| 2 | 3
5.1, Dolby Stereo Surround
||1 hr 4 min
Dumbo", "Sound Design"
||Original and re-release
trailers plus tons of other Disney trailers
||"Baby Mine" by Michael
Shorts: "Elmer Elephant" & "The Flying Mouse", Storybook Read-Along
- A New Adventure About Dumbo, Sing-Alongs: "Look out for Mr.
Stork," "Casey Jr.", Art Gallery, Dumbo II Sneak Peek
Holloway, Herman Bing, Verna Felton
Helen Aberson, Aurie Battaglia, Otto Englander
||At a brisk
but engaging 64 minutes, Dumbo tells the story of a baby elephant
that is delivered to his mother in a circus via stork. When
his ungainly ears are discovered he is shunned by the other
elephants and sheltered by his mother. Only a mouse stands up
for him. In a strange, haunting and magical segment that is
completely different from the rest of the film, Dumbo accidentally
gets drunk and dreams of pink elephants singing and dancing.
Dumbo (who's real name is Jumbo) is constantly teased and is
always the but of jokes around the circus. His mother is locked
up in a solitary train for defending him and the movie's sweetest
moment is when Dumbo goes to visit her. You can't help but feel
for the little guy as her trunk comes down through the bars
to pet and rock him. Through it all he learns that his enormous
ears afford him the ability of flight and he soon is the star
of the circus treated to lush accoutriments for himself and
his mother. Dumbo is a more simple style of animation than many
Disney films, sometimes finding more kinship with Warner Brothers
TV animation that the likes of Snow White or Bambi, but it retains
a lot of charm. There's some good songs here, one by Casey jr.
the train, the crows "When I see and Elephant Fly", the "Pink
Elephants on Parade" have all become classics in their own right
and are still charming on this DVD.
transfer looks pretty doggone good for a 60 year old film. The
care that went into the Snow White restoration was much more
extensive, so occasional dust and scratches are apparent. The
colors and contrast are vibrant however and make for an engaging
experience. The audio was also impressive, albeit somewhat downplayed.
This is not a 3D environmental piece. The surrounds are used
for ambiance and some subtle directional effects. I was pleased
to find very little distortion and very clear dialogue. The
music comes through like a new recording.
extras on this disc are quite fun and informative. The "Celebrating
Dumbo" documentary, while a little short sheds a lot of light
on the production as well as it's after affects. Just picturing
Leonard Maltin sobbing to this film is entertainment enough,
but seeing the original animators discuss the film is a surprising
addition. The second featurette is a clip from a film called
"The Reluctant Dragon" in which a character stumbles upon the
recording session of the Casey jr. segment. How this fit into
the film I have no idea, but it is quite fun. Obviously staged
and rehearsed, the actors have a dumbfounded, overly precise
manner about them that was the standard at the time. It was
interesting to see the Casey jr. voice box machine and the storm
effects foley. Aside from the conceptual artwork, the rest of
the features are clearly geared towards children. I was surprised
to see how little patience I had for the two cartoons, which
simply bear no resemblance to the complexities of animated features.
than anything else, this reminded me of the "Creature from the
Black Lagoon" commentary. Not because of the subject matter,
but because it's recorded by a historian of the film who knows
all the ins and outs of the production. He rattles off names
of animators along with their life histories, story progression
so on and so forth. He clearly knows his stuff. Some will undoubtedly
find this kind of exposition dry, but others will think of it
as an enlightening peek behind the curtain.
Dumbo is a classic addition to the
Disney animated library. He's a very sympathetic character
in a cruel environment where man is the tormentor and exploitationist
of beast. The film is well made and the minimalist style of
the animation seem to help the story. The songs are Disney
classics and the extras are well worth it for the animation
collector. This is a good disc which bodes well for other
future releases such as Peter Pan: Special Edition.