Dumbo

Critics Consensus

Dumbo is held partly aloft by Tim Burton's visual flair, but a crowded canvas and overstretched story leave this live-action remake more workmanlike than wondrous.

47%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 344

51%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 3,766
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Movie Info

From Disney and visionary director Tim Burton, the all-new grand live-action adventure "Dumbo" expands on the beloved classic story where differences are celebrated, family is cherished and dreams take flight. Circus owner Max Medici (Danny DeVito) enlists former star Holt Farrier (Colin Farrell) and his children Milly (Nico Parker) and Joe (Finley Hobbins) to care for a newborn elephant whose oversized ears make him a laughingstock in an already struggling circus. But when they discover that Dumbo can fly, the circus makes an incredible comeback, attracting persuasive entrepreneur V.A. Vandevere (Michael Keaton), who recruits the peculiar pachyderm for his newest, larger-than-life entertainment venture, Dreamland. Dumbo soars to new heights alongside a charming and spectacular aerial artist, Colette Marchant (Eva Green), until Holt learns that beneath its shiny veneer, Dreamland is full of dark secrets.

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Cast

Eva Green
as Colette
Michael Keaton
as Vandermere
Alan Arkin
as J. Griffin Remington
Nicole N. Parker
as Milly Farrier
Finley Hobbins
as Joe Farrier
Roshan Seth
as Pramesh Singh
Lars Eidinger
as Hans Brugelbecker
Joseph Gatt
as Nells Skellig
Phil Zimmerman
as Rufus Sorghum
Sharon Rooney
as Miss Atlantis
Frank Bourke
as Puck the Organ Grinder
Michael Buffer
as Baritone Bates
Sandy Martin
as Verna The Secretary
Erick Hayden
as Rancher
Simon Connolly
as Stage Manager
Nick Bartlett
as Armored Truck Driver
Harry Taylor
as Power Tower Guard
Vincent Andriano
as Bridge Guard
Ben Crowe
as Dreamland Guard
Clive Brunt
as Burley Engineer
Angela Ashton
as First Maid
Philip Rosch
as Reporter
Joseph Macnab
as Reporter
Rob Heanley
as Reporter
Amerjit Deu
as Indian Ship Captain
Lucy DeVito
as Coat Check Girl
Matthew Castle
as Joplin Men
Brett Jones
as Joplin Men
Zee Asha
as Joplin Women
Carol Been
as Joplin Women
Govinda
as Pramesh's Troupe
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News & Interviews for Dumbo

Critic Reviews for Dumbo

All Critics (344) | Top Critics (43)

  • That this same blockbuster should turn out to be utterly soulless and the cinematic equivalent of a tacky Vandevere production is a gorgeously satisfying irony, and certainly the most interesting element of an otherwise vapid, uninspired remake.

    Apr 2, 2019 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

    Kevin Maher

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • The animation of old feels so much more real than the live-action remake.

    Apr 1, 2019 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • The refurbished story, both numbing in its predictability and painstakingly woke, is the clearest indicator that this reboot need not exist.

    Mar 31, 2019 | Full Review…
  • I was expecting a surplus of cute close-ups, but Burton does surprisingly little to win us over. He's never been big on treacle, but a bit more warmth in this chilly movie, which barely follows the outline of the 1941 original, would have gone a long way.

    Mar 29, 2019 | Rating: C | Full Review…
  • Lost in all of this is Dumbo himself, a CGI creation with big ocean blue eyes and those lovably floppy ears... But the spirit and heart of the original "Dumbo" is still locked away in the Disney vault.

    Mar 29, 2019 | Rating: C- | Full Review…
  • I was psyched for the reteaming of Keaton and Burton, who together cooked up "Beetlejuice" and two of the better Batman films, but the chemistry, sad to say, produces no magical brew.

    Mar 29, 2019 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Dumbo

  • Jul 25, 2019
    Not without problems but this is still Burton's best movie in years, elevated by the expansion on the original "Dumbo" to include commentary on Disney of all things.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Jul 17, 2019
    Can't believe I got cheated out of Pink Elephants on Parade like that. Literally the only reason I watched this.
    Gimly M Super Reviewer
  • Jun 18, 2019
    For those not in the know this is a Disney cash grab...sorry remake...of the classic 1941 animated movie surrounding a flying baby elephant. I realise this might read like I'm stating the obvious but judging by the state of the box office for this movie it seems a lot of younger folks might not actually know this. I will also point out I only watched this more out of curiosity as I did grow up with the original and I think its a fine animated Disney film, a true classic. So in 1919 (yes its a period flick too) a small travelling circus is struggling its way across the US. After a series of recent major setbacks the future is not looking too rosy for Ringmaster Max Medici. But unbeknownst to Medici he has an ace up his sleeve just waiting to be played. His large female Asian elephant is pregnant and will soon be delivering a miracle. That miracle turns out to be a little baby elephant with huge wing-like ears. At first all are shocked by this unusual defect, but sure enough in time the little pachyderm brings much joy and success to all around it. K the first thing that always bugged me about this movie (yep I'm referring to the original) was the fact that the circus folk (and the other animals) were so shocked by an elephant with large ears. Like seriously what is the deal with that? How is that so shocking? The same can be said for this new movie but on an even large scale. In this incarnation the circus is clearly a bit of a dodgy carnival with bad acts, little fanfare, and little budget. It's not a nasty circus per se, it's just running out of steam. Heck even the freaks aren't real. Surely in the circus era of 1919 seeing freaks (people with disfigurements, illnesses, wounds etc...) would be a pretty common thing and most probably relished. So the fact that an elephant with freakishly huge ears turns up should fill everyone with joy. Surely this little elephant is a gift from the gods in terms of making money from gullible (uneducated) people. So the fact that Medici acts all horrified and wants nothing to do with it makes no sense at all. Second point is the Burton aspect. I love me some Burton, oh yes, but was he the right choice for this movie? Yeeeah...not really no. We know what Burton does well and he does still do it well. You all know what I mean by that and you all know what to expect here. This time period and circus setting is indeed perfect for Burton and his kooky visions. Visually everything is pretty slick and inevitably dark looking. Think of all the circus characters in 'Batman Returns' but just more realistic in tone. Except for the obvious and tiresome greenscreen and CGI shots which we simply cannot escape from these days, everything looks really nice here. Kudos to all the people behind the CGI animal effects as they are actually really really excellent. I was really expecting to see a horrendously obvious cartoonish CGI elephant with big ears but what we get is actually a fantastic recreation of the little animated elephant. Even his big blue eyes look very realistic. I cannot fault the overall motion or look of any of the animals in this movie. Nor can I fault some of the recreated scenes from the animated movie which are, surprisingly, well captured again here. What I can fault is the overstuffed plot and various pointless characters. Naturally the plot here has been altered to fill out a proper runtime and it kinda works and kinda doesn't. I appreciate what they have tried to do and it does sorta work, but at the same time it really does just highlight how good the original animated film was in its sheer simplicity. The original movie was a bare-bones affair to a degree, very little dialog, characters, or plot even. The movie was only about an hour long for heaven's sake. In this remake they have crammed in a whole load of characters that don't need to be there (Colin Farrell's character). Backstory that is completely unnecessary. Huge action scenes (of course). The classic songs and their sequences are all but gone. And naturally a grand finale in a grand location. Don't get me wrong I love me some Michael Keaton and I do kinda like his cruel dastardly amusement park owner Vandevere, but what the feck was going on in that last act??!! All of a sudden we're at a flippin' enormous steampunk version of Epcot Centre with a dash of [i]Jurassic Park[/i] and [i]The Jetsons[/i] thrown in! Clearly this guy has got money judging by the size of his park, his army of employees, and the interior of his buildings (look at his office!!). But that does lead you to query why he would need a flying elephant [b]that[/b] much. The other thing that got me was the fact that despite the audience and a rich investor (Alan Arkin) seeing Dumbo fly (granted only for a few minutes), they still weren't happy! The audience wanted their money back and Arkin's character wouldn't invest in Keaton's park! Dude! You literally just saw a flying baby elephant! What more do you need??? Then to really top things off, the heroes try to save Dumbo and his mum from the devilish Vandevere by shutting down all the electricity in his gigantic park. This causes panic all round but it is compounded when Vandevere arrives at his control room tower and starts essentially pulling every lever and pushing every button to try and get things going again despite his men telling him not to because it will overload the system. This then causes [b]everything[/b] to apparently catch fire and start to crumble down giving us this immense towering inferno that engulfs the entire park! What. The. Feck. Burton! Yeah, so it's pretty obvious this would never replace the classic 1941 original, not even close. Like I said I do appreciate what Burton tried to do here but it was always gonna be a losing battle and one that should have never taken place. Clearly they had issues with...everything...and it only goes to prove you don't need to remake everything, especially a classic animated movie that only had a runtime of literally 1 hour. It's not the worst movie in the world no, it's not even close, but it is completely pointless. And with that, I hear by rest my case on the mystery of the continual Disney cash grab phenomenon. Case closed!
    Phil H Super Reviewer
  • Jun 09, 2019
    This is one of the few Disney films that I hated. Dumbo was long winded and self indulgent - sorry to say, very much what I would expect from a Tim Burton film. It was way too messy and boring.
    Chrisanne C Super Reviewer

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