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I’d never seen Dumbo before. All I knew of it was that it was a little elephant with big ears and that he learns to fly. I was hesitant going into this after watching Fantasia as that was so bad. Also, I’m always wary of watching film and television with circus in it, as I’m not big on clowns. I’m glad we’re getting through the list though!

“Dumbo, the fourth animated feature in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series, is based upon the storyline written by Helen Aberson and illustrated by Harold Pearl for the prototype of a novelty toy (“Roll-a-Book”).[4] The main character is Jumbo Jr., a semi-anthropomorphic elephant who is cruelly nicknamed “Dumbo”. He is ridiculed for his big ears, but in fact he is capable of flying by using his ears as wings. Throughout most of the film, his only true friend, aside from his mother, is the mouse, Timothy – a relationship parodying the stereotypical animosity between mice and elephants.

Dumbo was made to recoup the financial losses of Fantasia It was a deliberate pursuit of simplicity and economy for the Disney studio, and at 64 minutes, it is one of Disney’s shortest animated features.” Thanks wiki!


Age of film: October 1941

Date Watched: 12th April 2016


  • Picture Quality 
    • Lincoln – 7
      • As with the others, pretty seamless Disney animation. And with so few human characters in this film, the animals all looked great.
    • Sara – 7
      • Very clear colours, it’s easy to see the expressions on the characters faces.
  • Durability
    • Lincoln – 7
      • I think people can still empathise with Dumbo, as most of us know what it’s like to miss our parents and feel singled out. The idea of embracing your abnormalities is a positive message I believe. Take that, gossipy lady elephants!
    • Sara – 6
      • We don’t really use animals in the circus anymore (which I’m very glad about) so the entire premise is kind of lost as to why the elephants are in the circus in the first place.
  • Songs
    • Lincoln – 5
      • I only song I know is “When I see an elephant fly” and while its great, the score gets dropped because there weren’t really any other singalong songs.
    • Sara – 5
      • I barely noticed them to be honest – they weren’t very memorable.
  • Modern Values
    • Lincoln – 7
      • As I mentioned, I like that Dumbo used his big ears to improve his position instead of feeling the need to change himself. He didn’t give in to peer pressure, and I really support this sentiment.
    • Sara – 4
      • Using animals in the circus and classic stereotypes regarding circus/carnival folk being odd/dodgy people who drink a lot – probably not so good. The birds evidently being black is probably a bit questionable. Also, Dumbo (who is a child) getting super drunk and hallucinating…
  • Would We Show it to the Kids
    • Lincoln – 7
      • I see no reason not to, I think the characters are cute and believable, and I think they would enjoy it.
    • Sara – 4
      • As much as I think the whole film is probably fairly innocent, the hallucinating scene when Dumbo & Timothy are drunk is very creepy. Also, I really hate the combination of animals and the circus.
  • Flow/Length 
    • Lincoln – 8
      • Only an hour in length and so it didn’t drag at all.
    • Sara – 7
      • It was nice and quick! The hallucination scene probably went for a bit long though.
  • Emotional Attachment
    • Lincoln – 9
      • There were definitely some tears shed when Dumbo had a cuddle with his imprisoned mother, and I just felt so bad for the little guy the whole time. I really appreciated Timothy’s support and just wanted it all to work out, so it was a big relief when it did. Though he is still locked up in a circus…
    • Sara – 7
      • I felt so bad every time when they pick on Dumbo for his ears. They really portray sad feelings well in this! At the end it would have been better if Dumbo and his mum got some revenge on the baddies though, cause otherwise the ending was nice and happy!
  • Logic/Plot Holes 
    • Lincoln – 8
      • I don’t think the writers have ever drunk alcohol before. And its interesting that none of the characters ever discussed escaping from the circus.
    • Sara – 8
      • Why can every animal talk except him? And the reaction to what would have been a little bit of champagne seemed very extreme.
  • General Enjoyment
    • Lincoln – 9
      • After having not seen it for almost 20 years, I really enjoyed it as an adult, and it was great having numerous “oh now I remember this part!” moments.
    • Sara – 8
      • I thought it was pretty good for a film from the 40s!
  • Would We Watch it Again
    • Lincoln – 8
      • Maybe not any time soon, but definitely at some point down the line I’d give it another spin.
    • Sara – 6
      • Maybe if future kids wanted to watch it, but it’s probably not one that I’ll come back to on my own.
  • Final Comment
    • Lincoln – Really dug it. I love the way these old Disney films don’t shy away from the darker shades of life. Sometimes people are cruel and sometimes they are kind, and we see all colours of this spectrum in Dumbo.
    • Sara – I thought it was pretty good, as a whole I’m not big on circus themed films though. I think it’s aged fairly well – the picture quality was decent for a film this old and it’s easy to latch on to the emotions of the characters.


Favourite Character

  • Lincoln – Timothy
  • Sara – Timothy

Favourite Song

  • Lincoln – When I See An Elephant Fly
  • Sara – When I See An Elephant Fly

Favourite Moment

  • Lincoln – When he got to visit his mum in jail
  • Sara – When he sure showed them!

Total Ranking By Lincoln –  75/100

Total Ranking By Sara –  54/100

For questions regarding the ranking system you can read my post on it here.


Bye for now!


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