Dumbo Kicking Off This Year’s Disney Live-Action Collection

(Spoiler-free section)

Cinderella in 2015, The Jungle Book in 2016, Beauty and the Beast in 2017, Dumbo in March 2019, Aladdin in May 2019, The Lion King in July 2019, Mulan in March 2020, and later on Cruella, Pinocchio, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Tinkerbell, The Little Mermaid and more to come. Disney has been remaking many of their well-loved classics into live action movies.

There have been many controversies over the live actions. While many see the live-action movies as unnecessary or redundant and as Disney’s way of making more money without coming up with new, original ideas, some of the live-action remakes Disney released in the past few years have gotten positive responses.

Directed by Tim Burton, the Dumbo live action released on March 29 officially kicked off the Disney live-action remake era after taking a break in 2018 (While Christopher Robin was released in 2018, it was more of a live-action inspired by the Winnie the Pooh franchise instead of an exact live-action remake).

Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Everyone have diverging opinions when it comes to Disney live-action remakes. Written in this article is my own opinion and does not necessarily represent the Disney fan base.

“Is it worth watching?” is always the question in everyone’s head when a new live-action remake is being released.

As a huge Disney fan, I am in support of the live action remakes Disney is coming up with. However, I do see the redundancy and money-driven value behind the remakes, so I definitely understand why people are against them and are unwilling to watch them. Nevertheless, there are ones that cannot be missed, and Dumbo is one of them.


While the original animation has its own charm that many thinks should not be tainted and get turned into a live-action film, I have to say the team did a great job in bringing the message and impact of the original animation to a new level.

I rewatched the Dumbo animation a few days after seeing the live-action and I was completely mind-blown. I went into the theater for the live-action having little recollection of the animation and rewatching the animation afterward was such an insightful experience. I can’t help but applaud the team for the live-action production.

The live-action dealt with issues the animation was afraid to explore since, at the end of the day, the animation’s main audience is children while the live-action is able to reach a broader audience, including adults.

(Mild-spoiler section)

The animation was able to show Dumbo’s humiliation and other people’s judgments toward him, bringing out the message of the movie, however, only on a surface level. On the contrary, in the live-action remake, they were able to take full advantage of the cinematography as well as adding storylines (filler stories and backgrounds) in order to bring out the darker side of what was happening in the animation, beyond all the colors, art and laughter, something that many kids or even adults later dismissed after seeing the movie.

Via Animation World Network

In the live-action remake, the audience can actually feel the intense humiliation and torture Dumbo and his mother were forced to go through. Not to mention, the tragic separation between them. While their separation only went through one stage in the animation, their separation in the live-action took a much darker and more complicated turn. With the nostalgic song “Baby Mine” from the 1941 classic, tissues will be necessary.

The live-action also did a tremendous job in revealing Dumbo’s flying abilities in front of the crowd. In the animation, Dumbo flew for the first time in front of the crowd during the circus act when he was falling, and that was the ending to the movie. However, in the remake, they explored Dumbo’s flying abilities and the public’s fascination with it in greater depth. I actually got goosebumps all over me during certain scenes.

Via Juice Online

Before I give away too much, I just want to express how much emotion and message the live-action was able to convey, and that is part of the reason why it has such a special place in my heart.

I am very excited (and scared) with Disney’s ambitious goal of remaking so many of Disney’s all-time classics as some of the previous live-action movies did amazing, such as Beauty and the Beast and the Jungle Book. The thing I love about live-action remakes is the fact that it is not a carbon copy of the animation. There is so much room for exploration beyond the surface level children’s story. The production team gets the opportunity to really expand the story and make it into its own animal, creating a greater impact on their audience than it ever did before.

Trailers of Aladdin and the Lion King have started many discussion online. It is understandable to be skeptical about the live-action remakes, but before you make any judgment, go give them and the other live-action movies a chance!

Collegiettes, go watch the Dumbo remake and feel all the feels!