Original 1941 release poster
Directed by Ben Sharpsteen Produced by Walt Disney Written by Novel
Narrated by John McLeish Starring Edward Brophy
Music by Frank Churchill
Studio Walt Disney Productions Distributed by RKO Radio Pictures Release date(s) October 23, 1941 Running time 64 minutes Country United States Language English Budget $813,000 Box office $1,600,000
Dumbo is a 1941 American animated film produced by Walt Disney and released on October 23, 1941, by RKO Radio Pictures.
The fourth film in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series, Dumbo is based upon the storyline written by Helen Aberson and illustrated by Harold Pearl for the prototype of a novelty toy ("Roll-a-Book"). The main character is Jumbo Jr., a semi-anthropomorphic elephant who is cruelly nicknamed "Dumbo". He is ridiculed for his big ears, but in fact he is capable of flying by using his ears as wings. Throughout most of the film, his only true friend, aside from his mother, is the mouse, Timothy — a relationship parodying the stereotypical animosity between mice and elephants.
Dumbo was made to recoup the financial losses of Fantasia. It was a deliberate pursuit of simplicity and economy for the Disney studio, and at 64 minutes, it is one of Disney's shortest animated features.
- 1 Plot
- 2 Cast
- 3 Production
- 4 Release
- 5 Awards and nominations
- 6 Legacy
- 7 Sequels
- 8 Media and merchandise
- 9 See also
- 10 References
- 11 External links
While circus animals are being transported, Mrs. Jumbo, one of the elephants, receives her baby from a stork. (The storks drop their deliveries over "Winter Quarters" in Florida, a reference to Sarasota, the former winter home of Ringling Brothers.)
The baby elephant is quickly taunted by the other elephants because of his large ears, and they nickname him "Dumbo".
Once the circus is set up, Mrs. Jumbo loses her temper at a group of boys for making fun of her son, and she is locked up and deemed mad. Dumbo is shunned by the other elephants and with no mother to care for him, he is now alone, except for a self-appointed mentor and protector, Timothy Q. Mouse, who feels sympathy for Dumbo and becomes determined to make him happy again.
The circus director makes Dumbo the top of an elephant pyramid stunt, but Dumbo's ears causes the stunt to go wrong, injuring the other elephants and bringing down the big top. Dumbo is made a clown as a result, and plays the main role in an act that involves him falling into a vat of pie filling. Despite his newfound popularity and fame, Dumbo hates this job and is now more miserable than ever.
To cheer Dumbo up, Timothy takes him to visit his mother. On the way back Dumbo cries and then starts to hiccup so Timothy decides to take him for a drink of water from a bucket which, unknown to him, has accidentally had a bottle of champagne knocked into it. As a result, Dumbo and Timothy both become drunk and see hallucinations of pink elephants (the famous Pink Elephants on Parade sequence).
The next morning, Dumbo and Timothy wake up in a tree. Timothy wonders how they got up in the tree, and concludes that Dumbo flew up there using his large ears as wings. With the help of a group of crows, Timothy is able to get Dumbo to fly again, using a psychological trick of a "magic feather" to boost his confidence.
Back at the circus, Dumbo must perform his stunt of jumping from a high building, this time from a much higher platform. On the way down, Dumbo loses the feather and Timothy tells him that the feather was never magical, and that he is still able to fly. Dumbo is able to pull out of the dive and flies around the circus, finally striking back at his tormentors as the stunned audience looks on in amazement.
After this performance, Dumbo becomes a media sensation, Timothy becomes his manager, and Dumbo and Mrs. Jumbo are given a private car on the circus train.
- The title character is Dumbo, the nickname given to Jumbo Jr. He is an elephant who has huge ears and is able to use them to fly, carrying what he thinks of as a magic feather. Much like Dopey in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Dumbo has no spoken dialogue.
- Edward Brophy, as Timothy Q. Mouse, an anthropomorphic mouse who becomes the only friend of Dumbo and his mother Mrs. Jumbo. He teaches Dumbo how to become the "ninth wonder of the universe", and the only flying elephant in the whole world. He is never mentioned by name in the film, but his signature can be read on the contract in a newspaper photograph at the finale.
- Verna Felton (uncredited) as Mrs. Jumbo, Dumbo's mother, who speaks only once to call Dumbo by his given name, "Jumbo, Jr." Felton also voiced the Elephant Matriarch, the female leader of the circus elephants.
- Herman Bing as The Ringmaster, and though not truly evil is a strict and occasionally arrogant man. He later appears as a villain in the video game Disney's Villains' Revenge
- Margaret Wright as Casey Junior, the tender engine hauling the circus train. Casey Junior has a 2-4-0 wheel arrangement, a small four-wheeled tender at the back, a big tall funnel, a little lamp hat, a short stumpy boiler, a short stumpy dome with a whistle on the top and a small cowcatcher at his front.
- Sterling Holloway as Mr. Stork
- Cliff Edwards as Jim Crow
- Hall Johnson Choir as Crow Chorus
- Noreen Gammill as Elephant Catty
- Dorothy Scott as Elephant Giddy
- Sarah Selby as Elephant Prissy
- Malcolm Hutton as Skinny
- John McLeish as the narrator
Dumbo was based upon a children's story written by Helen Aberson and illustrated by Harold Pearl that was prepared to demonstrate the prototype of a toy storytelling display device called Roll-A-Book, which was similar in principle to a panorama. It involved only eight drawings and just a few lines of text, and had Red Robin as Dumbo's ally instead of Timothy Mouse.
Dumbo was first brought to the attention of Walt Disney in late 1939 by Disney's head of merchandise licensing Kay Kamen, who showed a prototype of the Roll-A-Book that included Dumbo. Disney immediately grasped its possibilities and heartwarming story and purchased the rights to it.
Originally it was intended to be a short film, but in 1940, after the financial failures of both Pinocchio and Fantasia Walt decided to expand the story into a feature film to help generate income for the Disney studio. The studio's income had also been negatively impacted due to the war in Europe. Storymen Dick Huemer and Joe Grant were the primary figures in developing the plot. They wrote the script in chapters, much like a book, an unusual way of writing a film script. Regardless of this, very little was changed from the original draft.
None of the voice actors for Dumbo received screen credit, but Timothy Mouse, who befriended Dumbo even in his darkest days and was instrumental in helping him find greatness within himself, was voiced by Edward Brophy, a character actor known for portraying gangsters. He has no other known animation voice credits. The pompous matriarch of the elephants was voiced by Verna Felton, who also played the Fairy Godmother in Cinderella, the Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland, and Flora of the Three Good Fairies in Sleeping Beauty. Other voice actors include the perennial Sterling Holloway in a cameo role as Mr. Stork, Cliff Edwards, better known as the voice of Jiminy Cricket, as Jim Crow, the leader of the crows, and John McLeish, best known for narrating the Goofy "How To" cartoons, providing the opening narration.
When the film went into production in early 1941, supervising director Ben Sharpsteen was given orders to keep the film simple and inexpensive. As a result, Dumbo lacks the lavish detail of the previous three Disney animated features (Fantasia, Pinocchio, and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs): character designs are simpler, background paintings are less detailed, and a number of held cels (or frames) were used in the character animation. Although the film is more "cartoony" than previous Disney films the animators brought elephants and other animals into the studio to study their movement.
Watercolor paint was used to render the backgrounds. Dumbo and Snow White are the only two classic Disney features to use the technique, which was regularly employed for the various Disney cartoon shorts. The other Disney features used oil paint and gouache. 2002's Lilo & Stitch, which drew influences from Dumbo, also made use of watercolor backgrounds.
The simplicity freed the animators from being overly concerned with detail, and allowed them to focus on the most important element of character animation: acting. Bill Tytla's animation of Dumbo is today considered one of the greatest accomplishments in American animation.[by whom?]
During the production of Dumbo, Herbert Sorrell leader of the Screen Cartoonists Guild labour union, demanded Disney sign with his union. Disney declined saying that he would put it to a vote. Sorrel again demanded that Disney sign with his union, but Disney once again refused. On May 29, 1941, shortly after Rough Animation on Dumbo was complete, much of the Disney studio staff went on the Disney animators' strike. A number of strikers are caricatured in the feature as clowns who go to "hit the big boss for a raise". The strike lasted five weeks, and ended the "family" atmosphere and camaraderie at the studio.
Completed in fall 1941, Disney's distributor RKO Radio Pictures initially balked at the film's 64-minute length and wanted Disney to either make it longer, edit it down to a short subject length, or allow them to release it as a B-movie. Disney refused all three options, and RKO reluctantly issued Dumbo, unaltered, as an A-film.
Music and sound
- Baby Mine (Betty Noyes)
- Casey Junior (The Sportsmen)
- Look Out for Mr. Stork (The Sportsmen)
- Song of the Roustabouts (The King's Men)
- "The Clown Song" (A.K.A."We're gonna hit the big boss for a raise") (Billy Bletcher, Eddie Holden and Billy Sheets)
- "Pink Elephants on Parade" (The Sportsmen) (soundtrack version has music preceding 2 minutes before it)
- When I See an Elephant Fly (Cliff Edwards and the Hall Johnson Choir)
- When I See an Elephant Fly (Reprise)
On Classic Disney: 60 Years of Musical Magic, "Pink Elephants on Parade" is included on the green disc, Baby Mine is on the purple disc, and When I See an Elephant Fly is on the orange disc. On Disney's Greatest Hits, Pink Elephants on Parade is on the red disc.
Despite the advent of World War II, Dumbo was still the most financially successful Disney film of the 1940s. After its October 23 release, Dumbo proved to be a financial miracle compared to other Disney films. The simple film only cost $813,000 to produce, half the cost of Snow White, less than a third of the cost of Pinocchio, and certainly less than the expensive Fantasia. Dumbo eventually grossed $1.6 million during its original release; it and Snow White were the only two pre-1943 Disney features to turn a profit. It was intended for Dumbo to be on the cover of the December 1941 issue of Time, but the idea was dropped when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, resulting in the United States entering World War II and reducing the box office draw of the film.
The critical reactions to Dumbo were positive, as many critics of the day felt that Dumbo was a return to roots for Disney after growing increasingly "arty" with Fantasia.
This was one of the first of Disney's animated films to be broadcast, albeit severely edited, on television, as part of Disney's anthology series.
Dumbo, along with Alice in Wonderland were the first of Disney's canon of animated films to be released on home video. The film was originally released on June 26, 1981 on VHS and Betamax, followed by a Laserdisc release in June, 1982 and then once again on VHS and Betamax as part of Walt Disney Classics Video Collection release on December 3, 1985.
The film was then remastered in 1986 and 1989 and released on VHS and Laserdisc as a 50th Anniversary Edition of Dumbo on July 12, 1991, followed by an October 28, 1994 VHS and Laserdisc release as a part of the Walt Disney Masterpiece Collection. In 2001, a 60th Anniversary Special Edition was released in VHS and DVD formats. In 2006, a "Big Top Edition" of the film was released on DVD, followed by a UK Special Edition release in May 2007.
A 70th Anniversary Edition of the film was released in the United States on September 20, 2011. The 70th Anniversary Edition was produced in two different packages: a 2-disc Blu-ray/DVD combo pack and a 1-disc DVD. The film was also released as a movie download. All versions of the 70th Anniversary Edition contain deleted scenes and several bonus features, including "Taking Flight: The Making of Dumbo" and "The Magic of Dumbo: A Ride of Passage," while the 2-disc Blu-ray version additionally includes games, animated shorts, and several exclusive features.
Awards and nominations
Dumbo won the 1941 Academy Award for Original Music Score, awarded to musical directors Frank Churchill and Oliver Wallace. Churchill and lyricist Ned Washington were also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Song for "Baby Mine" (the song that plays during Dumbo's visit to his mother's cell), but did not win for this category. The film also won Best Animation Design at the 1947 Cannes Film Festival.
Year Ceremony Award Result 1941 Oscar Awards Best Scoring of a Musical Picture Won Best Original Song
(For the song "Baby Mine")
Nominated 1947 Cannes Film Festival Best Animation Design Won
- American Film Institute Lists
- AFI's 100 Years...100 Songs:
- Baby Mine - Nominated
- AFI's Greatest Movie Musicals - Nominated
- AFI's 100 Years...100 Cheers - Nominated
- AFI's 10 Top 10 - Nominated Animated Film
Allegations of racial stereotyping
The crow characters in the film can be seen as African-American stereotypes. The leader crow was originally named "Jim Crow" for script purposes, and the name stuck. The other crows are all voiced by African-American actors, all members of the Hall Johnson Choir. Despite suggestions of racism by critics such as Richard Schickel who have criticized the portrayal as racist, others reject these claims. Defenders note that the crows form the majority of the characters in the movie who are sympathetic to Dumbo's plight, are free spirits who serve nobody, and intelligent characters aware of the power of self-confidence, unlike the Stepin Fetchit stereotype common at that time. Furthermore, their song "When I See An Elephant Fly", which uses intricate wordplay in the lyrics, is more oriented to mocking Timothy Mouse than Dumbo's large ears.
The 2001 60th anniversary DVD release featured a sneak peek of a direct-to-video sequel, Dumbo II. The preview showed sketches and storyboard ideas. The main story has to do with Dumbo and his new friends getting separated from the rest of the circus as they wander into the big city. Dumbo's new friends are Claude and Lolly the twin bears who leave chaos everywhere they go, Dot the curious zebra, Godfrey the hippo who is older and wants to do things for himself, and Penny the adventurous ostrich. Timothy returns as well. The story was supposed to be set on the day immediately following the end of the first Dumbo story. However, no further announcements have been made since. The project seems to have been canceled, as The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning, Tinker Bell, and its sequels were the last projects for DisneyToon Studios. However, some of the backgrounds for the canceled sequel were recycled for The Fox and the Hound 2.
Media and merchandise
Dumbo's Circus was a live-action/puppet television series for preschool audiences that aired on The Disney Channel in the 1980s. Unlike in the film, Dumbo spoke on the show. Each character would perform a special act, which ranged from dancing and singing to telling knock knock jokes.
- Walt Disney's Dumbo: Happy to Help: (ISBN 0-7364-1129-1) A picture book Disney Press by Random House Disney, written by Liane Onish and illustrated by Peter Emslie. It was published January 23, 2001. This paperback is for children age 4-8. Twenty-four pages long, its 0.08 inches thick, and with cover dimensions of 7.88 x 7.88 inches.
- Walt Disney's Dumbo Book of Opposites: (ISBN 0-307-06149-3) A book published in August 1997 by Golden Books under the Golden Board Book brand. It was written by Alan Benjamin, illustrated by Peter Emslie, and edited by Heather Lowenberg. Twelve pages long and a quarter of an inch thick, this board edition book had dimensions of 7.25 x 6.00 inches.
- Walt Disney's Dumbo the Circus Baby: (ISBN 0-307-12397-9) A book published in September 1993 by Golden Press under the A Golden Sturdy Shape Book brand. Illustrated by Peter Emslie and written by Diane Muldrow, this book is meant for babies and preschoolers. Twelve pages long and half an inch thick, this book's cover size is 9.75 x 6.25 inches.
Dumbo appears in the popular PlayStation 2 game Kingdom Hearts in the form of a summon that the player can call upon in battle for aid. Sora, the protagonist, flies on him and Dumbo splashes enemies with water from his trunk. Game director Tetsuya Nomura has hinted at a world based on the film for the upcoming Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance.
The Ringmaster appears as one of four villains that in Disney's Villains' Revenge. In the game, the Disney Villains alter the happy endings from Jiminy Cricket's book; in particular, the Ringmaster forces Dumbo to endlessly perform humiliating stunts in his circus. In the end, the Ringmaster is defeated when he is knocked unconscious by a well aimed custard pie.
In other Disney films
In The Great Mouse Detective, a bubble-blowing Dumbo toy can be seen, said toy obviously being based on the scene when Dumbo and Timothy were drunk.
- ^ Obituary: Helen Aberson Mayer. www.independent.co.uk. April 12, 1999. Retrieved September 30, 2009.
- ^ "The Mysterious ''Dumbo'' Roll-A-Book". Michaelbarrier.com. http://www.michaelbarrier.com/Essays/DumboRollABook/DumboRollABook.html. Retrieved 2010-05-31.
- ^ John Canemaker-Commentary-Dumbo, 2007 Special Edition DVD
- ^ Holleran, Scott (June 1, 2006). "TCM's Leading Ladies, 'Dumbo' at the El Capitan". www.boxofficemojo.com. http://boxofficemojo.com/features/?id=2077&p=.htm. Retrieved March 3, 2010.
- ^ Taking Flight: The Making of Dumbo-Dumbo, 2011 DVD
- ^ Voice actors listed as uncredited on IMDB
- ^ Cite error: Invalid
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John_Canemaker; see Help:Cite errors/Cite error references no text
- ^ Barrier, 318
- ^ "Festival de Cannes: Dumbo". festival-cannes.com. http://www.festival-cannes.com/en/archives/1947/awardCompetition.html. Retrieved 2009-01-04.
- ^ Maltin, Leonard. (2008). "Leonard Maltin's 2009 Movie Guide", p390. Plume.
- ^ Richard Corliss (June 23, 2011). "The 25 All-TIME Best Animated Films - Dumbo". TIME. http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,2079149_2079152_2079185,00.html. Retrieved August 19, 2011.
- ^ "Dumbo: 60th Anniversary Edition". DVD Empire. DVD Empire. http://www.dvdempire.com/Exec/v4_item.asp?item_id=29828. Retrieved 5 May 2011.
- ^ Ben, Simon (13 July 2003). "Dumbo: 60th Anniversary Edition". Animated Views. http://animatedviews.com/2003/dumbo-60th-anniversary-edition/. Retrieved 11 May 2011.
- ^ Puccio, John (11 December 2001). "Dumb (DVD)". DVD Town. http://www.dvdtown.com/review/dumbo/dvd/918. Retrieved 11 May 2011.
- ^ Willman, Chris (9 June 2006). "Dumbo: Big Top Edition". Entertainment Weekly. http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,1202253,00.html. Retrieved 11 May 2011.
- ^ Henderson, Eric (6 June 2006). "Dumbo: Big Top Edition". Slant Magazine. http://www.slantmagazine.com/dvd/review/dumbo-big-top-edition/939. Retrieved 11 May 2011.
- ^ Swindoll, Jeff (1 June 2006). "DVD Review: Dumbo (Big Top Edition)". Monsters and Critics. http://www.monstersandcritics.com/dvd/reviews/article_1168836.php/DVD_Review_Dumbo_Big_Top_Edition. Retrieved 11 May 2011.
- ^ Lawler, Richard (29 April 2011). "Dumbo 70th Anniversary Blu-ray has a trailer and a release date: September 20th". Engadget. http://hd.engadget.com/2011/04/29/dumbo-70th-anniversay-blu-ray-has-a-trailer-and-a-release-date/. Retrieved 11 May 2011.
- ^ "Dumbo Blu-ray Release Date and Details". The HD Room. 30 April 2011. http://www.thehdroom.com/news/Dumbo-Blu-ray-Release-Date-and-Details/8893. Retrieved 5 May 2011.
- ^ a b c d Wharton, David (4 April 2011). "Disney Opens The Vault And Brings Dumbo To Blu-Ray". Cinema Blend. http://www.cinemablend.com/dvdnews/Disney-Opens-Vault-Brings-Dumbo-Blu-Ray-31673.html. Retrieved 5 May 2011.
- ^ "Dumbo Blu-ray Dated". Blu-ray.com. 29 April 2011. http://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=6282. Retrieved 5 May 2011.
- ^ "Dumbo Takes Flight". IGN. 29 April 2011. http://dvd.ign.com/articles/116/1165263p1.html. Retrieved 5 May 2011.
- ^ "Disney Opens the Vault for ‘Dumbo’ 70th Anniversary DVD and Blu-ray". Buzz Focus. 29 April 2011. http://www.buzzfocus.com/2011/04/29/disney-opens-the-vault-for-dumbo-70th-anniversary-dvd-and-blu-ray/. Retrieved 5 May 2011.
- ^ "DVD Announcement Roundup". Very Aware. 20 April 2011. http://veryaware.com/2011/04/dvd-announcment-roundup/comment-page-1/. Retrieved 5 May 2011.
- ^ Sluss, Justin (30 April 2011). "Disney’s 1941 Classic "Dumbo" Finally Coming to Blu-ray in September". High Def Disc News. http://www.highdefdiscnews.com/?p=60861. Retrieved 5 May 2011.
- ^ "Animated films are unwelcome outside designated categories, as "WALL-E" and "Waltz" shutouts remind us". latimesblogs.latimes.com. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/files/2009/02/snow-white-and.html. Retrieved September 30, 2009.
- ^ IMDb Awards
- ^ AFI's 100 Years...100 Songs Nominees
- ^ AFI's Greatest Movie Musicals Nominees
- ^ AFI's 100 Years...100 Cheers Nominees
- ^ AFI's 10 Top 10 Ballot
- ^ Schickel, Richard (1968), The Disney Version, New York: Simon and Schuster
- ^ Grant, John (1987), Encyclopedia of Walt Disney's Animated Characters, New York: Harper & Row, p. 175
- ^ "Dumbo II". Archived from the original on 2009-10-26. http://www.webcitation.org/query?url=http://www.geocities.com/jmraises/other/otherdumboII.html&date=2009-10-26+00:54:35.
- ^ "Disney World's Dumbo the Flying Elephant Page". http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/wdw/parks/attractionDetail?id=DumbotheFlyingElephantAttractionPage.
- ^ "Disneyland California's Dumbo the Flying Elephant Page". http://disneyland.disney.go.com/disneyland/en_US/parks/attractions/detail?name=DumboTheFlyingElephantAttractionPage.
- ^ "Tokyo Disney's Dumbo the Flying Elephant Page". http://www.tokyodisneyresort.co.jp/tdl/english/7land/fantasy/atrc_dumbo.html.
- ^ "Hong Kong Disneyland's Fantasyland Attractions Page". http://park.hongkongdisneyland.com/hkdl/en_US/parks/listing?name=FantasylandAttractionListingPage.
- ^ "Flying Dumbo to star in new Disneyland fireworks show". Los Angeles Times. June 3, 2009.
- ^ "Official Kingdom Hearts Page". http://na.square-enix.com/games/kingdomhearts/.
- Official website
- Dumbo at the Internet Movie Database
- Dumbo at the Big Cartoon DataBase
- Dumbo at Rotten Tomatoes
- Video of Dumbo flying over castle at Disneyland
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Dumbo — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Para la marca venezolana de gaseosas véase Refrescos Dumbo Dumbo Título Dumbo Ficha técnica Dirección Ben Sharpsteen Guión Joe Grant Dick Hue … Wikipedia Español
Dumbo — Personnage Disney Nom original Dumbo Espèce Éléphant Sexe Masculin 1re apparition dans 23 octobre 1941 Dumbo … Wikipédia en Français
DUMBO — Personnage Disney Nom original Dumbo Espèce Éléphant Sexe Masculin 1re apparition dans 23 octobre 1941 Dumbo Li … Wikipédia en Français
Dumbo — the main character in the ↑cartoon film Dumbo, made by Walt Disney in 1941. Dumbo is a young elephant with very large ears, who learns to fly … Dictionary of contemporary English
dumbo — dȕmbo m <G a/ e> DEFINICIJA razg. 1. debeo čovjek, debeljko 2. čovjek golemih ušiju (poput slona) ETIMOLOGIJA engl. dumbo … Hrvatski jezični portal
dumbo — ► NOUN (pl. dumbos) informal ▪ a stupid person … English terms dictionary
Dumbo — Filmdaten Deutscher Titel Dumbo … Deutsch Wikipedia
DUMBO — Плимут стрит DUMBO (аббревиатура от англ. Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass … Википедия
dumbo — [“dambo] 1. n. a stupid oaf. (Also a rude term of address.) □ Say, dumbo, could you move out of the way? □ Who’s the dumbo in the plaid pants? 2. n. someone with large ears. (Also a rude term of address. The name of a cartoon character elephant… … Dictionary of American slang and colloquial expressions
dumbo — UK [ˈdʌmbəʊ] / US [ˈdʌmboʊ] noun [countable] Word forms dumbo : singular dumbo plural dumbos informal a stupid person … English dictionary