Dumbo 2019: FIRST REACTIONS are in for Disney remake as release date nears
Following the film’s Los Angeles premiere last night, Dumbo’s marketing campaign is now in full swing ahead of its UK and US release on March 29. Tim Burton has directed the film, which is about a young elephant whose oversized ears enable him to fly. When he joins a struggling circus, he and his friends discover dark secrets underneath its sparkly exterior.
Eva Green, Colin Farrell, Danny DeVito, Michael Keaton, Alan Arkin and Sharon Rooney are among the cast, with the film only “loosely inspired” by the 1941 animation of the same name.
Early reactions so far have been somewhat mixed.
While many are very positive, others have taken aim at the human characters.
SlashFilm’s Peter Sciretta tweeted: “I enjoyed #Dumbo. Fantastic art/production design, a surprising/necessary pro-animal rights message. One of the best live action films Burton has directed in years.
“Unlike most Disney adaptations, its in the unique position to be 35% an adaptation and 65% a sequel, which is cool.”
Gamespot’s Chris E Hayner said: “I really enjoyed #Dumbo. It’s a beautiful and whimsical movie, starring a CGI elephant with so much heart.
“It’s also a rather simple tale, so don’t expect tons of character [depth]. But I still had a blast with the ride it took me on and it’s the best Burton’s been in years.
“What I think it has going for it most is it’s not simply a live action remake. The animated original is an hour long and light on humans. This has people like Danny DeVito and Michael Keaton playing over-the-top, and plenty of other characters.”
The Nerds of Color tweeted: “#Dumbo the character is quite cute. But unfortunately, though it looks great, the movie lacks the sincerity and heart that made the animated original a classic.
“Too manufactured, and it’s super talented cast is a bit wasted on paper thin characters and relationships. -Mike M.”
IGN’s Tom Jorgensen said: “Watched #Dumbo last week. Despite some great visuals, a very fun Michael Keaton performance, and an adorable baby pachyderm, the movie never really gets you caring as much about what’s going on as the original.
“The human stories feel undercooked and it really rains on the parade.”
And Attractions Magazine’s Tiffany Mink said: “It’s absolutely wonderful – a beautiful story, quite different than the original, that won’t leave a dry eye in the theater.
“The cast is kismet together on screen. It’s one of Tim Burton’s best in a long time.”
Full reviews from critics will follow later in the month.
This is the first of three Disney remakes due this year: Aladdin follows in May, with The Lion King later in the summer.
Dumbo is out on March 29.