Dumbo. What are some things that come to mind? Cute, flying, baby elephant, TAKEN AWAY FROM HIS MOTHER. This movie is more traumatizing than Bambi, but not just because of the mom thing. Let’s take a look.
Plot-wise, baby Dumbo is born (who names their child that btw?) everyone thinks he is totes adorbs until he sneezes and it’s revealed he has big ears. So he and his mother are shunned from circus elephant society. Alrighty then, pretty harsh.
Side-note here that has always bugged me as I was a child who researched animals constantly. Our home-boy Dumbo is a different species of elephant. His ears make him an African elephant, while the smaller ears of his mom and the other mean elephant ladies make them Indian elephants. So he’s a mixed race elephant? Where is his dad? These are questions I ask that the movie NEVER ANSWERS.
An annoying song happens. Then a creepy song.
More racism happens, the circus workers have no faces.
Then this wonderful child from the planet obnoxiousia teases Dumbo. This kid and his posse has always irked me. Where are his parents? Then Dumbo’s mom is locked away for attacking the kid. As an adult this makes sense. Even though the kid deserved it. Also it serves as an argument against keeping animals in circuses. Don’t do it. Seriously where is the Sarah Mclachlan commercial for elephant cruelty?
Then Dumbo is left alone and the ADULT female elephants create a living hell for him. Not to mention the clowns and other circus workers. Seriously everyone in this film is awful for no reason.
Dumbo makes friends with an annoying Mickey Mouse stand-in named Timothy who basically is Dumbo’s voice. He takes Dumbo to see his mom and a sappy song plays. Then more crummy stuff happens. Dumbo takes a bath and Timothy natters on about life. Then the drunk circus workers drop some booze into Dumbo’s bath. He and Tim go through a trippy dream sequence that basically says hey we intoxicated a child elephant and a mouse in a children’s film.
He wakes up in a tree and learns he can fly from another group of unfortunate racial stereotypes. Basically Disney is telling us we can learn of crazy illogical hidden abilities when we are drunk. I’ll let that sink in for you.
Side note: Disney is always trying to tell us we can fly. Peter Pan much? Mary Poppins defied gravity on a regular basis.
In the end he’s reunited with his mom and learns to believe in himself like the main character at the end of all movies.
What fresh hell is this movie? It was animated super cheaply since the studio had lost a lot of money on Pinocchio and Fantasia. World War II was going on, so I guess that explains a lot. It did somehow make a lot of money for them. I do not understand. This movie is traumatizing. Watch at your own risk.