The Wall Street Journal reports that Tim Burton is set to direct a live-action retelling of the classic tale of Dumbo for Disney. It originally focuses on a sad tale of an enslaved circus elephant that uses his rather large ears to fly. The character is one of if not thee most iconic animals in the Disney stable, so there is some hope they’ll do their best to be very respectful with the material.
I’ll be curious how they’ll deal with the racist crows, which represented black people and was the slang of that era to label the group, Dumbo helped enforce that derogatory term. Along with Songs of The South, Disney has a history of poorly thought-out cartoon characters.
It’s said to be a mixture of live-action and digital effects hoping to expand upon the original tale, giving it a more grand story.
This sort of reminds of a warm memories of Burton’s obsession with circus culture from Big Top Pee Wee to Batman Returns to Big Fish, he’s always seemingly had a strange fascination with circus folk and this is right in his wheel-house.
I’m a bit concerned if Burton will actually end-up directing this as Disney has used him as placeholder on other projects before, mainly, Maleficent, as the studio used Burton’s attachment as a director to lure Angelina Jolie into the film. That film of course was a huge success without Burton but I’m curious if he’ll actually stick with this one.
Dumbo was my favorite Disney film growing-up so I’ll be very interested in what they have in mind for the project. It was also essential to helping stomp-out the animal cruelty that plagues circuses around the world, there’s some expectation that strong theme will be apart of this new film as well.
Burton is currently filming Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children.
Disney has had a rough time finding their niche for the live-action branch of the company. Their fairytale films do smashing success while ones like Tron Legacy, Prince of Persia, and John Carter ended up losing the company hundreds of millions of dollars. They found a way to be profitable and I can’t blame them for focusing on their best genre.
The next lineup of fairytale films from Disney includes Cinderella, The Jungle Book, Alice In Wonderland: Through The Looking Glass, along with Beauty and The Beast.
No release date has been set for Dumbo.
SOURCE: WALL STREET JOURNAL