The 2019 iteration of Dumbo follows struggling circus owner Max Medici (Danny DeVito) who enlists a former star and his two children to care for Dumbo, a baby elephant born with oversized ears. When the family discovers that the animal can fly, it soon becomes the main attraction — bringing in huge audiences and revitalizing the run-down circus.The elephant’s magical ability also draws the attention of V.A. Vandevere (Michael Keaton), an entrepreneur who wants to showcase Dumbo in his latest, larger-than-life entertainment venture.
What do critics say about Dumbo?
Tim Burton’s live-action adaptation has received a cool response from critics but not a wholly negative one.
As of writing, there is no Rotten Tomatoes over-all score.
Shaun Kitchener for Express.co.uk
Despite its predictable story and generally unchallenging nature (it certainly feels more bloated than its 1941 blueprint), the film is incredibly hard to dislike.
Hannah Woodhead for Little White Lies:
There’s no sense of wonder, no sprinkling of magic dust.
Dumbo: The disney remake has been received cooly by critics
Michael Phillips for the Chicago Tribune:
I felt warmly toward Dumbo, but not “Dumbo.”
Alonso Duralde for TheWrap:
Burton and his collaborators took the beautiful and moving Dumbo and somehow managed to turn it into a throwaway kiddie adventure like Gus or Million Dollar Duck.
David Rooney for the Hollywood Reporter:
The filmmaker’s overstuffed visual imagination and appetite for sinister gloom all but trample the enchantment of a tale that, at heart, is simple and whimsical.
Brian Truitt for USA Today:
When Dumbo soars, so does the movie, and letting Burton be Burton lends needed freshness to a tale that could use it.
Owen Gleiberman for Variety:
It transforms a miraculous tale into a routine story by weighing it down with a lot of nuts and bolts it didn’t need.
Philip De Semlyen for Time Out:
With production designer Rick Heinrichs, Burton forsakes his beloved gothic touches for an art deco style that lends it all a Gatsby-esque decadence.
Geoffrey Macnab for the Independent:
The themes are much the same as in the original animated film but Burton comes at them in such a quirky and subversive way that the film never feels bland or earthbound.
Rosie Knight for IGN Movies:
Disney and Tim Burton’s live-action Dumbo remake fails to reach the lofty heights of its animated predecessor.
Dumbo: Michael Keaton plays the villain who some have said isn’t quite nefarious enough
Anne Cohen for Refinery29:
Does Dumbo feel vitally necessary? Not really.
But like its protagonist, the film is capable of true magic, of reaching soaring heights of creativity and imagination. Maybe just go with it.
Michael Arbeiter for Nerdist:
It’s never quite sure how sad or happy it must be, nor how lifelike or cartoonish, nor how beholden to or independent from its forebear.
Tim Grierson for Screen International:
“Dumbo” has some of the magic and wonder of Tim Burton’s best work. But there remains a frustrating impersonality — not to mention an audience familiarity with his well-worn aesthetic — that keeps the film from soaring all that high.
Dumbo: Though Tim Burton put his stamp on the Disney film, many think it wasn’t distinct enough
Chris Nashawaty for Entertainment Weekly:
As a faithful update of a cherished classic, the new Dumbo will get the job done for restless kids on a rainy Saturday afternoon.
Jamie Graham for Total Film:
There are thrills and feels but this reimagination of the delightful animation doesn’t take flight often enough.
Kimber Myers for The Playlist:
Tim Burton’s Dumbo throws so much at the audience that nothing really sticks, leaving such a small impression for such a big movie.
Dumbo is out in cinemas on March 29, 2019.