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Dumbo Has Screened, See The Early Reactions

2019 is the year Disney goes all in on the remakes of its animated classics. Later this summer we’ll see both Aladdin and The Lion King hit the screen. But first, it’s all about the flying elephant. Dumbo was Disney’s fourth animated feature film, which makes it now the earliest one to get the live-action treatment. How does the new film stack up against the original, as well as the other Disney remakes? A few critics were lucky enough to see Dumbo early and most of them are pretty complimentary.

Film critic Courtney Howard has one of the more glowing responses to Dumbo, complimenting both the message of the movie as well as the CGI title character.

One of the more unique aspects of this particular story is that the title character of the film is an elephant created entirely with CGI that never actually speaks. It’s safe to say that if the elephant doesn’t work, the movie doesn’t work. However, one item that pretty much everybody seems to be in agreement on is that the elephant is adorable and emotional. As writer Nick Kazden put it…

Dumbo is directed by Tim Burton. While he’s mostly known for making movies about more macabre subjects, this isn’t the first time he’s made a movie designed to warm the heart, and many are in agreement that he’s done a good job with Dumbo. Slashfilm calls it one his best live-action films in years.

Of course, few films receive entirely perfect responses from all corners, and while few seem to have truly hated Dumbo, many still found it lacking. While the remake may offer a bit more substance than the animated original, Nerds of Color still found the new version fairly thin…

Similarly, IGN felt that the movie was simply missing the heart of the original, and that the stories of the human characters, the part of the live-action film that is entirely original, never felt fully realized…

Dumbo is an interesting movie to want to remake in the first place. While it’s got some beautiful visuals and musical moments, the story itself leaves a bit to be desired. The movie isn’t very long, and it still has moments, like the well-known “Pink Elephants on Parade” that are mostly just filler designed to show off Disney’s animation talent.

The new version was always going to need something to give it a bit more substance. The decision was to create a collection of new human characters who come into conflict over Dumbo’s fate, but it seems not everybody agrees they have all that much substance themselves.

There are clearly a lot of fans of the animated classic that will likely want to check this one out. Some are saying it is much better than some of Disney’s more recent remake efforts. The rest of us will find out when Dumbo hits theaters March 29.

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