709. Dumbo (1941)

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7.2 Pleasant but plain
  • Acting 7.3
  • Directing 7.3
  • Story 7.0
  • User Ratings (0 Votes) 0

Starring: Sterling Holloway, Edward Brophy, James Baskett

Director: Samuel Armstrong

Running Time: 64 mins


Dumbo is an American film about a newborn baby elephant who spends his life being ridiculed for his enormous ears, however he soon realises his full potential with the help of a friendly mouse.

Well, this is definitely up there with the top Disney classics from the early animation era, and it’s by far the saddest and most emotive of the lot. However, this film doesn’t really have that irreverent charm that we’ve come to love from Disney movies, and never manages to build on anything it starts.

For kids, this is a perfectly great film. It’s short, cute, with some fun jokes, an imaginative story and everything else fitting for a kids’ favourite, so it does definitely do well with its main target audience.

However, the sadder story about Dumbo being taken away from his mother after she’s labelled a ‘mad elephant’ is also interesting for adults. It may seem a little bit too dark for the kids, however I’m sure it would just go over their heads like most of the dramatic parts in Disney films, but for anyone older that 12, this secondary story does make this film a lot more intriguing and deep than if it were just about a flying elephant.

Also, the ending of this film, looking at Dumbo flying and soaring to fame is a lot of fun for everyone, and is probably the most exciting and imaginative part of the entire story, so you do get that to look forward to.

Despite that, the majority of the film is actually quite dull. There’s little development in the story, the characters aren’t very interesting, meaning you don’t ever really want to connect with them, and it doesn’t have any real comedy throughout to lift your spirits if you are a bit bored.

And, surprisingly, its incredibly short running time, at just over an hour, really doesn’t work. The story feels hugely rushed, particularly towards the end, and there’s not really any time for you to get interested in it any deeper than just looking at it level.

Overall, then, this gets a 7.2, because while it’s great for kids and has some good plot points, there are some major flaws with the ability to get at all interested in this.

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About Author

The Mad Movie Man, AKA Anthony Cullen, writes articles and reviews about movies and the world of cinema. Since January 1st, 2013, he has watched and reviewed a movie every day. This is the blog dedicated to the project: www.madmovieman.com