Beloved classic 'Dumbo' takes flight with Disney and Tim Burton's Live Action Adaptation

Dumbo

Adventure, Family, Fantasy | G | 1 hr 53 min
Walt Disney Pictures

Disney’s live-action movie, Dumbo, is soaring into Philippine cinemas this March 27 with an inspiring reimagining of the classic tale.

The much-anticipated film retells the magical story with perspectives from new characters – an endearing circus of misfits who eventually become Dumbo’s family, played by an award-winning cast including Colin Farrell, Danny DeVito, Michael Keaton, and Eva Green.

When asked about the new narrative, director Tim Burton says, “I thought it offered a way to tell that story in a framework that expanded it, but without redoing the original. I just liked the take on it. It was simple, with an emotional simplicity, and didn’t interfere with what the basic through line of the original is about.”

In the film, Circus owner Max Medici (Danny DeVito) enlists former star and war veteran 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 Dumbo into his 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.

Visionary director, Tim Burton executes his unique vision with an understanding of individuals who are different, just like the adorable flying elephant.

“I loved the original version, but Tim’s new version is a new, different take on it, and Tim always brings lots of surprises, magic, humor, and emotion. It remains very moving. This is such a powerful story, and I think the baby elephant will melt everyone’s hearts,” says Eva Green.

Bringing the animated classic to life, Burton pulls audiences into a spectacular world through state-of-the-art visual effects and a larger-than-life production with his signature aesthetics. The film features hundreds of real circus performers from all over the world as well as intricately-designed sets and costumes.    

“This film is huge. I don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes, because there’s a lot to put together, but it all just seems to fall into place every day. The craftsmanship of the artistry involved is unbelievable – particularly of [costume designer] Colleen Atwood, who is incredible. One day I walked onto one of the sets with, if I’m not mistaken, 1,500 extras, and I looked at everyone’s wardrobe and it was just so specific and wonderful, right down to heels on shoes. It’s the same for every department. It’s really a pleasure to be around these kinds of people. And that comes from Tim Burton,” shared Michael Keaton.

Despite the differences between the animated version and its live action counterpart, the new film continues to center on the importance of cherishing family, embracing uniqueness, and believing in one’s self. 

Colin Farrell shares, “I hope my kids get from it the same thing anyone gets from it, whatever age they may be, which is just a sense of buoyancy and a sense of seeing magic. But a magic that’s grounded in the reality of the interaction of all the human beings around this magical event that takes place. If that can wash over people, and if it can entertain them, then that’s enough.”

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