Disney's animated 1941 classic Dumbo gets a live-action makeover in the trailer and poster for director Tim Burton's retelling. The titular flying elephant is joined by several of Burton's longtime collaborators in the film (Michael Keaton, Eva Green, and Danny DeVito among them), as well as newcomers to the world of Burton, like Colin Farrell.
Written by Ehren Kruger (The Brothers Grimm, Transformers: Age of Extinction), the live-action Dumbo revolves around Holt Farrier (Farrell), an ex-circus star and single father in need of a job to support his children, Joe (Finley Hobbins) and Milly (Nico Parker). Holt is then hired by his old circus boss Max Medici (DeVito) to care for Dumbo, a newborn elephant with giant ears... ears which, it turns out, allow him to fly and soon transform him into the circus' biggest attraction. However, Dumbo's newfound fame also makes him a target for entrepreneur V.A. Vandevere (Keaton), an unscrupulous fellow who intends to add the flying sensation to his deceptively-named "entertainment venture", Dreamland, where the "charming and spectacular" aerial artist Colette Marchant (Green) resides.
The Mouse House has now released the official Dumbo trailer online, following its premiere during the 2018 CMA awards ceremony. You can check it out in the space below, followed by the film's newly-unveiled poster:
Dumbo is unique among Disney's live-action remakes of its classic animated films, in the sense that it's neither a quasi-sequel to a story previously adapted by the Mouse House (a la Christopher Robin and Burton's own Alice in Wonderland), nor a strict re-telling in the vein of Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast. Rather, as the synopsis and new trailer illustrate, it's a re-imagining that includes several brand-new characters, and goes well beyond where the original animated Dumbo ended (i.e. shortly after Dumbo flies during a circus performance for the first time). All the same, both the Dumbo (2018) teaser and full-length trailer are full of homages to the 1941 animated feature and its iconography.
Burton, for his part, hasn't released a proper critical darling in some time, though a few of his more recent movies (like Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, which also featured Green) have earned their fair share of applause from critics and general audiences. While that may not change with Dumbo, the film boasts a rather likable cast and certainly looks as visually decadent as one would expect a live-action Dumbo directed by Burton to be. Similarly, it will be interesting to see what the box office turnout is like for this one, especially with live-action remakes of Aladdin and The Lion King - two far more modern and popular Disney titles - due to arrive just a few months after Dumbo hits the scene next spring.
- Dumbo (2019) release date: Mar 29, 2019