The day begins on a cloudy Tuesday morning with cold temperatures hitting around 20 to 30 degrees. It is fitting to think that among other days, April 2 happened to be the coldest day of spring. Anyway, around noon, I drove with my uncle to King of Prussia to see “Dumbo” with another relative waiting at the theater entrance.
To say the least, the drive through 422 was insane given the amount of traffic I had to deal with. In addition, there was trash littered around the merging lane of Trooper Road. Rest assured, I was indeed fortunate to keep my temper in check and my car rolling. Upon arriving at the IMAX movie theater at 12:30 p.m., I knew right away that this film would be entertaining. Made by Walt Disney Productions, “Dumbo” had been an iconic classic that was around for many years.
Spoiler alert: The 2019 remake of “Dumbo”, as the movie is named, focusses on a baby elephant that longs to be alongside his mother, who was taken away and kept by the despicable V.A Vandevere, played by Michael Keaton. As I watched the film, I noticed there were stark differences from the 1941 animated feature of “Dumbo” (same name) and the remake.
The first is character differences in both films. In the original, there was a mouse as the only side character that cheered Dumbo on, along with other animals that talked and ridiculed Dumbo’s appearance. In the remake, the two children of Farrier and their father were the supporters for Dumbo and the majority was a realistic cast. Also, the film’s ending is extremely different. The fire scene from the 1941 version was the last scene that dealt with Dumbo’s great performance of flying, whereas in the remake, the film ends with Dumbo being let loose in the wild alongside his mother in East Asia.
In my opinion, the new version was far more uplifting than the 1941 version. True, the film does bring out various issues that Dumbo had to deal with, but Dumbo truly becomes the main attraction in his search to overcome his inner self as well as those that humiliated him. I give two thumbs up for director Tim Burton for great artistic direction. Plus, the actors did a marvelous job at captivating the audience to believe there was a flying elephant.
Despite the art direction and the actor’s performances, the drawback that I found might have to be the film’s pacing. As I watched the film on the big screen, I looked at my watch wondering when the next scene is going to show up. By the time the next scene started, I wondered why the plot took a long time to progress.
The other drawback that I saw from the new version is that there were no voice actors for any of the animals. It would have been nice to hear what was going through the mind of a mouse or Dumbo’s mother, but I probably think it was intentional. Regardless of its pacing and lack of voice actors for animals, the movie captivated the essence of escapism and the idealized world of the circus.
At the present, there has not been a circus for quite some time in the United States. Through seeing “Dumbo”, the circus is alive once again but on the big screen. Essentially, “Dumbo” is a fun film for anyone that enjoys the imaginative world of a flying elephant.
Nicholas Bartelmo is a third-year student majoring in history. NB790429@wcupa.edu