Dumbo: a film that was produced to safe a company after a failure and one that worked on many levels.
Being a relatively easy production - compared to Snow White and Pinocchio - Dumbo is a film that had a necessarily small budget, smaller than that of all previous films, which allowed the company to get a profit from its release. Although it has a smaller budget 'Dumbo' still looks top quality through its duration with only long shots been given small amount of production time - leading to it being slightly off in these scenes. A classic that has lasted over 70 years in the life's of many generations of children, Dumbo is a film that proves anything grand can last regardless of budget and duration. This film also marks the first time a Disney film centers on an anthropomorphic animal - a feature that has been featured heavily in later movies.
Centering on life's of Circus animals, this film begins with storks are delivering infants to the mothers. When Mrs.Jumbo does not receive her baby she begins the film upset, however receives it late from a travelling stork. Named Jumbo Jr, the baby elephant is quickly mocked by many others due to the over sized ears that he has - resulting in the nickname 'Dumbo'. Stopping at the next place for the circus to be held, Mrs Jumbo does not like it when the local children bully her son, loosing her temper and being deemed dangerous and mad. Being locked up she leaves Dumbo all alone which he struggles with. When witnessed by a young mouse named Timothy, he decides to become his self appointed mentor and friend and strives to make Dumbo a circus star, resulting in his reunited with his mother. When the circus director makes him the centre piece of an elephant pyramid, Dumbo makes a mistake and is punished by becoming a clown. Instantly popular in his new role, Dumbo does not enjoy his new job and becomes even more depressed. Crying lots leads to him gaining hiccups, and the pair decide to drink some water to stop them. When there is alcohol in the water however the two become drunk, leading to the iconic pink elephant sequence that this film is most famous for. When they awaken the next morning they find themselves in a tree. Wondering how they achieved this they work out that Dumbo must have flown up the tree. Teaching Dumbo how to fly, with the aid of 5 black crows, they decide to use this skill as a way in which to get Dumbo massive in showbiz. When performing at the next circus show, Dumbo flies and is instantly rewarded with fame. The plot closes with Mrs Jumbo and Dumbo gaining a private carriage and Timothy is rewarded with becoming Dumbo's manager.
As plot goes this film holds one that is small and more to the point than most others. Time is not given to add depth to the characters, with the plot progressing relatively quickly in reaching its climax. With a duration of only 64 minutes this film does feature much content, but through not having that depth added the film does feel very thin. With Dumbo not given any voice work and speech, the character emotes all emotions and characteristics through his actions. This was the first film to show that animation was a median that could carry emotion and outline it to audience members.
'Dumbo' is a film that does a lot right, but equally does some stuff wrong. Saving the company by being produced to a low budget this film does hold many iconic plots points and features one of the most easily beloved characters ever produced. This shows in the fact that this film is just as popular today as it was when first released. With some scenes not given the same dedication in their production, this film does feel sloppy in certain scenes. This is a shame as the vast majority is to a very high standard, so these scenes seem off and not needed. Dumbo is a film that outlines another heartwarming story of a character finding its place in the world, with a message given to audience members on how to treat others. A film that has lasted the test of time and will more likely last another 70 years.