action remake of the 1941 animated film about a flying elephant. Burton’s take on the material looks designed to make everyone cry, and all that crying is going to result in a strong opening weekend…but not quite as strong as some other live-action remakes. Get the full details on the Dumbo box office tracking below.
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Disney’s animated classic Dumbo is barely an hour long, but director Tim Burton is going to flesh that out into a movie that’s right around two hours. We’re not sure how he’s adding a whole extra hour to the story outside of introducing a wide array of new human characters who take a keen interest in the little flying elephant, but a new Dumbo trailer shows off the circus spectacle of Disney’s live-action remake. And that floppy-eared, flying elephant just looks more and more adorable. Read More »
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A collection of words that seem as if they don’t belong together: Arcade Fire has recorded a cover version of “Baby Mine” for the live-action Dumbo soundtrack. The song appeared as a lullaby in the original animated Dumbo, and the Arcade Fire’s cover will play during the end-credits of Tim Burton‘s live-action remake, due out this month. You can hear a snippet of the cover below.
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The next live-action adaptation of one of Disney’s classic animated movies is Dumbo. Director Tim Burton is at the helm of the story of a little elephant who can fly, and you couldn’t ask for a better director to tackle a movie that’s set entirely in a traveling circus. But can he make this once thriving entertainment venue magical again after the bad reputation it’s earned over the years?
A new Dumbo featurette has cast members Colin Farrell, Michael Keaton, Eva Green and a very enthusiastic Danny DeVito talking about how incredible the sets were for this movie. Tim Burton even hired a slew of real acrobatic performers and dancers from around the world to help bring the circus to life. Find out more in the Dumbo featurette below. Read More »