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"Dumbo: 70th Anniversary Edition" - {Blu-ray} - (Ed)
Reviewer:
Edward McNulty
Studio: Walt Disney Studios
Genre:
Family
Release Date:
Sept 20, 2011
Special Features:

See Below

Review:

A wonderful outsider story, the film shows how with encouragement and support one can transform what others regard as a handicap into an asset. The film maintains for preschool viewers the old myth of storks delivering babies to their mothers. The one bringing the baby elephant is late, having trouble finding the circus train in Florida where the mother is. From the beginning the little fellow is made by others to feel that he is an outsider, with those big ears that often trip him up. This makes his mother’s love all the more poignant, when she defends him from abusers and is punished by being locked into a dreary cage. How Timothy Mouse comes to his aid, helping the little fellow discover and value his sail-size ears as a gift makes for delightful viewing.***

Especially memorable is the Oscar-winning lullaby “Baby Mine,” and virtually all ages will love the word-play of the crows spritely song “When I See an Elephant Fly.” The colorful circus train is pulled by a delightful steam engine that, as it puffs up a steep hill, calls to mind another story, “The Little Engine That Could.” The animation is simple, but beautiful, from the bright circus poster-like opening credits to the spectacular landscapes that the train passes through to the engaging way in which each character is drawn. Art-minded adults will love the spectacular Pink Elephant sequence. I suspect that the high-minded Walt was still in Fantasia-mode when he approved that sequence.***

Special Features:

Cine-Explore/Disney View/"What Do You See?" Game/"What Do You Know?"/ "Celebrating Dumbo" Featurette/Animated Short: "The Flying Mouse"/Animated Short: "Elmer Elephant"/The Magic Of Dumbo: A Ride Of Passage/Art Galleries/Deleted Scene: The Mouse's Tale/Deleted Song: "Are You A Man Or A Mouse/Original Walt Disney Television Introduction/Audio Commentary/Sound Design Excerpt from "The Reluctant Dragon"/Sound Design Excerpt from "The Reluctant Dragon"/

Final Words:

Everything about this 70th Anniversary Blu-Ray/DVD release is first rate, especially the Extra Features “Taking Flight: The Making Of Dumbo” and “Celebrating Dumb” that deepen the viewer’s understanding of the making of the film and the troubled times—the latter both for our country (the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor bounced the little elephant from Time Magazine’s cover) and the Walt Disney Studio. Disney was saved from financial ruin by the film’s success (the box office failure of the expensive Fantasia had left the studio deeply in debt.***

Art lovers will appreciate the way in which Disney’s team incorporated elements of surreal artists such as Salvador Dali and techniques of the German Expressionist filmmakers.***

Both this film and the short “Elmer Elephant and the Flying Mouse” are gold mines for those looking for material for lessons for children! With its games, art galleries, and songs, the disks could keep young and old entertained far beyond the 62 minute film itself. The set is expensive, but buyers will find a bargain if they go to Amazon.com (and no doubt other such sites).***

 

 
 
 
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