A classic animated movie from Disney, this tugs at the heartstrings as much now as it did over seventy years ago when it was made. Based on a little-known book by Helen Aberson, it’s the only Disney animated film in which the lead character, Dumbo himself, doesn’t have a word of dialogue. But he doesn’t need to say anything. From the moment the stork brings a baby elephant to Mrs Jumbo, his big eyes say everything that needs to be said.
Along with Bambi, this is one of the loveliest Disney animal movies, which will have viewers of all ages reaching for boxes of tissues as the little elephant sneezes, and his huge ears make their first appearance. He’s teased by the other circus animals, and dubbed ‘Dumbo’, but his only friend, a mouse named Timothy (Brophy), is determined to see Dumbo live up to his true potential.
There’s lots of humour, of course, but also incredibly moving moments between Dumbo and his mother (and that bizarre pink elephant hallucination, too). Wonderful stuff, this has more drama and fun than many movies twice its length (it’s only sixty-four minutes long).
Is Dumbo (1941) suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
None, but it is upsetting when Dumbo is taken from his mother.