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Bring a Baby: Dumbo

Tim Burton

The transformation of the Disney classical canon from animation to live action features shows absolutely no signs of running out of steam. Following on from Cinderella, The Jungle Book and Beauty and The Beast (and with Aladdin and The Lion King scheduled for later in the year) we now have the classic tale of a very small elephant with very large ears reimagined for a whole new audience well over 75 years on from its debut.

"The classic tale of a very small elephant with very large ears reimagined for a whole new audience..."

Leaving to one side the talking animals of the 1941 version, the film makes more use of its human characters to drive the story along, and in doing so adds new elements to the original narrative. Holt Farrier, a former circus star now debilitated by the impact of his war service, is hired by circus owner Max Medici to take care of Dumbo, a newborn elephant whose oversized ears make him the laughing stock of the struggling circus troupe. But when Holt's children discover that Dumbo can fly, silver-tongued entrepreneur V.A. Vandevere and aerial artist Colette Marchant swoop in to make the little elephant a star. But is everything as shiny and happy as it might initially seem?

Director Tim Burton (Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Edward Scissorhands, Batman) brings his sense of the magical and the otherworldly to the tale, and has promised not to lose the darker elements of the original story. In addition to recruiting the acting talent from many of his previous films – Danny DeVito, Michael Keaton, Eva Green – Burton has once again employed longtime collaborator Danny Elfman to provide another of his sumptuous scores, based on the original music from the animated film.