So we’re 24-48 hours removed from the best day of the week: “Super Tuesday,” where every movie at my local cinema is $5, as opposed to the $40 movie theaters charge nowadays. Now, I try my best to review every new major movie that’s released, and although Dumbo falls within those parameters, allow me to be as clear as possible when I say I didn’t give a fuck about this film whatsoever.
As we coast along in this current movie climate where every new release is seemingly a sequel, spin-off, or reboot, Dumbo is pretty par for the course. For those keeping score, we’re looking at live action reboots of both Aladdin and The Lion King, as well as a fourth Toy Story installment by the end of the year and I think I’m on the verge of gingerly trotting up my stairs puking a 32 oz. Gatorade’s worth of nostalgia in the toilet. Aladdin will most likely suck, The Lion King will dominate, and I’m just crossing my fingers with this Toy Story thing (I’m very nervous this spork could fuck everything up).
So yeah, I just didn’t really care about this Dumbo movie because, well, I didn’t care about the original. I love all the old Disney animated films—Alice in Wonderland is a classic—but I just could never get behind this flying elephant; furthermore, I can’t bring myself to feel sympathy for carnies. Those people are the worst. Just gross, reprehensible individuals.
That said, Dumbo follows the story of a newborn elephant with comically sized ears who gets separated from his mother (who is, coincidentally, also an elephant) following a circus disaster, resulting in the death of a patron. Following the incident, two children realize Dumbo’s potential to fly, which grabs the attention of a silver-tongued entrepreneur who attempts to sweep the elephant for profit.
First and foremost, the only reason I was initially intrigued by this movie was because it was directed by Tim Burton. For some reason, Tim Burton is an eyebrow raiser for me even though he hasn’t made a good movie since Jesus resurrected. The Nightmare Before Christmas was fantastic and Beetlejuice was good, but since then, it’s been nothing but garbage. And not only garbage, but a garbage fire.
I’m not someone who likes to say the book is better, but when you manage to euthanize classics like Alice in Wonderland, Through The Looking Glass, and Charlie and The Chocolate Factory with resounding success, you’re flirting with gas. Not to mention, all those films included Johnny Depp, who might be the most overrated actor ever. Like yeah dude, we liked the original Pirates of the Caribbean but go away already…
Anyway, I watched Dumbo in its entirety but it was a chore. The only redeeming characteristic of the entire movie was Danny Devito, who played the role he was seemingly BORN to play: an overly characteristic, coked-up ringmaster. Like, I want to say he had a good performance but that’s like people applauding me for playing the role of a manic, 27-year old blogger who owns an egregious amount of cargo shorts…
Outside of that, the elephant was cute but that’s about it. I wish I had more to write but such a task would be impossible. While some kids movies nowadays—like Shrek or anything Pixar pumps out—offers an engaging experience for those of all ages, Dumbo gives you NOTHING. All in all, if you’re younger than 10, you’ll love it; if you’re a parent and hire a babysitter to take your kid so you can smash a few Bud Lights and catch the last 15 minutes of PTI, I guess it’s worth the price of admission.
Final Rating: 4.3 Boats out of 10