release date: Oct 23, 2001
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Dumbo (60th Anniversary Edition)
Dumbo (60th Anniversary Edition)
A Disney "classic" that actually is a classic, Dumbo should be part of your video collection whether or not you have children. The storytelling was never as lean as in Dumbo, the songs rarely as haunting (or just plain weird), the characters rarely so well defined. The film pits the "cold, cruel, heartless" world that can't accept abnormality against a plucky, and mute, hero. Jumbo Jr. (Dumbo is a mean-spirited nickname) is ostracized from the circus pack shortly after his delivery by the stork because of his big ears. His mother sticks up for him and is shackled. He's jeered by children (an insightful scene has one boy poking fun at Dumbo's ears, even though the youngster's ears are also ungainly), used by the circus folk, and demoted to appearing with the clowns. Only the decent Timothy Q. Mouse looks out for the little guy. Concerns about the un-PC "Jim Crow" crows, who mock Dumbo with the wonderful "When I See an Elephant Fly," should be moderated by remembering that the crows are the only social group in the film who act kindly to the little outcast. If you don't mist up during the "Baby Mine" scene, you may be legally pronounced dead. --Keith Simanton
Special Features
Only 64 minutes long, Dumbo remains one of most charming and heartfelt films in the Disney canon. This DVD marks the 60th anniversary of its release: the attack on Pearl Harbor knocked Dumbo off the cover of Time. The clear, digitally restored print highlights the imaginative use of color in the film, especially in the dramatic sequence of the roustabouts raising the big top and the brilliantly surreal "Pink Elephants on Parade." In the "Celebrating Dumbo" featurette, young studio artists talk about loving the film but provide little information about its creation. The artists aren't identified in the small galleries of preproduction drawings and publicity stills. Animation historian John Canemaker provides a knowledgeable audio commentary, but the viewer longs for more of Joe Grant, the 93-year-old cowriter of Dumbo who continues to work at the Disney Studio. --Charles Solomon
Product details
Sales rank60765
RatedG (General Audience)
DirectorsBen Sharpsteen,Bill Roberts,Clare Baren,Jack Kinney,John Elliotte
ManufacturerBuena Vista Home Video
List price$32.99

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