Director: Tim Burton
Cast: Colin Farrell, Michael Keaton, Danny DeVito
Release Date: June 25, 2019
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 8.5/10
Disc Rating: 7.5/10
A Disney legend returns for a whole new generation. Acclaimed director Tim Burton presents the reimagined Dumbo. Dreams soar all the way to the Big Top when a baby elephant that can fly saves the day!
Disney’s animated classic comes to gorgeous life in the new live-action take on ‘Dumbo’ from director Tim Burton. Reimagining the unforgettable tale of the adorable big-eared elephant who when everyone called him a freak and no good, proved to be the exact opposite upon discovering that his big ears and the help of a simple feather could allow him to soar in a way no other elephant could have even dreamed, and the subsequent adventure he and the kindhearted humans from the circus he was born into embark upon in order to try and reunite him with his mother.
Directed by talented filmmaker Tim Burton (Edward Scissorhands, Alice in Wonderland 2010) from a screenplay by Ehren Kruger (Arlington Road, the Transformers franchise), Burton does a wonderful job at the helm of the live-action ‘Dumbo’ film, smoothly guiding along the film with his own well recognized style. The film also owes its share of credit to the talented folks who comprise the cast which includes Colin Farrell (Saving Mr. Banks), Michael Keaton (Beetlejuice), Danny DeVito (Batman Returns), Eva Green (Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children), Alan Arkin (Edward Scissorhands), plus newcomers Nico Parker and Finley Hobbins along with more, with nearly all offering solid performances for the most part in each of their respective roles.
Disney’s live-action adaption of ‘Dumbo’ is a touching and visually gorgeous reimagining of Disney’s animated masterpiece from 1941 which alters its share of material, content and characters from the original but does so with care and while never leaving things feeling forced or overly ridiculous. Always making certain to stay true to the emotional heart and soul of its inspiration and utilizing director Tim Burton’s unique and famous style to perfectly compliment and recreate the era in which it occurs. Altogether it forms into a moving new adaption of the famous animated movie that exudes beauty and tenderness, and is likely to also tug on your heartstrings throughout. While many will surely have issues with the various changes implemented, not to mention the absent characters from the animated classic, those who don’t mind things being swapped around a bit and anyone not overly familiar with the original (or perhaps simply hasn’t seen it in some time) but enjoys Disney films in general or is a fan of Tim Burton’s work probably won’t want to miss out on this one. It’s a touching and beautifully crafted film in its own right that’s well worth checking out. For anyone interested at all in this new take on the tale from Disney (or has kids at home looking forward to it) it should at least be worth two hours and a few bucks for the price of a rental if nothing else, and would also make a worthy candidate for a random family movie night at home.
Overall, Disney’s live-action take on ‘Dumbo’ from director Tim Burton offers a heartwarming, visually spectacular and thoroughly enjoyable new approach to the animated classic that may change up a fair amount, but does so quite competently while also frequently providing nods at many of the altered elements and absent characters from the animated film, and always capturing the essence and heart of the original’s magic in its approach. This new live-action ‘Dumbo’ film is definitely recommended for fans of Disney films in general, the original animated masterpiece, and of director Tim Burton, all of which should likely find something to appreciate about this new adaption of the famous story which is well worth at least giving a chance. If you can keep an open mind and accept the various alterations to the story there’s a great chance you’ll find yourself pleasantly surprised.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Dumbo’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks fantastic as a whole and delivers a clean, smooth and richly detailed presentation from start to finish, with no noticeable faults or issues to be uncovered throughout. It holds up smoothly even during the darkly lit, fast moving and/or heavily populated moments and never allows anything occurring onscreen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible at any point. Overall, this is a wonderful high definition video presentation that should more than please both fans and first time viewers of this reimagining.
The Blu-ray release features a 7.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This multichannel soundtrack provides a sharp, clean and often quite aggressive audio presentation throughout. It repeatedly embraces all seven available channels in order to send Dumbo soaring throughout the various speakers, along with music, crowd chatter, action effects and more, while always making certain that any dialogue or other audio elements that might be occurring simultaneously remain clean and fully audible at all times. Overall, this is a great 7.1 DTS-HD MA soundtrack that makes a splendid compliment to the film and shouldn’t disappoint.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Dumbo’ includes some enjoyable extras that fans of the live action adaption should appreciate. Included on the release is a collection of ‘Deleted Scenes’ from the movie (running approximately 8 minutes in length altogether), in addition to ‘Clowning Around’ aka a Gag Reel (running approximately 2 minutes) and a few Behind the Scenes Featurettes that include interviews/comments with members of the cast and crew, plus behind the scenes footage and more. The included Featurettes are: ‘Circus Spectaculars’ (running approximately 8 minutes), ‘The Elephant in the Room’ (approximately 6 minutes), ‘Built to Amaze’ (approximately 8 minutes) and a look at the various nods to the animated classic within via ‘Easter Eggs on Parade’ (4 minutes). A music video for ‘”Baby Mine” performed by Arcade Fire’ (3 minutes) is also included.