As Disney continues on its weird path of making live-action versions of its animated classics, one has to wonder how they will tackle the mainly animal-oriented ones, like the upcoming The Lion King. The new teaser for Dumbo, directed by the infamous Tim Burton, gives us some hope for the future.
As a pairing it makes sense – Dumbo is a dark tale of a baby elephant with extra long ears who is abused and separated from his mother by cruel circus folk before flying away. The screenplay is written by Ehren Kruger, known writing the Transformers movies (take that as you will).
Here’s the official synopsis from Disney:
Circus owner Max Medici (Danny DeVito) enlists former star Holt Farrier (Colin Farrell) and his children Milly (Nico Parker) and Joe (Finley Hobbins) to care for a newborn elephant whose oversized ears make him a laughingstock in an already struggling circus. But when they discover that Dumbo can fly, the circus makes an incredible comeback, attracting persuasive entrepreneur V.A. Vandevere (Michael Keaton), who recruits the peculiar pachyderm for his newest, larger-than-life entertainment venture, Dreamland. Dumbo soars to new heights alongside a charming and spectacular aerial artist, Colette Marchant (Eva Green), until Holt learns that beneath its shiny veneer, Dreamland is full of dark secrets.
From what we can see from the trailer, the movie is going to hit on a lot of points from the original Disney classic, like the mom being taken away and the pink elephant scene, but also include more human characters that interact more directly with Dumbo. The CGI also looks pretty seamless as well. I can’t say that this trailer has me ready to outright call this a travesty, but I wouldn’t call myself convinced. After all, Colin Farrell has been doing well with historical dramas, so what’s one more for his resume? Plus, at this point, Burton needs a win to prove that his star is not totally burnt out.
Dumbo is slated to premiere in theaters on March 29, 2019.