In 2019, live-action/CGI versions of the classic animated Disney movies Dumbo, Aladdin, and The Lion King are going to hit theaters, and the first to come out will be Tim Burton's take on Dumbo. Out Mar. 29, it might just be the one that's most dissimilar to the animated movie that inspired it. In the exclusive clip below, you'll see the big reveal of baby Dumbo's giant ears. The little guy makes his debut a lot differently in the 1941 original, but this change makes sense, since the new movie focuses more on the people at Dumbo's circus than the other animals.
In the animated film, Dumbo's birth occurs in a quintessential kids' movie style, in that a stork delivers the baby elephant to its mother, Mrs. Jumbo (Verna Felton). Once the stork delivers the baby and sings it "Happy Birthday," Mrs. Jumbo unwraps the blanket packaging to reveal an adorable baby elephant. The other lady elephants in the circus sing their praises for the precious infant, that is, until Dumbo sneezes and his giant ears flap out. Then, the circus elephants begin prodding Dumbo and teasing him for his ears, upsetting Mrs. Jumbo.
This exclusive clip from the 2019 Dumbo reveals that the elephant doesn't arrive by stork. And it's not the other animals who get the shock this time.
During a press set visit to London in the fall of 2017 that Bustle attended, the cast members confirmed that the new movie isn't just a Dumbo remake. Actor Joseph Gatt, who plays Neils Skellig, credits screenwriter Ehren Kruger for transforming the original story. "[Kruger]'s done such an amazing job at taking all of the best stuff from the original movie and then expanding it and putting in all these incredible human characters," he says.
The actors playing those new human characters also include Danny DeVito as ringmaster Max Medici; Michael Keaton as businessman V. A. Vandevere; Colin Farrell as Holt Farrier, father and Dumbo's keeper; and Eva Green as an aerialist named Collette. These new human additions to the story, though, mean the talking animals won't have a place in this year's Dumbo, and yes, that includes Timothy the mouse.
In a featurette for the film, DeVito reveals that Timothy, who coached Dumbo into flying, isn't really necessary in the new movie, though. "The original ends with the elephant flying, and this version begins with that," the actor said. With Dumbo already capable of the feat, what story is the movie actually telling? Green says that Burton's adaptation highlights the theme of being an outcast, perhaps more so than the original.
"He understand outsiders, people who don't fit in, [and] vulnerable souls like Dumbo," she explains.
Farrell, who plays the father of the children who take care of Dumbo, assures press at the set visit that the new movie still has all the heart that made the 1941 Dumbo so special.
"The one essential thing that holds true to the original cartoon and this is the flying elephant; and the idea of believing in yourself, finding something inside you that allows you to become the best version of what you never thought you could even be," the actor says.
And that flying elephant is extra adorable in this new movie, in his new lifelike state. If this clip is any indication of the cuteness ahead, you'll want to prepare yourself accordingly.