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Welcome to this blog of my film reviews. Some have been drafted carefully on paper, others I have sat and typed. I'm going to make it clear right now that I don't expect you to agree with my (re)views, or to like my style of writing. However, I want my views to be just out there and open, as a person who wishes to express himself from deep within. Feel free to comment and debate with me, but I do ask that you are civil and not harsh, as any comments which are basically swear words and insults will automatically be deleted. Also any text that is in orange (and often bold) is a Hyperlink to either a source, or a previous post for background reference.

Friday, 17 September 2010

Dumbo



*****

Dumbo is Walt Disney's 4th Animated Feature, based on a storyline written by Helen Aberson and illustrated by Harold Pearl for the prototype of a novelty toy ('Roll-a-Book').

The plot follows baby elephant Jumbo Jr, who is nicknamed Dumbo by the other circus elephants (Noreen Gammill, Dorothy Scott and Sarah Selby) due to the exceptionally large ears that he was born with. When the circus is set up his mother (Verna Felton) goes berserk when some boys start making fun of her son, and is locked up, while Dumbo is just used as another clown. Little mouse Timothy Q. Mouse (Edward Brophy) quickly befriends Dumbo and his mother and intends to help Dumbo become a star. This proves difficult at first, but when he discovers Dumbo can use his ears to fly things look set to change for the greatly oppressed elephant and the little mouse.

Dumbo to this day remains one of the most beloved Disney films of all time, and it's easy to see why. The visuals of the film are beautifully detailed, and the circus animals are so well animated that you can't take your eyes off them. The film also has some tearjerking moments, most memorably of all the scene where Dumbo visits his mother in the cage she is kept locked up in and she cradles her baby in her trunk. This will really make you want to cry, thanks to the heart-string tugging song that accompanies the scene (Baby Mine), but also due to the tears that both Dumbo and his mother shed, and all-in-all the scene will make you empathize with Dumbo, as it can really make you think back to when you were a small child and the times when you would (often accidentally) get seperated from your mother against your will and how upset and lost you feel without her. Fortunately there is some wonderful comic relief, the most memorable bit of said comic relief being a scene where Dumbo and Timothy drink out a bucket of water, into which a full bottle of champagne had earlier been dropped by one of the clowns, and immediately get drunk and start seeing huge varieties of different coloured elephants form from bubbles. This scene is both a triumph in the animation department and so funny it will stick in your mind for a long time. There is also some great comic relief from the African-American crows (Cliff Edwards and Hall Johnson Choir) that help Dumbo learn to fly. They are such a quality troupe of comical characters that they are irresistable to watch.

With all of these elements combined Dumbo is a truly heart-warming, memorable tale that will have a deep impact on viewers.


1941.
U.
Stars:
Edward Brophy, Herman Bing, Verna Felton, Cliff Edwards, Hall Johnson Choir, Sterling Holloway, Margaret Wright, Noreen Gammill, Dorothy Scott, Sarah Selby.

Oscar: Best Original Score (Frank Churchill, Oliver Wallace).
Oscar nomination: Best Original Song (Baby Mine - Frank Churchill, Ned Washington).

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