Thursday, June 27, 2019

Blu-ray Review: Dumbo (2019)

*This is a sponsored review. All opinions are 100% mine.

Back in the spring, Disney released their live-action take on the 1941 animated classic Dumbo to theatrers in-between Captain Marvel and Avengers: Endgame. Against a $170 million budget, as well as poor marketing, Dumbo didn't impress the mainstream critics and it underperformed at the box office, bringing in near $352 million.

Dumbo landed on 4K Ultra HD, Digital HD, Blu-ray, and DVD this week from Disney Home Entertainment, giving the film a second change to find an audience.

Directed by Tim Burton, Dumbo centers around Holt Farrier (played by Colin Farrell), a WWI  amputee who comes home to learn that his wife had died. Along with his two children, Milly and Joe (played by Nico Parke and Finley Hobbins), Holt returns to work at the Medici Brothers' Circus as the caretaker for the newest attraction -  a pregnant Asian elephant named "Mrs. Jumbo".

The circus is nearly bankrupt and the owner & ringmaster, Max Medici (played by Danny DeVito), put all his faith on the soon-to-be born calf.  Lets just say everyone is in shock when the calf is born with  unusually large ears, resulting in the public believing the calf is a fake and naming him "Dumbo."

Still mourning over the death of their mother, Milly and Joe bond with Dumbo, and this is when they learn, with a little help of a feather, that Dumbo can fly!

Dumbo becomes a sensation for the Medici Brothers' Circus and catches the attention of V. A. Vandevere (played by Michael Keaton), a wicked businessman who will do anything to have Dumbo as the main attraction at his "Dreamland" amusement park.

BLU-RAY & DIGITAL HD Special Features:
  • CIRCUS SPECTACULARS: Dumbo’s cast share their experience of making the film—and get to the heart of a story about family and believing in yourself.
  • THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM: Explore how one of Disney’s most lovable characters went from an animated classic to a stunning live-action retelling.
  • BUILT TO AMAZE: Get a closer look at the film’s production and costume design.
  • DELETED SCENES: A compelling collection of scenes that almost made the final film.
    • Roustabout Rufus
    • Pachyderm Plans
    • The Other Medici Brother
    • Monkey Business
    • A Star Is Born
    • Where’s Dumbo
    • Elephant Heist
    • A Seat at the Show
  • EASTER EGGS ON PARADE: Discover the hidden and not-so-hidden nods to the animated Dumbo in this narrated tribute to the Disney classic.
  • CLOWNING AROUND: Laugh along with the cast in a collection of big-top bloopers and goofs from the set.
  • “BABY MINE”: Visual video performed by Arcade Fire.
  • DREAMLAND – ANATOMY OF A SCENE: From Final Script to Final Scene: The filmmakers and cast talk a lot about the feeling of “grand intimacy” in the film. Step right up as they bring the Dreamland parade to life, accomplishing the rare marriage of a massive spectacle combined with an emotional tenderness.

Final Thoughts

1941's Dumbo is probably my least favorite Disney animated movie. I saw it once or twice during my childhood and to this day I don't remember a single thing from the film except for the fact Dumbo can fly. With that being said, my only two reasons for wanting to see the 2019 live-action remake is because it's directed by Tim Burton and it costars the lovely Eva Green.

After watching the film on Blu-ray, I asked myself, "What the heck where the critics smoking when they reviewed Dumbo?"

Sure, the film has a few flaws here and there, but I thoroughly enjoyed watching it. Tim Burton's usual Gothic artistic style is featured throughout the film but slightly toned down; resembling more in par with Big Eyes and Big Fish. All the new characters, especially the Farrier family, are interesting and help flesh out the plot. The entire cast does an amazing job in their roles. The CGI is pretty good, though there were times when it looked a little bit cartoony, but maybe that was done on purpose. And Danny Elfman's musical score is simple but effective.

The picture and sound qualities are topnotch for the Blu-ray. While there are several special features, it would have been nice to have had a commentary from director Tim Burton.

Overall, Dumbo is a charming fantasy drama. While it's not exactly perfect, the movie is so much better than what the critics made it out to be. Dumbo is definitely worth watching!

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