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Dumbo Didn't Have The Magic Of The Original

Check out Bethany's review:

Submitted by Joel on Fri, 04/12/2019 - 05:27

There are three types of movies for kids, in my view. The first is a movie that appeals to all audiences, but has a pretty simple story. It has some jokes for adults in there, but mostly it's made for everyone. Then there are movies that are really for adults, but they have to add in really stupid characters and campy scenes because the movie is 'for kids' (Star Wars Phantom Menace, for example). Finally, there are movies that are really just for kids. They don't put a lot of thought into it and there's really nothing for adults at all. This movie is the third category.

Dumbo is the live-action retelling of a (at times racist) classic Disney cartoon about an elephant with big ears and the adventures he goes on. The retelling shifts the point of view from the elephant to a family of circus workers taking care of him. Dumbo is separated from his mother, but can fly using those big ears! Soon, he's the circus's biggest attraction, but catches the attention of a big city entertainer, who wants to capitalize on this fantastic creature. 

The part of this movie that makes the most sense is that a baby elephant can fly. The characters are two-dimensional, make completely irrational decisions, and have absolutely no chemistry. I found myself trying to entertain myself during this series of cliches by imagining that it was the story of Bruce Wayne gone mad about the circus instead of bats and The Penguin finding a home in the freak show instead of in a life of crime. Yes, it was nice of them to remove the casual racism from the film and the child getting drunk and hallucinating. But did they have to take out the heart and soul, too?