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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dumbo (70th Anniversary Edition) blu ray...another timeless classic from Disney
Before discussing the video, we should bring back a little history about under what conditions Dumbo was made. Dumbo was the fourth feature film by Disney: 1) Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs (1937), Pinocchio (1940) and Fantasia (1940). After excessive spending on Fantasia, and despite the popularity and critical acclaim heaped upon Snow White, Pinocchio and Fantasia,...
Published on Sept. 20 2011 by Dr. Joseph Lee

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars DVD has no benefit over VHS
My wife and I saw Dumbo in the cinema as children, and it was one of our favorites. So, of course, we got the VHS for our daughter, who also worships Dumbo. Naturally, I grabbed the 60th anniversary DVD when it suddenly appeared at the local price club.
The jacket promises a preview of Dumbo II. There is no preview on the DVD we received. We are bitterly...
Published on Nov. 24 2001 by Philip


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dumbo (70th Anniversary Edition) blu ray...another timeless classic from Disney, Sept. 20 2011
By 
Dr. Joseph Lee (Toronto, Canada) - See all my reviews
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Before discussing the video, we should bring back a little history about under what conditions Dumbo was made. Dumbo was the fourth feature film by Disney: 1) Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs (1937), Pinocchio (1940) and Fantasia (1940). After excessive spending on Fantasia, and despite the popularity and critical acclaim heaped upon Snow White, Pinocchio and Fantasia, these films were not moneymakers and Disney studio was almost bankrupt. Additionally, due to the war in Europe, they were cutoff from the overseas market. So, what Disney needed was an inexpensive box office success, and Dumbo was to be it. It would be a relatively short film with a concise story and low production costs that would appeal to a wide audience.

At first glance, and in the context of Disney's own efforts up to then, Dumbo appears less artistic, more cartoony than the three earlier films. In the case of Dumbo, this art has been pared down to the absolute minimum, consistent with pleasing audiences and making money. And Dumbo did make a profit, and is credited for having saved the studio.

VIDEO:

This 70th Anniversary Edition film comes in AVC/MPEG-4 1080p 1.37:1. Although this film was made with a lower budget compared to Fantasia or Pinocchio, and the restoration was not as detailed as Pinocchio and Sleeping Beauty, the final result is still a very pleasing and amazing picture. Colours are solid and vibrant at times. The transfer is so clear and sharp that strokes from a paintbrush are often noticeable, as well as slight aging of the print and faint blemishes. Dumbo here showcases deep blacks up through clean whites. (4.5/5)

AUDIO:

Dumbo's soundtrack has been fully restored and given a brand new lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 mix that is spacious and dynamic. However, the purists would have preferred that the original Mono and a new Mono lossless track be included.

The film won an Oscar for Best Musical Score and a nomination for the song "Baby Mine". And look at how Disney dramatizes the song in a series of mother and child tableaux, alternating sentiment with deft humour. At least the song had the good taste to lose to the Meryl Steep of composers: Jerome Kern, for "The Last Time I Saw Paris." (4/5)

Dumbo is such a good film, that you can completely understand it without audio, solely based upon its plotting and the characters' expressions. That said, note that neither Dumbo nor his mother talk. Their actions certainly do speak louder than words.

The film is pure emotion; a sweet tale of keeping up one's spirits even in the worst of times. Dumbo is a distillation of everything Disney animators had learned to that point. Animation, remember, is not the art of painting, but bringing drawings to life - to animate the inanimate. It isn't animals that they are breathing life into, it is drawings of animals, or people, or tress, or anything they choose. Its precision in storytelling (film was only 64 minutes long) is groundbreaking for an animated feature.

Dumbo is a sweet and short film about an outsider utilizing his scorned assets to his advantage. Compared to its 60th Anniversary DVD edition, both the video and audio are vastly improved. It is a timeless classic that the whole family will enjoy...again and again. Highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely wonderful in every way, Sept. 15 2006
By 
Daniel Jolley "darkgenius" (Shelby, North Carolina USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dumbo (Big Top Edition) (DVD)
For some reason, I never saw most of the Disney classic movies when I was growing up - but I'm certainly having a good time watching them all these years later. Dumbo, of course, may be the most beloved Disney film of them all - despite the fact that it is relatively short (64 minutes), sports a pretty simplistic style of animation, and features a main character that never speaks a single word. The film's popularity is due in large part to the story itself, as there is a little bit of Dumbo in all of us. At some time, we've all been embarrassed by our appearance, laughed at and snubbed by those around us, and been made to feel like a complete loser.

Everyone knows the story already. Poor little Dumbo, with his big ears, is ridiculed and called a freak by the other elephants, harassed by kids going in to see the circus, separated from his mother, and eventually made into a clown, the very embodiment of his unhappy life. Only little Timothy Mouse befriends him, and his spirit of optimism and commitment to help Dumbo prove himself are needed more than ever when things go from bad to worse. In the end, the very thing that makes Dumbo different turns out to be the source of his greatest strength. The message of the film is pretty simple: believe in yourself, even when others put you down and, for heaven's sake, don't make fun of someone just because he looks different. Dumbo is also a story about love, particularly the love between a mother and child, and the importance of friendship.

Classic Disney films such as this are both wonderful and remarkable - yet so many of them are also sad. I imagine that children, while they will certainly understand the themes of this story, don't connect to the film on the same emotional level as I do as an adult. I really got emotional watching this - right from the start, with the sadness exuded by Mrs. Jumbo as she watches children being delivered to seemingly every one but her. It's tough watching Dumbo suffer ridicule and embarrass himself further by tripping over his big ears, suffer a cruel separation from his mother, and mope around with those tears spilling out of his big blue eyes, but I made it through all of that OK. Then came the scene where he visits his mother in her solitary confinement. If Leonard Maltin can admit that this film makes him cry every time he watches it, so can I. I don't know how anyone can get through that visitation scene without shedding at least one tear.

I said the animation was relatively simplistic, but that does not mean it isn't spellbinding, nor does it mean you won't encounter any scenes that are rather stunning in detail. Some of the professionals interviewed in a 15-minute featurette included on the DVD do a great job of pointing out the most remarkable scenes (and everyone has something to say about the Pink Elephant sequence, which is just bizarre and certainly memorable). Other special features include an audio commentary by film historian John Canemaker, a short, one-minute introduction to the film by Walt Disney himself, a photo gallery of conception art and storyboards, a video of the song "Baby Mine" performed by Jim Brickman with Kassie DePalva, and two short cartoons, Elmer Elephant and The Flying Mouse. Additional bonus materials aimed more specifically at young viewers are Sing Along Songs for Look Out for Mr. Stork and Casey Junior, a DVD storybook which children can read along with, and a "My First Circus" game that teaches children about the different kinds of animals normally found in a circus.

In a perfect world, Disney would just send a free copy of Dumbo to every set of parents in the country. Since that isn't economically feasible, I hope that as many parents as possible do make Dumbo a part of their children's young lives. This classic animated film is everything you would expect from Walt Disney - and more.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Third Disney Favorite!, May 21 2004
By 
Debi Crabtree "robertcrabtree3000" (Chattanooga, TN United States) - See all my reviews
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I watched this all the time as a young'n and hadn't seen it again years, but I decided to pick it up after downloading the "Baby Mine" song. Its got some of the finest animated sequences anyone can offer: The faceless roustabouts setting up the "Big Top," the parade of the ghostly, pink elephants, the loud-mouthed crows.
You can NEVER write a proper review about Dumbo without mentioning the powerful "Baby Mine" scene. It made me cry the first 2 of 3 times I watched it! A heart-breaking scene like that fits the sugar-coated ending perfectly!
As the story goes: baby-delivering storks are making a couple of deliveries to a zoo. Everyone gets a baby of their own (the bears, tigers, hippos, everybody), all except an awaiting, would-be mother elephant called Mrs. Jumbo. Soon, Jumbo and the rest of the criiters are loaded aboard the circus train, Casey Junior, and Jumbo still hasn't recieved an infant of her own! But a late delivery soon arrives for Jumbo. All the other lady elephants are very desperate to see Jumbo's child, when they do, they think he's the cutest creature on earth, until he sneezes! The sneeze reveals the baby pachederm to have abnormaly large ears! They begin constantly taunting and teasing the lil guy about his physical problem, they even nick-name him "Dumbo" because they think his ears make him look so.....dumb. But Mrs. Jumbo loves Dumbo reguardless of the size of his ears. The trouble starts when the circus opens a bunch of kids enter the Big Top to see all the animals. A ugly boy taunts Dumbo about his ears even worse than the "normal" elephants did, this makes Mrs. Jumbo mad as he11! She loses her self control and attacks the children (you go Jumbo)! The ringmaster is enraged by Mrs. Jumbo's actions and sentences her to "solitary confinement," leaving little Dumbo all alone (for only a little while). Dumbo is eventually befriended by a rodent known as Timothy Q. Mouse, who believes that Dumbo can be as big a success as the other elephants. As Timothy and Dumbo pursue the road to fame, comedy, tragedy, and even macabre ensues as Dumbo meets up with a bunch of (...) clowns, ghostly pink elephants, and flock of loud-mouthed crows.
Dumbo is an often overlooked gem that EVERYONE should see! It is so simple, it is classic!
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5.0 out of 5 stars best ever cartoon animated movie, May 5 2004
By A Customer
There is so much debate to what is the best ever cartoon animated movie and you'll get answers such as "The Little Mermaid", "Aladdin", and "The Lion King". But this movie is above and beyond better than them and all the other cartoon animted movies. I wouldn't call it the best G Rated ever because of the likes of live-action G Rated movies such as Babe and Gordy and computer animated G Rated movies such as Toy Story but before all those, there was Dumbo. All those movies have heart-warmth and Dumbo is a big reason why because it's a pioneer for those movies. It's the first G Rated ever made that warmed people's hearts because of a young circus elephant that wanted to find his mom because she was taken away from him. The best part in the movie is when he goes to visit his mom and she's rocking him in her trunk. That part really touched my heart. The other character I like is the mouse. He's very funny and the fact he befriends this very sad elephant is classic friendship. Sure this movie might be out-dated now but to us fans, it will forever be a classic!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Disney's 4th Animated Masterpiece!, March 5 2004
After the financial failures of both Pinocchio and Fantasia, Dumbo was a smash success, the film told the sweet and simple story of a little baby elephant who had a small, but big problem, his ears were so big that everyone teased him and made fun of him, his beloved mother was locked up after trying to defend him from a bunch of mean kids and Dumbo is alone facing a world of injustice, luckily for him, a small mouse friend named Timothy will help him find that his great ears can be used to fly. This is one of Disney's sweetest tales, although it is many times unfairly described as racist, and now it's time for me to say what I feel about his racism. We see a scene where all these black men are working on setting up the circus, all of them black, well that is no reason to say that the film is racist since "racism" is the belief that one race is better than another or it also means being descriminated due to someone's skin color, well that isn't happening in this scene, it is just describing how things were back in the days, these men are not being descriminated. So back to the film, it is great and one of Disney's shortest since it does not even reach the 70 minutes.
The DVD is exactly what a Disney standard should be, it brings many different bonus features and one or two classic cartoons, a DVD that all Disney fans should own.
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5.0 out of 5 stars RACIAL STEREOTYPE ONLY CLOUD HANGING OVER THIS CLASSIC, Feb. 10 2004
By 
If you've read some of the reviews bellow, you'll notice alot of defending of this film going on. Yea, a member of the PC police wrote a review saying they'd ban there kid from watching this crule, insensative, irresponsible cartoon. Here's a list of why this film is a great opportunity to entertain AND educate your kids;
EDUCATION OPPORTUNITIES
-You can use this film to discuss how cruel teasing can affect others. The teasers are THE BAD GUYS!!
-Point out how hurtful bahaving in an exclusive manner can be.
-Discuss how "Dumbo" perseveres dispite the opinions of others.
-IF they ask, point out how bad things CAN happen when you use drugs or alchohol.
-Talk about how cultural sensativities have changed since the 1940s. (The crows stereotyped as "blacks" is actually pretty shameful. I don't point this out because my kids don't get it.)
ENTERTAIN
-extremely pure and simple story. Kids love this film.
-"Casey Junior" song stick in your brain. My 20 month old is enthralled by the train.
-"Elephants on Parade" is a real "Trip". It is more remarkable when you consider the lack of computer technology at the time.
-The faceless "roust-abouts" are a little creepy, but my kids survived.
-The ending is as sugar-coated as you would ever want, which is why people love this film.
DVD
-Totally re-mastered. Flawless.
-2 shorts related to flying and elephants are ok.
-Black and White Sound stage clip from "The Ruluctant Dragon" is pretty cool.
-Enough extras for a couple of hours.
I think the main take-away from this review is that;
-you can choose to protect your kids from everything
or
-you can teach them how to cope with situatutions that they will inevitably encounter.
I certainly would not ban my kids from seeing an imaginative art peice like "Dumbo". In the famous words of Dori in "Finding Nemo"... "If you don't let anything happen to him, then nothing will happen to him. Not much fun for little Elmo".
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4.0 out of 5 stars NEAR PRISTINE DVD of a DISNEY CLASSIC, Jan. 1 2004
By 
Nix Pix (Windsor, Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
"Dumbo" is the delightful tale of a floppy-eared elephant who comes into his own when he realizes, with the aid of a mouse, that he can fly. Filled with Uncle Walt's masterful gifts of storytelling and memorable music, this is a genuine treasure that, no matter your age, will leave you tune-filled and tappin'. Oh, for those new to the film, for the scene in which Dumbo's mother is imprisoned...bring Kleenex. Coupled with the song, 'Baby Mine', it's truly heart-breaking.
TRANSFER: Outstanding. A rich and vibrant animated picture that completely captures the spirit and vitality of the subject. There is a bit of film grain present and some minor age related artifacts. Also, some edge enhancement does crop up now and then - but these do not detract from the visual presentation. Colors are solid and vibrant. Contrast levels are bang on. The audio has been remastered and remixed and is very nicely spread out over all your speakers.
EXTRAS: A making-of, some short subjects and a theatrical trailer. All-in-all, great good fun.
BOTTOM LINE: "Dumbo" is a family classic. It sparkles with the kind of innocence and mastery of the craft of animation that is sadly lacking in Disney's current crop of feature films.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Dark, classic animation, Nov. 24 2003
By A Customer
DUMBO is my favorite Disney film. Although is it barely 1 hour long, it is packed with complex themes and gorgeous animation, far beyond what was being done 60 years ago. DUMBO is a dark film, with echos of film noir. It is frequently raining or snowing, and much of the action takes place at night. Although much has been written about the hallucinatory "Pink Elephants on Parade" number, my favorite sequence (in fact, my all-time favorite Disney animated sequence) is the erecting of the circus tent scene. During the pouring rain, the circus workers, assisted by the elephants, put up the tent in a fantastic ballet of social realism, echoing the best of Ben Shahn and Diego Rivera. The animation swings around the scene, taking in only an arm here, a swinging hammer there. Topped by that swirling soundtrack, this scene is the best that Disney has ever done. The story may, at times be a bit too intense for younger viewers, but no more so than other Disney films where parents die (e.g., Bambi), or tense moments occur. On top of it all, the main character never speaks a word. This ain't no "bare necessities" film, rather, it is simply a work of art.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The One...The Only...The FABULOUS...DUMBO!, Aug. 29 2003
By 
shoutgrace "savedbyhisgrace" (Charleston, WV United States) - See all my reviews
'Dumbo' is one of my all-time favorite Disney classics. It's timeless! Everytime I watch it the story never gets old. There isn't another sweeter movie to match it. It's a darling story of how a little elephant with unusally big ears finds that no matter how unique you are you're always have a purpose in life. Who says that a character gotta speak in an animated film or any film for that matter? It's the emotion and facial expressions that speak louder than words. The innocence and sentiment surpasses it peers to a priceless treasure. You'll fall in love with the characters Dumbo and his circus companion, Timothy Q. Mouse. Other highlights of the movie is the scenes with the Crows and the music score (won an Academy Award in 1942 for Best Music Score), "When I see an Elephant Fly" sung by the Hall Johnson Choir, the pink elephant (could this be an 1941 anti-alcohol message?). You'll find yourself shedding a tear to "Baby Mine" (nominated for an Academy Award in 1942 for best song). If not, I pronounce you clinically brain dead. I always feel lulled into a calm state-of-mind every time I hear it. Try it sometime! In my honest opinion, the Top 10 all-time greatest Disney classics would be: 1. Dumbo, 2. Mary Poppins, 3. The Jungle Book, 4. Winnie the Pooh, 5. Pochantas, 6. Tarzan, 7. The Lion King, 8. Lady and the Tramp, 9. The Love Bug, 10. Fantasia.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Lighten up, people! This is a GREAT movie!, Aug. 28 2003
I am really not sure where to begin writing a decent sophisticated review with proper transitions, etc. ya da ya da- but I got to open up and say I LOVE this movie! It is quite possibly my favorite movie period. I am 17 and I have loved this movie for as long as I can remember; it's even better now, because I am old enough to appreciate its wonderful messages and morals. It's an anti-animal cruelty flick seen from the animals' point of view and pointing out the ignorance of the humans, and a realistic depiction of how cruel and unjust the world can be, and what can be done to overcome despite it all. Anyway, for those of you who aren't familiar with the plot (get your heads out of your rears and watch this, PLEASE) it's the story of a baby elephant delivered to Jumbo on a circus train from a stork. He is immediately derided by the fellow elephants and human audience because of his oversized ears. The only ones who who show any compassion are his mother Jumbo, and his friends-a mouse named Timothy and a flock of crows who give him support and encouragement.
I love the cleverness and depth of this movie- the mother and friends that stick up for him even if it results in sacrifices for themselves (Jumbo being confined from the other elephants for "disorderly conduct"), the loving bond between mother and son, and the anti-discrimination messages. By the way, this movie isn't racist, I know for a fact that it's ANTI-racist (uncountable reasons why that would require an entire separate review) and the crow scene was not intended to demean black culture but embrace it, (with a black cast); many people misread the content and took it the wrong way, seeing as most things at the time were condemnable and ignominious. Pretty outstanding for 1941 when there was still so much bigotry in the US. The same thing happened with the 1942 cartoon "Coal Black the Seven Dwarfs". And the "Roustabouts" scene wasn't bigoted, either. It's just a fact that in those days it was common for brothers to be willing to take the [bad] jobs if better ones weren't available, am I right? I am black myself telling you all of this, so does that make any of this more convincing? I'm not naïve and I discern racism when I see it. The completely different selection of writers and blackless cast for the monkey scene in the Jungle Book, however, is an entirely different situation, but lets not get into that. If you are one of the neurotically oversensitive people who DO thing this movie's racist, your kids won't know anyway unless you rub it in their faces; you're only aggravating things.
Anyway, the parts of the movie that will delight people of all ages are the quaint and adorable animation of the animals and the classic catchy songs. My faves are the cute "Look Out For Mr. Stork", the clever pun-filled soul song "When I See An Elephant Fly", the hypnotic "Elephants On Parade", the catchy tunes "Casey Junior" and "Roustabouts"... they're all so good. The few good characters are lovable- benevolent Jumbo, cute little Dumbo/Jumbo Jr., the witty and hilarious (and cute may I add-I love cartoon birds) crows, the charismatic Timothy, and "good ol'" Mr. Stork. I detest the rest of the characters. The heartless elephants, that awful red-haired kid teasing Jumbo Jr., the selfish Mussoliniesque circus trainer who had disregard for the well-being and proper husbandry of the animals, and the *cough* clowns. Those are the most hideous clowns I have ever seen and have lurked in my nightmares as a child. What I also don't like about this film are the alcohol/drug references, anti or not. Although it may not do too much harm being that to the younger naive audience it will have no significance and to the older audience simply amusing and humorous, I still find the idea of an infant elephant getting drunk in a children's movie a little disturbing. And that psychedelic pink elephant scene- try and tell me that there weren't stoners involved in the writing and production of that part of the movie. As a little kid I thought it was entertaining on the eyes, now it makes me laugh, but I still can't help but wonder why that didn't frighten me as a small child. And how the neglecting elephants all of sudden started respecting Dumbo just because he was famous? That always made me outraged.
Despite of the film's few blunders, there are many times more good qualities that could make me care less. This movie literally is a classic.
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