Movie Review – Dumbo – A live action remake your kids will enjoy

Movie Review - DumboIf you have a toddler, Dumbo is one of the few movies in the theater now that is specifically for your child. It’s PG-rated, so your kid won’t come home and ask you questions you don’t know how to answer. If you are worried about animal mistreatment with the circus background, by the end of the movie, they did mention no animals should be kept captive.

I was born and raised in China, and watching the original 1941 Dumbo with my dad is a piece of heartwarming memory from my early childhood. I was around 5 when I first watched it on a VideoCD. It was called “小飞象”  — Little flying Elephant — in Chinese. Yes, VCDs did exist.  🙂

Walking into the theater, I didn’t have an expectation. But as I was watching it, I was that 5-year-old girl again. The story has been changed here and there to fit the live action, but the spirit has not been changed at all. As far as I’m concerned, this movie brings back almost the same feelings I experienced over two decades ago. I’d call that a successful remake.

But for adults who don’t have any emotional connections to the original piece, this movie is probably going to be clicheic and pre-mature for you. It’s a remake that tries to be true to the original piece, so it’s still head to toe a 1940s style kids’ story. Unless, of course, you just like the idea of a cute little flying elephant.

Now here’s something extra for those who have watched the TV show West World: does the little girl in Dumbo remind you of anyone? 😉

Grade: B

About The Peetimes: We have a really good (recommended) Peetime right about the middle of the movie. Try to use that if you can. The last Peetime is okay, but you’ll miss a nice father-daughter scene. The 1st Peetime is only for Emergencies, because it’s short and is immediately followed by a scene that shouldn’t be missed, especially by children.

There are no extra scenes during, or after, the end credits of Dumbo. (What we mean by Anything Extra.)

Rated (PG) for peril/action, some thematic elements, and brief mild language
Genres: Adventure, Family, Fantasy, Remake, Reboot, Sequel

Dumbo – Lyrics and Video to the Original Disney Classic Song Baby Mine

animated dumbo 1941 classic
Such a cutie. But the classic makes you cry. A lot.

If you don’t mind a having a little cry, watch this original 1941 version of the scene where infant Dumbo is too briefly reunited with mother Jumbo, locked in chains for the crime of protecting her only baby.

I can barely type this without tearing up, but it’s one of the most beautiful moments in Disney cinematic history. (Although the rest of Dumbo has some SERIOUS problems.)

But, anyway, here are the original video and lyrics of this film from Disney’s Classics Vault.

Seriously, I can’t write any more here without sobbing my heart out. But it’s breathtakingly worth it. I hope the Dumbo remake does it justice. But, hey, it’s Disney. They surely will. And it will probably make us cry. 🙂

Video and Lyrics to the 1941 Dumbo Classic, Baby Mine

Lyrics to the Original Version of Baby Mine

(Sung by Betty Noyes)

Baby mine, don’t you cry
Baby mine, dry your eyes
Rest your head close to my heart
Never to part
Baby of mine

Little one, when you play
Don’t you mind what they say
Let those eyes sparkle and shine
Never a tear
Baby of mine

From your head to your toes (Baby mine)
You’re so sweet, goodness knows (Baby mine)
You are so precious to me
Cute as can be
Baby of mine

Baby mine
Baby mine

(1941. Songwriters: Frank Churchill / Ned Washington
Baby Mine (Dumbo) lyrics © Bourne Co.)

Be happy, RunPee fans. I’m gonna go now and wipe these darn tears off my face.

Dumbo Review – The Original 1941 Animated Classic: High Time for a Remake

Movie Review – Dumbo – A remake your kids will enjoy

Dumbo Review – The Original 1941 Animated Classic: High Time for a Remake

animated dumbo 1941 classic
Such a cutie. But the classic is off-putting and makes you cry. A lot.

The original 1941 Dumbo is a strange little movie. Not only is only an hour long (it’s almost a long “short”, if you get my meaning), but has many weird scenes of mostly padding (which would make for great Peetimes, BTW).

It’s also…um…wildly racist (there’s no other way to say this, and not in just the scene with the jeering crows — don’t even get me STARTED on Song of the Roustabouts). And Dumbo is so casually, completely inhumane. The moniker “Dumbo” alone is intended as a cruel nickname by his own fellow elephants — his actual birth name is Jumbo Jr, in case you wondered.

But much worse, Dumbo the film depicts the massive abuse of circus animals, with harsh whips, cruelly binding leg chains, and minuscule cages. Circus performers are willing to toss baby animals a thousand feet off of rooftop platforms, because they reason the higher the fall, the more money they will make…and so what anyway, because “Elephants are made of rubber.” (Listen to the clowns talk this over. Seriously.)

Also, a crucial plot point features the main character, an infant, getting massively drunk. The ‘pink elephants’ sequence is played for laughs, but, you know what? I’ve been drunk, and I don’t hallucinate. That watered-down champagne must have had something much more hard-core in it. The scene is weird as hell, and if I was a child, it would give me nightmares.

These things just wouldn’t ‘fly’ today – pardon the pun.

From the get-go, I honestly thought Dumbo was a strange choice for one of the first live-action remakes from the Disney Vault. There are a whole lot more bigger hits to choose from, and at least a dozen Disney Princesses to get through.

But. It’s not all bad: Dumbo has Disney Classic status after all.

So, I re-watched the original to prepare for the 2019 Dumbo redo and, yes,  I sentimentally cried. A lot. Granted, I’m an easy crier, but the mother-child scene set to the tune of “Baby Mine” had me really blubbering. Dear lord. Much as I complain about the unforgivable inhumanity of the 1941 Dumbo, this is absolutely a moment I want to see in the remake.

There’s other good stuff too. The unnamed mouse deserves a medal for going above and beyond in being a true friend. We should all be so lucky to have such a “mouse” in our lives. Compassion, as a concept and in execution, is where Dumbo shines.

I’ll talk about that below the video of the original trailer:

So I wondered about the Dumbo remake. Maybe the general theme of love and kindness is enough of a reason to drag this out of the Vault.

The aforementioned kindly mouse who befriends poor baby Dumbo contains a great message: even one small person can make all the difference in someone’s life.

And Dumbo reminds us that taunts hurt, especially about body image: it’s not just about teenage girls. There is tremendous pressure to be a perfect physical specimen. This is certainly timely in our modern era.

And the crows do come around and help transform Dumbo’s life. Their song is a showstopping standout (“When I See An Elephant Fly“) with the bestest puns, and I hope this is retained — minus the off-putting racism.

Ultimately, my hope is the new Dumbo will increase awareness about the plight of elephants in worldwide circus acts and zoos. And in the wild, if one can dream. I was heartened to learn  PETA contacted Tim Burton to change the ending of the new Dumbo — and Burton did! —  in a way that should be very satisfying and maybe give us a few tears of joy in an iconic film, for once.

You will believe an elephant can fly.

Flying is, of course, a metaphor for finding one’s own path to happiness and meaning. And I say YAY, with fingers crossed, that the remake will give us exactly that transcendence humans can achieve if we care enough.

Soapbox off.

(PS: Extra note: Dumbo won the 1941 Academy Award for Best Original Score. I’m adding the videos and lyrics to some of the iconic songs to RunPee already — see below.)

Movie Grade: I can’t even grade Dumbo without overthinking it. I like the idea, and there are lovely grace notes, but man, is this film is so bizarre for today’s audiences. I wouldn’t let children watch it without a lot of discussion. Maybe give it a C+ for what they attempted to do, within the mentality of the 1940s. Buried under all the uncomfortable weirdness and unpleasantry, there’s a good message and a lot of heart.

Dumbo – Lyrics and Video to the Original Disney Classic Song Baby Mine

Movie Review – Dumbo – A remake your kids will enjoy

The Biggest Upcoming films of 2019 – Get Excited!

The Biggest Upcoming films of 2019 – Get Excited!

2019 is going to be a big year for films. It will feature the conclusion of some films such as Star Wars to remakes of movies such as Lion King. Whether it be Hollywood or films from Asia, there is a lot to look forward to.

So, what are the biggest upcoming films in 2019? Let us take a look.

#1. Glass– January 18.

M Night Shyamalan finally brought together characters from two of his biggest hits in a direct sequel. One thing about Shyamalan is that he knows how to bring up twists infamous villains and heroes who are aware of their actions.

So, what happens when you bring protagonists from hits Split and Unbreakable.  You end up having a bigger hit. Glass has brought together the DID afflict Kevin Crumb (David McAvoy), the super-ego of David (Bruce Willis) and the ego of the hero and the villain in Elijah Prince also known as Mr. Glass (Samuel L Jackson).

Glass is already out, and if you still haven’t seen it, then I don’t know what you are waiting for.

#2. Captain Marvel – March 8

It has been a long coming for a film dedicated to a female superhero. The film will star Brie Larson as Carol Danvers. The movie is set in the 90s. She wears nine-inch nails t-shirts at some point in the movie. Danvers will be joined by the likes of Gemma Chan and Jude Law. Although there are no reviews yet to be released, you should check out the trailer.

#3. Us – March 15.

For a long time, most movie lovers did not know that Us was a follow-up film of Jordan Peele’s Get Out. The latter was a big hit, and it gained international accreditation. Coming back to Us it has a fantastic cast from the likes of Oscar award-winner Lupita Nyong’o, Elisabeth Moss, and Winston Duke.

The trailer was released on Christmas Day 2018, and it showcases a family which is headed by Duke and Lupita, who find a family of doppelgangers in their new home. The trailer is quite scary, and even the poster of the film by Lupita is creepy. However, fans can’t wait to check it out.

#4. The Beach Bum – March 22

You know that the director of Spring Breakers can never let you down if you are looking for a fun movie. The Beach Bum stars Matthew McConaughey in a role which he was bound to play alongside Zac Efron. Did I mention that Snoop Dogg is part of the cast? However, given the weed fat content, you cannot miss him in such a movie. [Ed note: Jimmy Freaking Buffet is supposed to have a role! Rejoice, Parrot-heads!  We are seeing this tonite….review coming soon.]

#5. Dumbo – March 29

The Director of Alice in Wonderland is going to give us a new view into Disney. Dumbo is a sad movie, set in a circus. However, by the look of the trailer, Dumbo seems good.

Just like every year in Hollywood, this year has some great surprises too. Let us know which movies you are looking forward to this year.

Marvel Phase 4 Predictions – Some MCU Sure-Fire Guesses

Dumbo Review – The Original 1941 Animated Classic: High Time for a Remake

Golden Man’s Top Ten Films List for 2018