It’s only 80 seconds long but Tim Burton’s Dumbo teaser trailer packs an enormous emotional punch. While we have been inundated with Disney live-action remakes over the past decade or so, this one might end up having a great deal of heart. And by “heart” I mean this teaser trailer gave me chills and might’ve brought me close to tears. Grab some tissues and take a look:
Just like in the original animated version, the title character is mute. This is pretty much where the similarities end. There’s no sign of Timothy Q. Mouse anywhere, or any talking animals. That’s most definitely a good thing, considering how racist some of those characters seem now, through 21st century eyes. This version seems to be a bit more grounded (or, at least, as grounded as a film about a flying elephant can be) and focuses instead on the humans around Dumbo. In the original, the humans were almost all cruel. At the very least, it seems like Colin Farrell and his children are sympathetic human characters in this version. Overall, these are very smart choices by Burton.
Why Disney, Tim Burton, and ‘Dumbo’ are a Perfect Combination
A lot of people thought that Tim Burton was an ideal choice to direct the live-action reboot of Disney’s Alice in Wonderland. My own feelings about the quality of that movie and its sequel aside, I’ll admit that Burton seemed like a very good, but not perfect, fit for that story. It was full of the kind of weirdness that we’ve come to expect from him.
Alice in Wonderland (and all of its adaptations), while definitely weird enough for Burton to be creative, was intended by Lewis Carroll to be nonsensical. Burton’s work isn’t nonsensical. His stories tend to be weird and creative, but they also have heart. They’re dark, yes, but also emotional. Often, they center on outsiders. They showcase how those outcasts can bring a lot to the table when we listen to them. They focus on the strength that comes with being different.
Out of the entire Disney canon, Dumbo is the most perfect for a Burton adaptation. It focuses on an outsider and his quest for acceptance. He later finds that what makes him different is also what makes him special, as well as an asset to those around him. The story and its setting are also fairly dark, especially the setting. Burton, in the trailer, embraces all of these aspects. The circus aesthetic is both old-timey and creepy, as are Danny Devito and Michael Keaton. The trailer features a hauntingly beautiful version of Dumbo’s lullaby from the original, Baby Mine. It all combines to form a perfect storm of good old fashioned heart, Disney charm, and Tim Burton weirdness.
Are you excited for Tim Burton’s Dumbo? What other Disney animated movies are you hoping they remake (or don’t remake) in live-action? Sound off in the comments!