Movie Review: Dumbo

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Did you know that Dumbo was born in Joplin, Mo? Crazy, right? The live-action Dumbo sheds the spotlight on new information that the cartoon version didn’t. This now modern-day movie includes positive messages, positive role-models, along with a little bit of violence and offensive language. I don’t know when you watched Dumbo last, but this is not the Dumbo from your childhood. 2019 Dumbo is putting a positive spin on inclusion and negative light on bullying. Overall, it warm-heatedly reminds us that the show must go on!

This story begins in 1919. The Medici Brothers Circus crew is on a train that has just left Florida and is making its way across the country, performing their circus acts. When the crew arrives in Joplin, MO, they begin setting up for their show. While the crew is setting up, Holt Farrier, a veteran performer, and recent war veteran returns from the war a changed man. Having been the main man in the center ring as a trick rider on horses, he now struggles to find his purpose since returning home a disabled veteran. The circus owner, Max Medici, demoted Holt to elephant caretaker. His job is to take care of Mrs. Jumbo, a pregnant elephant that is due to give birth to a baby that will help promote more business for the circus. But when the baby is born, it is quickly realized that Jumbo Jr. is a little different than expected. Because of his huge, floppy ears, he is teased and called “Dumbo.” Feeling like he’s been tricked into purchasing Mrs. Jumbo, he separates Dumbo from his mother and sends her away. Little does everyone know, Dumbo has a unique ability. Milly and Joel, Holt’s kids, discover that he can fly and set about on their mission to reunite Dumbo with his mother. It is not long before Mr. Medici changes his opinion about Dumbo and throws him in the center ring to sell tickets. Having made his big debut and captured the hearts of many, Dumbo has also caught the eye of V.A. Vandevere, a theme park leader. Knowing Dumbo equals money, he partners with Medici Brothers Circus to take advantage of the innocent baby elephant. He moves the whole crew to Coney Island, but his plan quickly falls apart when karma does its thing and the good people prevail.

Overall, I think this movie is amazing! Real tears were shed as the heartstrings were tugged. The movie was visually pleasing and the details were very well thought out. With Tim Burton as the director, the movie was a little bit darker than the original, but it is another great hit. Dumbo has a lot of ups and downs, pun intended, and shows us that it is not what is on the outside that matters when you’ve got a good heart and give it your all.

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