This is, of course, Disney’s live-action remake (is that the right word?) of its classic 1941 animation about a young circus elephant born with ears so big that he could fly. As with many such recent cinematic disinterments, I came away mildly amused but with questions about its reason for existing other than making the Mouse House a heap of money. Well, it does give the mad director Tim Burton room to stretch his notably unhinged skills, but he rarely really cuts loose. This flashy, impersonal, and, let’s say it, teensy bit creepy Dumbo lacks the charm of its 1941 inspiration but offers a few intrigues of its own. Cast includes Colin Farrell, Danny DeVito, Michael Keaton and a show-stopping Eva Green. I liked the more exhilaratingly demented bits (nice handling of the “pink elephants” scene), and watch for a few mildly subversive swipes at corporate Disney. But the dramatic bits almost all fall flat. Bottom line, nice try, but I can’t really recommend it except as a baby-sitter flick. (112 min)
About Don Morton
Don Morton has viewed some 6,000 movies, frequently awake. A bachelor and avid cyclist, he currently divides his time between Tokyo and a high-tech 4WD super-camper somewhere in North America.