Dumbo, the live-action film by Tim Burton, hits theaters March 29. Dumbo stars Colin Farrell, Michael Keaton, Danny DeVito, Eva Green and Alan Arkin.
“The new Dumbo tells the story of a baby elephant who is pulled away from his mother to join a small circus with one-time horse-riding star Holt Farrier (Colin Farrell). The drama carries well beyond Dumbo’s first triumphant circus flight, where the original movie ended, to explore the joys and perils of instant fame,” reports USA Today.
Dumbo is one of a Series of Disney Life Action Remakes
The Atlantic calls Dumbo possibly Tim Burton’s most complex protagonist in years.
Several historic, politically incorrect elements from the first Dumbo have been reworked or removed from Dumbo 2019, which is only loosely a remake of the 1941 original.
People, not animals, are the central cast to the remake.
“The elephant is actually a supporting player in a jumble of interrelated storylines about a dad (Colin Farrell) disappointing his children (Nico Parker and Finley Hobbins); a small business struggling in an industry dominated by a big business; and whatever we were supposed to take away from Eva Green’s role as a charismatic trapeze artist,” writes Angie Han for Mashable.
Not all critics are not reacting as warmly as one might expect to the floppy-eared baby elephant. The Wrap ranks it 4th best out of a list of 13 Disney live-action remakes of the studio’s classics. Aladdin, starring Will Smith as Genie, and The Lion King are both due to release later this year.
The Music of Dumbo Plays a Starring Role
Danny Elfman wrote the score for Dumbo. Elfman says working with Burton, who he has worked with on 16 other films, is more complicated than working with other directors.
“It’s always a kind of roundabout process of when we start the film, he’ll say very little about the music. We have a thing called a spotting session where we go through the whole film top to bottom and break it down into all the musical parts and give them all a name and a number.”
Canadian indie rock band Arcade Fire, who contributed the soundtrack Wake Up to 2009’s Where The Wild Things Are film, now contributes a new version of Baby Mine to Dumbo 2019. The song is a cover of the Betty Noyes version from the original animated feature of Dumbo (1941). The band is famous for its many members, and grew more for this recording as one of the sons of the married bandleaders, Win Butler and Régine Chassagne, plays the triangle, Win and Will Butler’s mother plays harp, and their late grandfather makes a cameo on Sonovox for Baby Mine, reports Consequence of Sound.
Butler’s grandfather made the Sonovox, a device that transmits unusual vocal sounds, famous in the 1930s.
“There is a scene with a locomotive in the original Dumbo that uses an instrument called the Sonovox that my grandpa Alvino Rey made famous in the 1930s,” he said. “Every time I saw the film I thought it was him … “I will forever relate to the song thinking about the people I hold so dear that are so precious to me,” he said. “Listen for the cameo of my grandpa Alvino’s famous Sonovox at the end.”