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Dumbo (1941) Movie Review

By: Alex Phuong (Two Beers) –

*Mild Spoilers Ahead*

This is one of the most beloved and iconic Disney films of all time. It inspired a popular attraction at Disney theme parks, and even spawned a remake in 2019 directed by none other than Tim Burton. Obviously, that film is none other than Dumbo.

A Toast!

Featuring an Oscar-winning score, superb animation, and a touching story, Dumbo remains one of the most famous films ever made, and not just in the Disney canon. It was the first Disney film to feature the voice talents of Sterling Holloway as the Stork and Verna Felton as the Elephant Matriarch.  It also has a beautiful song entitled, “Baby Mine” that is the epitome of the intangible love between a mother and her child.

Dumbo soars (pun intended) because it is a compelling story about believing in oneself and not being ashamed of individuality. Dumbo’s ears might have been big, but that characteristic makes him one of the greatest characters ever created. Walt Disney himself liked this film so much that he even called it his personal favorite made by the studio that bears his name. Coincidentally, this is also John Lasseter’s favorite movie, so it is really not that surprising that this film would have such a lasting impact on the Disney studio as the years passed, meaning that this is definitely a Disney classic!

Beer Two

In spite of such acclaim, the “Pink Elephants on Parade” sequence has been heavily criticized because of its nightmarish qualities that include subtle references to alcohol abuse. This film might also not be suitable for people who do not enjoy circuses and/or have a fear of clowns.

Verdict

This might have been one of the shortest and cheapest Disney films ever produced, but Dumbo will always be a treasured classic in cinematic history no matter how big his ears might have been.

Dumbo (1941) Bonus Drinking Game

Take a Drink: every time Dumbo experiences humiliation because of his gargantuan ears

Do Not Be Sober: during the “Pink Elephants on Parade” sequence

And Cheers: as this film exemplifies the notion that it is perfectly okay to be one’s own true self!

About Alex Phuong

Alex Andy Phuong earned his Bachelor of Arts in English from California State University-Los Angeles in 2015. His love affair with cinema began after discovering Turner Classic Movies in the summer of 2004. His favorite film director is Woody Allen, and his favorite movie star is Kate Winslet.

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