Dumbo: 5 Facts About Tim Burton’s Flying Baby Elephant Movie

Ace filmmaker Tim Burton has been the man behind the camera for a good number of Hollywood films and the 2019 live-action film, Dumbo joins the list of his plethora of projects. Talks to make a live-action version of the Disney film began in 2014 with Burton being immediately brought on board as its director. The story of Dumbo is set in 1919 post World War I and tells the story of a family whose members work at a circus that is struggling to stay in business. However, they become hopeful after they encounter a flying baby elephant called Dumbo. After years of work, the film was released in theaters on the 29th of March 2019. Here are 5 facts you should know about the movie.

5 Facts About Dumbo, Tim Burton’s Flying Baby Elephant Movie

1. Dumbo Is A Reimagining of A Disney Animated Film

This release of Dumbo isn’t the first time movie lovers are being treated to the wonders of a flying elephant as 2019’s Dumbo is actually a remake of a Disney film (of the same title) which was long made several decades ago. The original film which was an animated film was released in 1941 and became the fourth animated feature film to be released by Disney. The film was adapted from a novel penned by the duo of Helen Aberson and Harold Pearl.

The first Dumbo movie has been re-released several times in the past, the last one being in 1976, however, Disney thought to bring the story to life again by reimagining it into a live-action movie,

2. Dumbo Features A Cast With A Reputation For Working With Tim Burton

If the testimonies of actors are anything to go by, then it is safe to say that Burton is one of Hollywood’s most loved film directors. There have been actors who have, over the years, become known for their frequent collaboration with the filmmaker and a number of them feature in this live-action feature. They include French actress and model, Eva Green, Taxi alum, Danny DeVito and Michael Keaton, who all play the roles of Colette, Max Medici, and V. A. Vandevere respectively.

The role of Holt Farrier the handler of the circus elephants is portrayed by Colin Farrell who considered himself lucky to be directed by Burton. Will Smith was originally considered for the role but had to decline due to scheduling conflicts. Before the role came to Farrell, several other actors considered for it included Chris Pine and Casey Affleck. Other top acts who also feature in Dumbo are DeObia Oparei, Joseph Gatt, and Alan Arkin.

3. Dumbo Did Not Meet Much Of The Box Office Expectations

Dumbo did make a profit when it hit theatres in March 2019, however, it just did not earn as much as Disney would have liked. Against a budget of $170 million, the movie grossed $353 million at the global box office. The first Dumbo movie was as a matter of facts, a better commercial success. Back in the 40s, it was made on a production budget of $950,000 and made $1.6 million in the US alone. Considering the era, it was a huge financial success for Disney in relation to other Disney films made at the time. Unfortunately, the media powerhouse was unable to pull a second hit with the movie.

A scene from Dumbo: image source

4. It Was Not That Much Of A Critical Success Either

Dumbo was not also able to quite excite the critics, many of whom would later leave negative reviews on it. Some criticized the storyline as being overstretched while others commended Burton’s handling of the camera. Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian rated the movie at a one out of five stating that it lost directness and overcomplicated the first movie. Out of 334 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, Dumbo received a rating of 47%. However, audiences were a bit nice, rating it a 3.5 out of 5 stars on CinemaScore.

Despite being critically panned, Dumbo was still able to earn a couple of Saturn Award nods –  Rick Heinrichs for Best Production Design and Danny Elfman for Best Music. It also received a Saturn nod for Best Fantasy Film, however, it didn’t win any of its nominations.

Read Also: The Truth About Moana And Its Polynesian Origin: Is It A True Life Story or Myth?

5. Dumbo Has Already Gone To DVD

About three months after it had shown at theaters, Dumbo was made into DVD, Blu-ray, and Ultra HD Blu-ray, precisely on the 25th of June. Disney has announced it as one of the movies that would be available on their streaming platform, Disney+.


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