Tim Burton's remake of the 1941 Disney classic has some high points but just as many low ones as the film muddles through several lulls in the middle of the production. A strong opening introduces the main acts in the traveling Medici Brothers circus lead by ringmaster Max Medici (Danny Divito) a cajoler always on the lookout for a deal like the one that brought him Dumbo's pregnant mother for a steal of a price. We meet Colin Farrell (Holt Farrier) a cowboy who returns from the war missing an arm. His kids Milly (Nico Parker) and Joe (Finley Hobbins) have been helped though some rough times by the performers while he was away with their mother and Holt's partner in the western act having succumbed to an outbreak of tuberculosis.
There is a spike in energy when Michael Keaton turns up as V.A. Vandervere owner of the most successful circus at the time permanently set at Dreamland. As Vadervere tells Medici the key is to have the people come to you. He wants Dumbo for his big top alongside his top performer aerialist Colette Marchant (Eva Green) who has stardom and fame but longs for the Farrier's family dynamic. The first meeting of Vadevere and Medici may cause flashbacks to another Burton production where the two faced off against each other as Batman & The Penguin.
Dumbo is a heartwarming tale that will draw ooh's and aww's from the kids as the baby elephant soars around the big top. It also has valuable lessons on mocking others, knowing who your true friends are and if a deal appears to be too got to be true it likely is. However, the writing is thin, the CGI appearance of the elephant uneven and unstable at times. It will keep the younger set preoccupied for two hours but their guardians may find themselves looking for an opportunity to sneak a quick glimpse or step out into the lobby to check their phones.
** Out of 4.
Dumbo | Tim Burton| U.S.A.| 2019 | 112 Minutes.
Tags: Disney, Elephant, Circus, World War, Trains, Big Top, Clowns, Strong Man, Mermaid, Snake Charmer, Prosthetic Arm. Feather.