Dumbo flew above my expectations.
Disney has begun to release live-action versions of their original cartoon films. Aladdin and The Lion King are soon to be released this year. When I heard about Dumbo also being adapted into live action, I was intrigued. I wondered how Disney was going to show animals talking and interacting with each other. I did not know how it was going to compare to the original Dumbo, for I find the classic to be extremely offensive.
The original Dumbo was released in the 1940s, and it was extremely racist. At the beginning of the movie, there are faceless African American men working on railroad tracks and singing about not having educations. There are also crows that sing, and their character traits are supposed to represent stereotypical African Americans during that time. The name of the lead crow was Jim Crow, played by a white actor. These scenes completely abhorred me, so I am grateful they were not included in the live-action.
In the original Dumbo, Dumbo accidentally gets drunk and suffers from many hallucinations. This scene was not included in the live-action, but there is a nod to it when Dumbo watches bubbles during the circus that are similar to his drunken hallucinations in the original.
The plot lines of the live-action and the original are completely different. The live-action movie has a completely different cast of characters, and it focuses more on the people than it does the animals. Sometimes while watching the live-action, I felt as if Dumbo was a supporting role and not a main character, when it is clear who the main character is in the original. Though the plot lines are completely different, I feel that Dumbo definitely needed an upgrade.
Both movies are visually advanced for their time. Dumbo was released in the 1940s and was definitely cinematically advanced compared to other movies during the time period. The live-action Dumbo’s visual effects are incredible. Dumbo looks extremely life-like and helps in immersing the viewer into the story,
If someone is in love with the original Dumbo, I would not recommend the live-action. Many people have been disappointed by the live-action version, but I think that the changes were essential. If looked at as two movies separate from each other, then the live-action version of Dumbo should impress audiences.
The live-action Dumbo was better than the original, but I do not know if children would be huge fans. It was slow at parts, and it was intense for a children’s movie. The movie was not light-hearted like a typical Disney movie. There were trials and deep conflict.
I do not know if Dumbo can be an accurate representation of what the other upcoming, live-action Disney movies will be like. There were major changes needed for Dumbo due to its original offensive content. I feel that in Aladdin and The Lion King, there are not many changes that need to be made from the original versions. Overall, I am excited to see what Disney has in store with its live-action films.