Film review: Dumbo (3 out of 5)

First off we should deal with the elephant in the room - Dumbo has not been kindly received by critics.

And I have to admit it’s not my favourite live action re-make by Disney.

The Jungle Book and Beauty and the Beast are far better.

But director Tim Burton’s Dumbo is certainly not a bad movie. The acting for the most part is very good, there’s some cute characters and an exciting finish.

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However, where the 1941 original was notable for its talking animals and catchy songs, this is a bit too serious for its own good with not a word uttered by Dumbo, monkey or mice.

Holt Farrier (Colin Farrell) returns from the First World War in 1919 to his former life in the circus run by Max Medici (Danny DeVito).

However, that year’s infamous flu epidemic has decimated the performers, including Holt’s wife, leaving him to pick up the pieces with his children.

The arrival of a baby elephant lifts everyone’s spirits until they see it has very large ears and will be looked on as a freak.

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But Holt’s children discover these ears enable the little one to fly and Dumbo becomes a star attraction.

But fame brings the attention of an unscrupulous adventure park owner V.A. Vandevere (Michael Keaton).

There’s plenty of tension as the Holts try to free Dumbo from the clutches of Vandevere and reunite the little one with his mum.

Farrell provides a solid performance and DeVito is the pick of the bunch, while Dumbo is definitely cute.

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Overall while more mature audiences may not be excited by this re-make, there’s enough to keep youngsters interested.

Film details: Dumbo (PG) 112mins

Director: Tim Burton

Starring: Colin Farrell, Michael Keaton, Danny DeVito

Screening courtesy of Horsham Capitol

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