Synopsis: Struggling circus owner Max Medici enlists a former star and his two children to care for Dumbo, a baby elephant born with oversized ears. When the family discovers that the animal can fly, it soon becomes the main attraction -- bringing in huge audiences and revitalizing the run-down circus. The elephant's magical ability also draws the attention of V.A. Vandevere, an entrepreneur who wants to showcase Dumbo in his latest, larger-than-life entertainment venture.
Main Feature: I have been a longtime Tim Burton defender, right into "Alice in Wonderland" and most of "Dark Shadows." His irreverence and quirky, macabre style and tone from his early career--"Pee Wee's Big Adventure," "Beetlejuice," "Batman" and even "Mars Attacks"--made him appealing for the off-center nature of his movies. Hell, there was even a time I made a case for sections of his "Planet of the Apes." But with his take on the classic "Dumbo," Burton may be showing he is getting too weird for his own good. Granted, I'm not the biggest fan of "Dumbo," but the up-lifting happy ending is the payoff for the downtrodden equal and opposite side of the story. Burton goes too far down, meaning the film falls behind before the redeeming, joyous can kick in--the further down you go, the more you have to go back up. Despite the efforts of Burton and his impressive cast (Michael Keaton-Tim Burton reunion!!!), "Dumbo" is imbalanced with it's two-sided tale.
Special Features: Not much to flap your ears at here. Only a handful of items, such as production, character design and cast featurettes are ho-hum extras sprinkled with the basic fare of deleted scenes, a gag reel and music video.
Final Call: "Dumbo" has a broad wingspan of imagination that never reaches the heights of joy the original had in abundance coming out of its ears.