Holt was once a circus star, but he went off to war and when he returned it had terribly altered him. Circus owner Max Medici (Danny DeVito) hires him to take care of Dumbo, a newborn elephant whose oversized ears make him the laughing stock of the struggling circus troupe. But when Holt’s children discover that Dumbo can fly, silver-tongued entrepreneur V.A. Vandevere (Michael Keaton), and aerial artist Colette Marchant (Eva Green) swoop in to make the little elephant a star.
User Reviews: Dumbo is a Disney fantasy film directed by Tim Burton based on the animated feature of the same name. Starring Colin Farrell, Danny DeVito, Michael Keaton, and Eva Green, it is an entertaining live action update of the 1941 animated classic, despite some missteps.
In 1919, Max Medici (Danny DeVito) runs the Medici Bros. Circus, a travelling circus act that is struggling to keep an audience. In an effort to attract more people, Max decides to bring in a newborn elephant with large ears as an act for his show, with Holt Farrier (Colin Farrell) acting as his carer. Much to the astonishment of everyone, the young elephant is able to use his large ears to fly around the circus tent right before their eyes. Eventually, the young elephant, now named Dumbo, attracts the attention of greedy entrepreneur V. A. Vandevere (Michael Keaton), who decides to buy out the circus act from Max and exploit Dumbo’s talents for his own financial gain.
Featuring solid CGI effects and some rather touching moments, Dumbo is a nice reimagining of the original film and thanks in part to Tim Burton’s unique vision, it’s better in some ways. Just about all of Burton’s trademarks are present; the creative set pieces, the quirky characters, and a whimsical Danny Elfman score to top it off. Unfortunately, the film does noticeably drag during the second act, with many supporting characters being shoved aside and forgotten until the climax of the story. The main cast was mostly good, with Colin Farrell (likely here because Johnny Depp wasn’t available) being a likeable everyman protagonist and Danny DeVito getting some good laughs in most of his scenes. However, Michael Keaton’s talents feel wasted in the villainous role, playing such a typical one-dimensional cartoonish bad guy. Despite all of these shortcomings, Dumbo is still fun show for just about all ages.
I rate it 7/10