Dumbo The Flying Elephant Analysis

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In October 1941, Disney introduced Americans to Dumbo, a young, bashful circus elephant ridiculed for his unusually large ears. Made to regain funds lost from Fantasia and Pinocchio, and based upon Helen Aberson and Harold Pearl’s children story, “Dumbo, the Flying Elephant,” Walt Disney’s Dumbo is one of Disney’s shortest animated features running at just under 64 minutes. Throughout the film, Dumbo the elephant faces many challenges stemming from his uniquely large ears, however, with the help of his mouse friend, Timothy Q. Mouse, he achieves extraordinary success not in spite of but because of his special attributes. This lighthearted tale of overcoming adversity and the power of friendship uses its superb music score, dialogue, and color to give audiences a full movie experience in just 64 minutes. However, if released now, its references to prevalent problems in 1940s America would make the film quite controversial.
The film features music in almost every scene, both with lyrics and without. This music, by Frank Churchill and Oliver Wallace with lyrics of original songs by Ned Washington, has an integral role in the perception of the film. From the opening credits of the film, the music indicates that the film is about a comedic circus. When the storks are delivering the baby animals to their expecting mothers in the beginning of the film the accompanying music is light and joyous. On the other hand, when Dumbo and his
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From its whimsical songs to its vibrant colors to its thoughtful use of dialogue, the film brought great success and money to Disney Productions. However, if the film were to be released today, the reception may not be as positive given its racist scenes and the animal and child abuse presented in the film. The films’s uplifting story and personified animal characters make it a wonderful family film that has been enjoyed by American families through the
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