Ten minutes to introduce the pathos of the situation and ten minutes of dramatic conclusion, sandwiching 45 minutes of pink elephants on parade.
Oy. I found his Alice in Wonderland to be extremely painful. I shudder to think what this will be like.
April 1st gets earlier every year
I’d watch that.
I’d watch that.
Well, now we know that this version will be free of awkward, racial stereotypes.
aaaannnd… live-action ?!?!
I don’t see how this could go wrong.
Johnny Depp as Timothy Mouse
Early fake casting news:
- The chameleon-like Johnny Depp will pull off another brilliant transformation to be Timothy Mouse. Expect shenanigans
- Angelina Jolie will play the seductive Magic Feather
- Dumbo’s mother is a hotly contested role, will it go to Helena Bonham Carter or Betty White?
You beat me to it by THIRTY SECONDS.
Think of his awful Willy Wonka remake and then imagine just how badly he could screw this up.
I always explain Dumbo to new parents (when the conversation turns to watching old Disney) as follows:
Do you know how Dumbo learns to fly? He drinks a bottle of whisky, has a 10 minute pink elephant hallucination, wakes up in a tree full of pot smoking racially stereotyuped shuckin’ and jivin’ black crows who convince him to jump off a cliff.
Great songs, though. And I love the early vocoded*-train-voice, and the animation of the tent-collapse. The song the roustabouts sing as they erect the tent is disturbing - basically “we’re black, so we get these shitty jobs then drink our wages away on the weekends”. OTOH, you can contrast that with all of the white people in the film (including the white high-society elephants) - all of them, with the exception of Timothy Mouse**, is an asshole. Asshole white clowns, asshole exageratedly-Irish kid making fun of Dumbo, asshole white RingMaster. The white stork delivery man isn’t an asshole, but he’s incompetent, so there’s that. Note that the roustabouts do erect the tents quite well in the rain, and the crows actually help Dumbo out.
* or whatever it is.
** and I’m not sure what race he should be, but if we go with the “default”, he’s white.
You can see a demo of the vocoded (they used a device called a Sonovox) train sound effect in this clip from The Reluctant Dragon, with Frances Gifford pretending to demonstrate it. From a 2015 perspective, the crows make us cringe, but he had black actors talking in early-40s jive; for the time, it wasn’t ‘racist’. And as you point out, they’re really the only sympathetic characters in the movie.
Fair enough. And as adults we can appreciate cultural relativity, in the same way that we can appreciate the Sam character in Casablanca. But for kids, that appreciation isn’t there, it’s just a more obvious and in-your-face form of the institutionalized racism our parents and grandparents grew up with.
I understand it, I allow for it in my interpretation of culture and heritage, and I know that for a 6 year old none of that matters.
Nice! Plus: Robert Benchley. I like his shorts work.
NOTE: audio has a crappy click, but I can’t find any other version
I’ve always wanted to read How to Wreck a Nice Beach but didn’t want to shell out the money (it doesn’t seem like the thing I’ll read more than once, and I’m starting to learn my lesson…). Lo! It’s finally available in my library system.
UPDATE: reading this interview/article, I might be wrong about the “read only once” idea I had…
Here’s another Sonovox demo, with Kay Keyser:
I recently watched it again for the first time in years. This is a 30 minute movie at most these days, there’s a lot of filler and slow character development in what is currently a 64 minute movie.
They are going to have to add a ton of terrible background character work to cobble this into an 80 minute kids movie worth $14 in Manhattan.
But… DUMBO shooting down VonRichtoffen, DUMBO straffing the Japanese fleet off Oahu, DUMBO airlifting wounded soldiers in Vietnam. There’s so much to cover.