Tim Burton Directing Live-Action 'Dumbo' Film For Disney, But How Will This Movie Even Work?
Here's some weird — but expected, I guess —news: Disney's Dumbo is getting the live-action treatment. Now, that's the expected part of the news. The weird part? That the director behind the camera for this remake is none other than Tim Burton. Yep, you read that correctly — the same person who made us just a touch terrified of Willy Wonka and Wonderland will now take on the tale of an adorable elephant with oversized ears.
It's not exactly shocking that Disney is making another one of their animated features into a live-action flick, especially considering that it's basically all they seem to be doing of late (just look at Alice in Wonderland, Cinderella, Maleficent, and the upcoming Beauty and the Beast as evidence) but this new project brings about a ton of questions — mainly because it's just plain odd.
Here's one question: how will a live-action Dumbo even work? Unlike Burton's Alice in Wonderland, which featured CGI-ed animal characters in the supporting roles, all of the characters in the original Dumbo are animals. That's fine, but it does mean one of two things — either all of the characters will be CGI-ed, or we're going to use actual animals here. I'm not sure I love the latter idea, considering the elephant community just made major strides by getting out of their whole circus deal. But I'm not sure I love the idea of an all CGI version either — can it really match up to the charm of the animated version?
I'm thinking not. And I'm not sure that Burton knows how to capture the same type of charm as the original Disney film. As much as I love Burton's style and think it would work very, very well with a darker version of some of Disney's original tales (I'd be all for a Burton Snow White flick) Dumbo isn't that movie. Dumbo is a sweet, short tale about accepting yourself and learning to "fly," both literally and figuratively. That's it. That's the movie. In fact, the original animated movie only clocks in at 64-minutes long, so unless the new film is taking some drastic liberties with the plot, I'm not sure how this venture will work. (Except, of course, to make buckets of money.)
But okay, Disney. I'll bite. Convince me I'm wrong with an amazing looking trailer or an intriguing plot synopsis and maybe I'll shell out the cash to see a Burton version of Dumbo. But until then, I'm going to get lost in the cuteness of the original and trying not to cringe too much at the "Jim Crow" character. At least that's one improvement the new movie can make.
Images: RKO Radio Pictures; Giphy