Disney Revisited Part 03 – Dumbo (1941)

Movie Title: Dumbo

Release Date: October 23, 1941

Based On: Dumbo by Helen Aberson and Harold Pearl

First Impression

I was really, really young when I first saw this movie and it honestly made no impression on me. I mean, I vaguely remembered it being cute and that was about it.

My Impression Now

I’m not sure what to think of this one. It feels like such a step back in terms of… Everything… compared to Snow White and Pinocchio. And seeing as it came out following something like Fantasia (a movie that I honestly couldn’t place on this list, but I will come back to eventually), it’s so unbelievably underwhelming. The music feels so incredibly dull and generic that it even pales in comparison to When You Wish Upon a Star; which you may recall I referred to as boring in my review of Pinocchio. The animation style looks much older than something like Snow White. This is especially apparent in the sections with the circus train. The way the train moves honestly made m think back to that Steamboat Mickey Mouse cartoon from 1928. Overall, while there was such love and attention to detail pouring out of every single frame of the previous entries in this series, Dumbo honestly feels… Very half-assed. :/

That said, it was an okay watch, I enjoyed it, and I’ll admit that the scene when Dumbo’s mom is locked up and he goes visit her did make me tear up a little bit. I’m not made of stone after all.

Now, let’s start approaching the actual elephants in the room when it comes to this movie… first of all, the pink elephant scene. It’s really stupid. I don’t know why it’s there, and I sort of just… Spaced out and let it happen. I have nothing else to say about it. It’s not terrifying and I honestly don’t care about him being drunk; it was a pretty okay thing in kids cartoons at the time and I honestly don’t mind that.

Second… The crows. Yeah, people overreact a lot about that. This cartoon was made in 1941. A lot of things were perfectly acceptable then that are no longer acceptable now; in some cases, that’s a good thing, in other cases not so much. Other than how they talk; the crows are the only actual okay characters in this other than Dumbo and Timothy and theirs is the only actual decent song sung by actual characters.

Which leads me to my major problem with this film. It has one of my least favorite gimmicks in underdog stories… Everyone is a freaking asshole. The humans are assholes to all the animals, the other animals are assholes to Dumbo all the time. It’s unbelievably grating.

Overall? Dumbo is a cute movie with a couple of good tear-jerking moments but doesn’t have a lot else going for it in my opinion. If I were to define it in one word it’d probably be ‘skippable’. It’s a skippable part of the Disney collection, in my opinion.

Songs Overview

The crows song was okay. I honestly don’t remember much of anything else. :/

Overall song rating for Dumbo: 1/10

Racist Moment Spotlight

Okay, no screenshot this time. I want to actually point something out about this movie and, hey, maybe I’ve been watching too many movie theory videos on YouTube, but I couldn’t help but notice that Dumbo doesn’t quite look like the other elephants in this movie.

See, all of the other circus elephants are very clearly Asian elephants. And I’m not gonna go all biology nerd on you guys about it; you can Google this stuff if you’re really interested, but there are a lot of different traits that differ between Asian and African elephants such as the tip of the trunk, shape of the head and, yes; ear shape and size.

African elephants have larger ears. Yup. Now, Dumbo has other small traits that pertain to the African race (of elephants!), but also a few traits; such as his trunk, that are Asian traits, which would make him a half-breed elephant. And while in real life that’s not exactly possible, let’s just say ‘because cartoon’ and assume that I’m right about this.

This entire movie is about a bunch elephants being racist to a baby.

You’re welcome. 😛

So there you have it guys; my review of Dumbo. It was a long time coming, wasn’t it? Yeah. I promise it won’t be years until I get the next one of these out. Or at the very least I’ll do my best. 😉

Next up is… *goes check her list*


Oh no.

*sigh* It’s Bambi. 😐

Wish me luck, guys.


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