Starring: Colin Farrell, Michael Keaton, Danny DeVito, Eva Green, Alan Arkin, Nico Parker, Finley Hobbins, DeObia Oparei, Joseph Gatt
OUR RATING: ★★★☆☆
Disney’s fantasy live-action adventure directed by Tim Burton. Dumbo (2019) follows circus owner Max Medici (Danny DeVito), who enlists former circus 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.
Joe Farrier: Dad, wake up! Let’s go! The elephants need us!
Holt Farrier: Good God, son, you’re going to make me miss the war.
Holt Farrier: [as they discover Dumbo buried under a pile of hay] Look at that. It’s okay now. Don’t be scared. Don’t be scared now, your mama’s right outside.
Max Medici: Baby! We got a baby! We got a baby! What is that?
Joe Farrier: Baby Jumbo.
Max Medici: I already got fake freaks in the freak show! I don’t need a real one in the center ring! Rongo! We’ve been swindled!
Rufus Sorghum: Gone and bought yourself a baby monster. You think he can hear me?
Max Medici: Rongo, telegram to Brugelbecker. “We have been bilked with damaged goods. This is an aberration, travestation, and I demand my money back.” But whatever you do, do not call the papers. We are not advertising this baby.
Max Medici: [Rongo looks at him silently] Tell me you didn’t do it. You did it? Never do anything I tell you without checking with me first!
Max Medici: Why me? Why me? A face only a mother could love.
Miss Atlantis: Sir, many of us find you handsome.
Max Medici: I was talking about the elephant!
Max Medici: [pointing to Dumbo] You have until tomorrow night to fix that!
Holt Farrier: Me?
Max Medici: Yes, you!
Holt Farrier: This is my problem?
Max Medici: Yes. You tend the elephants. Make those ears disappear!
Ivan the Wonderful: [Medici storms off, Holt looks over to him] Don’t look at me.
Joe Farrier: Look at him, those giant ears weigh him down.
Milly Farrier: Hi, Baby Jumbo. Welcome to the circus. We’re all family here. No matter how small.
Audience Member #1: Hey, ain’t that Holt Farrier, the Stallion Star?
Audience Member #2: Hey! Ain’t you Holt Farrier?
Holt Farrier: No, he died in the war.
Holt Farrier: [puts on a fake mustache as he turns his head] So sad.
Milly Farrier: [referring to as Dumbo’s mother, Mrs. Jumbo] What’s happening? Where are they taking her?
Holt Farrier: Go on back to your tent.
Joe Farrier: But she’s his mom!
Milly Farrier: Dad, please. Stop them. Please!
Joe Farrier: Do something.
Milly Farrier: Mom would have done something.
Holt Farrier: Mama’s not here.
Pramesh Singh: [to Mrs. Jumbo as she’s being taken away] Beautiful creature, we’ll take care of your son.
Milly Farrier: [after watching Dumbo fly for the first time] It’s not the peanuts that made him do it. It’s the feathers!
Milly Farrier: [referring to Dumbo flying] Dumbo, you got to do this in the show.
Joe Farrier: What do you mean?
Milly Farrier: Because if the circus sells more tickets, and Medici makes more money, then we can get him to use some to buy Mrs. Jumbo back.
Joe Farrier: Yeah!
Milly Farrier: We can get her back, Dumbo. You can. Just show them all what you can do.
Joe Farrier: Come on. We got to tell Dad.
Milly Farrier: No. He’ll just tell us to be practical. Shows got canceled for a week, right? We can research and study and test. You’re a miracle elephant, Dumbo. And we’re going to bring your mama home.
Max Medici: Okay, Big D, this is it. Just like in rehearsal. Except for lights, music, fire and crowds. You can do it.
Holt Farrier: Come on, Dumbo.
Milly Farrier: You can do it, Dumbo. Show them all like you showed us!
Milly Farrier: Fly, Dumbo. Fly.
[Dumbo suddenly flies and the audience gasps]
V. A. Vandevere: [Medici opens his desk drawer, a monkey is holding a drink flask ] Is that a monkey in your desk?
Max Medici: Just for emergencies.
V. A. Vandevere: Max, if you don’t mind my asking, where did you come upon the animal?
Max Medici: He hails from the far east.
V. A. Vandevere: How far?
Max Medici: Far.
Neils Skellig: He doesn’t look like magic to me.
Holt Farrier: Well, what the heck can you tell by appearances, right?
V. A. Vandevere: Max, you possess something that’s very rare in life. And the tragedy of it is, is you don’t even know that you have it. Do you know what it is that you have, Max?
Max Medici: No.
V. A. Vandevere: It’s mystique.
V. A. Vandevere: Max, I know your type. Charlatan, con man, opportunist.
Max Medici: New York is that way, in case you need directions.
V. A. Vandevere: And I know it comes from a deep desire to build something authentic and true.
Max Medici: I know your game.
V. A. Vandevere: It’s not a game. Some men cheat the rules, others change them.
Max Medici: [he flips a coin and makes it disappear] It’s up your sleeve.
V. A. Vandevere: It’s in your pocket.
V. A. Vandevere: [Medici stops and takes out a piece of paper from his pocket] The secret to show business is always keep a rabbit in your hat. Or a monkey in your desk, I guess.
Colette Marchant: Show me your secret. How on earth does your elephant fly?
Milly Farrier: Well, first, he needs a feather.
Joe Farrier: He won’t fly without a feather.
Colette Marchant: [Joel hands her a feather] Well then, neither will I.
V. A. Vandevere: [as he watches Dumbo fly] You beautiful one-armed cowboy. You’ve made me a child again.
Holt Farrier: [referring to Milly] Well, her mama always knew what to say. No matter what. She always knew.
Colette Marchant: Your children don’t need you to be perfect. They just need you to believe in them.
Holt Farrier: That simple, huh?
V. A. Vandevere: Why are you just standing there? Get to the tower!
Stage Manager: The electricity’s failing! There’s no elevators!
V. A. Vandevere: When I last checked, they invented stairs.
V. A. Vandevere: [as Dreamland is burning down around them] Right there, arrest that man. He stole my elephant! Hey, we had a contract, Medici.
Max Medici: I’m no expert, but I think you got bigger problems here.
Max Medici: [introducing the new Medici Family Circus] Ladies and gentlemen, introducing our world famous flying elephant!
Max Medici: [a man in an elephant costume is shot into the air] Welcome to the Medici Family circus, where we believe no wild animals shall be held in captivity. See Rongo, the world’s strongest and most versatile man. Meet the bewitching Miss Atlantis, now performing underwater Shakespeare, with the world’s only living merman, Puck. And visit our newest attraction, Milly Farrier’s World of Wonders, to discover all the real life amazements that are shaping tomorrow today. Marvel at the skills of the legendary Holt, our cowboy of the future. And the Pearl of Paris, Colette, Queen of the Heavens!
Max Medici: Friends, young and old, you have a home at our circus, where anything is possible and miracles happen. Believe me, they do.
[we see Dumbo and his mother back in the wild in India with Dumbo flying in joy]