(Review originally written at 23 October 2008)

"Dumbo" is one of the first full length animated movies to come out of the Disney studio's. It's also one of the shortest but there is a good reason for that. 

This had to be a cheap and fast production in order to compensate for the the loses long featured Disney animated movies "Pinocchio" and "Fantasia" made on their first release. It still is the cheapest full length Disney animated movie till date and it probably is also the shortest. The movie did became a success by the way at the box offices and it gained more money than both "Pinocchio" and "Fantasia" combined.

It's also the first and only Disney movie that has a main character who doesn't say a word throughout the story. Nevertheless the Dumbo character really comes to life, thanks to the talent of the animators. He's an adorable and classic Disney character, with his trademark big ears and cute big blue eyes.

But despite the fact that the movie is quite short (just over one hour), the movie doesn't really feel as if it's much shorter than any other Disney movie. It perhaps even feels a bit overlong. for I feel that "Dumbo" is a bit of a lacking movie that restrains itself too much to one location and too much on just a couple of characters. Disney movies are always filled with some really colorful and entertaining characters. "Dumbo" is also filled with that but most other character roles within this movie, besides Dumbo himself and Timothy, are not featured really prominently and they just randomly pop-up into the movie and are gone again. For example the crows. They are real classics but for how long are they actually in the movie? 3 minutes maybe?

The story also feels really quite restrained and it's simplistic. Just think about it, what exactly is the main plot-line of this movie? Probably about Dumbo being accepted by the crowd and the other animals for what he is but this is quite thin really. When you now days come up with a story like this it goes straight into the garbage-can in the studio's executive office. It's the foremost reason why I don't enjoy watching this movie as much as any other Disney movie from around the same time period. Though it's definitely one fine and real quality movie, it's just not a movie I would like to watch over and over again.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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