Tim Burton’s live-action remake of Disney’s Dumbo is a movie to treasure. Here are five reasons why you’ll leave the cinema floating on air...
1. It's Directed by Tim Burton
It might not sound like the obvious project for the director known for the likes of Edward Scissorhands but Dumbo is essentially the story of an outsider – a favourite Burton trope.
His last live-action Disney remake, Alice In Wonderland, won two Oscars and this promises to push the boundaries of film technology even further in bringing his mind-bending visual style to the big screen.
2. The Original Story is Adorable
The 1941 animated classic was a huge hit on release, with the The New York Times calling it, “The most genial, the most endearing, the most completely precious cartoon feature film ever to emerge from the magical brushes of Walt Disney's wonder-working artists!”
Sweet and uplifting (but a tearjerker, too), with one of the cutest main characters around, it’s no wonder the story is still a favourite with kids and adults alike.
3. The Impressive A-List Cast
Danny DeVito stars as Max Medici, a struggling circus owner looking for a star act to boost his show. Colin Farrell is former circus star Holt Farrier, who becomes Dumbo’s keeper, while Eva Green plays Colette Marchant, an aerial artist keen to get in on Dumbo’s rising fame – which is something Michael Keaton’s evil-looking entrepreneur V. A. Vandevere has his beady eye on as well.
If that wasn’t enough star power, Thandie Newton’s daughter, Nico Parker, takes on her first-ever movie role as Farrier’s kindly daughter.
4. It Looks Amazing
Not only is the movie visualised through Burton’s spectacularly off-kilter lens, but the team around him are equally impressive – not least BAFTA-nominated cinematographer Ben Davis, known for his work within the Marvel universe including the recent Captain Marvel, and Oscar-nominated VFX Supervisor Richard Stammers (The Martian, Prometheus).
The director has also re-teamed with the Oscar-winning set designer behind Sleepy Hollow, Rick Heinrichs, and fellow Oscar-winner Colleen Atwood, who designed the eye-boggling costumes on his previous Disney adap, Alice In Wonderland.
5. The Timeless Message
While some of the more controversial parts of the original story have been stamped out, the overriding message of an outsider who learns to love their differences is a self-love mantra that’s very timely today. A young Dumbo is bullied by the other elephants because of his big ears, but Farrell says the story is very much about embracing differences as “the things that make us all individual, special and beautiful.”
Born with oversized ears, baby elephant ‘Dumbo’ is turning Max Medici’s struggling circus into a laughing stock. Medici enlists war veteran and former big top star Holt Farrier to take care of the hapless animal, but when Holt’s children discover Dumbo can fly, he becomes an overnight sensation. It’s not long before his popularity attracts a charismatic entrepreneur who wants Dumbo to join his own grand venture, Dreamland. But beneath its dazzling surface, Dreamland is full of dark secrets...