DUMBo: A Tim Burton Nightmare-Film Review

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

That’s actually really good advice that has worked for Disney (the laziest studio in the West) in the past.  Beauty and the Beast wasn’t tampered with much when they brought it to live action film. Jungle Book did fairly well.  Even Alice In Wonderland (with Tim Burton directing) did well. But Alice still saw the white rabbit, the red queen and the mad hatter.  Jungle Book still had Baloo and Shere Khan.  Beauty and the Beast had everyone you’d expect to see doing what you thought they’d be doing because you saw the animated film.  It’s only when you mess with the story too much, when you make the remake plot completely different from the original, like they did with Maleficent, you screw the pooch.

DumboThe worst thing about this movie is going in expecting something like Alice in Wonderland, or Nightmare Before Christmas, or even Batman, and getting what looked like “Tim Burton’s vacation sketches in Disneyland’s backlots.”  Maybe worse still, is having loved Dumbo so much as a little girl, that when you were an adult, every time you heard the song “Baby Mine,” you cried.  They ruined that too–btw–with the Instagram of instruments, the Ukulele. Someone please stop the ukulele insanity.

I’m so sick of ukulele’s…

It didn’t SOUND like a Tim Burton movie.  Whatever Burton was doing on his vacation with these crappy sketches, Danny Elfman was obviously phoning it all in too.  It didn’t LOOK like a Tim Burton movie.  It didn’t FEEL like a Tim Burton movie.  The script was like someone had taken five scripts, handed them to Edward Scissorhands and whatever they got back, they sewed together and didn’t bother trying to make it a cohesive plot.  Add to that the fact that the timeline has you somewhere between the late 1800’s with technology and the mid 1900’s.  Burton couldn’t even decide what decade he was in.

I think he must have been sharing his nightmare with us.

My theory is, he, being 11 years older than I am, was traumatized by theme parks as a youth.  He was born in Burbank–a step away from Universal Studios and a hop, skip and a jump away from Disneyland, and a short trip to Six Flags Magic Mountain.  It explains a lot on how he evolved his style, but it doesn’t explain why he did so horribly on this remake of Dumbo or why he accepted a script so clearly inferior.

I think the movie would be better without sound.

I give it 2 out of 5 stars, but only because I think it would still look good without a soundtrack.  Actually… I think all the interesting parts are with the animals.  When you watch the movie, fast forward on any scene without animals–oh and count Danny Devito as an animal.

If you decide to go and see the movie, you have been warned.  It doesn’t have the feel of a Tim Burton film and it’s lost the spirit of the original Walt Disney classic.  It’s a soulless husk of CGI with empty, unfulfilling plots.

Watch the animated movie instead.

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