Film Review: Dumbo

There’s not a great deal to say about Tim Burton’s reimagining of the 1941 Disney classic. It’s nothing groundbreaking, but it’s perfectly fine.

It differs quite a bit from the original animated film, although a lot of the story beats remain the same. There is a much larger focus on human characters rather than Dumbo himself, but it works, the film has a stellar cast at it’s disposal, including big names such as Michael Keaton, Colin Farrell, Danny DeVito and Eva Green, and there’s not a single poor performance in the film, including the child actors.

Tim Burton’s unique visual flair is a compliment to this story, and Dumbo looks incredibly cute and loveable, I think it will be near impossible for the baby elephant to not put a huge smile on your face with his antics.

It’s nice to look at, for sure, but the story is where this film stutters, it’s a fairly predictable tale which does feel unnecessarily dragged out at times, and when I look back on it, although it does have heart, it’s got little substance to it. We all know what to expect with Disney films like this, but it just all felt a bit watered down, which didn’t help when trying to maintain my attention. It has a runtime of 112 minutes, which for me, was way too long. This was a story that could have been neatly wrapped up in 90 minutes, but I do feel it sometimes got a bit bogged down in trying to build upon the human characters when it should have just been focusing on the cute elephant. It very much tried to overcomplicate the 1941 original, which was extremely simple, a lot shorter, yet had a lot more heart.

Dumbo is a perfectly acceptable family film, but it’s no more than that. I didn’t dislike it, but I did feel like there were a lot of missed opportunities and I also felt like it was trying to be more than it needed to be. Dumbo shines when it is sticking to the basics, and focusing on the loveable titular character, unfortunately, it steered from this course too often.

It’s worth a watch at some point, but I wouldn’t rush out to see it!

I give Dumbo a 6/10. 

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