In 1941, The Walt Disney Studios released "Dumbo", about an elephant with unique characteristics, which has become one of the studios' most popular classic films. With Disney giving many of their classics live-action remakes, it wasn't a surprise that "Dumbo" was one of them. Now, you can own this classic film and add it to your home entertainment collection on 4K Blu-ray.
The film takes place in 1919, after World War I. We see Holt Farrier (Coin Farrell; In Bruges) returning to his job at the Medici Circus. However, Holt is now an amputee. After learning that his beloved horses, which were the centerpiece of his act, have been sold, he becomes the baby elephant keeper. Holt's children Milly and Joe (Nico Parker and Finely Hobbins) are with him at the circus and take a special interest in the baby elephant, despite their father's orders to leave him alone.
While spending time with this elephant, the children learn that he can fly. Word gets out about this magical elephant and the circus becomes more popular than ever. This popularity makes Dreamland owner, Vandevere (Michael Keaton; Spotlight), take notice. He offers Medici owner, Max (Danny Devito; It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia), a partnership. Max accepts but everyone soon notices that Vandevere isn't who he seems to be and now the group must devise a plan to reunite Dumbo and his mother.
This film was directed by Tim Burton (Batman), and like all of his films, you can see his darker type of style jump off the screen. he chose a new direction for this film, giving it a new storyline, which could have been refreshing, but in the end, was a bit lackluster. It veers off from the original early on in the film and doesn't keep the momentum the classic animated feature had.
Unfortunately, the cast, while full of notable names, wasn't enough to boost the script, and wasn't all that impressive performance-wise. It's shame, too, because even having just one of those actors in a film should be a highlight but not in this case.
The video is presented in it's original aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and the 4k presentation offers a slight update to the quality of the picture. Clarity and sharpness are a bit better and colors are a bit more natural, however, it would take a very focused individual who is specifically looking for these changes to see the uptick in quality. The audio presented in Dolby Atmos does a nice job separating the dialog from the special effects and the soundtrack, however, the lack of deep bass in the presentation didn't make the film sound as full and deep as it did in theaters.
As a fan of the original, I was hoping for this film to blow me away but, as I mentioned earlier, it just didn't hit the mark. However, it's not a bad film by any means and I do like that they gave it a different storyline to inject some originality into the film, even if I wasn't completely satisfied with the results. That being said, this is still a worthwhile addition to your home entertainment collection.
Extras for this release include:
- CIRCUS SPECTACULARS: The cast shares their filmmaking experience and talks about the moral of the film.
- THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM: This feature shows the audience how the animated elephant was brought to life for this live-action film.
- BUILT TO AMAZE: A look at the costume design and film production.
- DELETED SCENES: A collection of deleted scenes as follows:
- Roustabout Rufus
- Pachyderm Plans
- The Other Medici Brother
- Monkey Business
- A Star Is Born
- Where's Dumbo
- Elephant Heist
- A Seat at the Show
- EASTER EGGS ON PARADE: In this feature, you can discover the Easter Eggs in the film.
- CLOWNING AROUND: A look at some bloopers with the cast.
- "BABY MINE": Arcade Fire video