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Dumbo Movie: what viewers are saying and who the real Dumbo is

Magnus Jun 28

According to, well, every dictionary out there, the first or second definition of a “Dumbo” is usually a dumb or stupid person. The other definition is the flying elephant Dumbo, the Walt Disney cartoon of the same name that was released in 1941. if you don’t already know by now, this 2019 film is a live-action remake of that Dumbo cartoon – What can I say, Disney has the money.

What Viewers are Saying About Dumbo

Before we dive into the analysis, for the benefit of those that haven’t seen it, here is what viewers are saying about Dumbo (2019)

Someone finally said something about the cast. The cast was great!!!

I think most millennials did not see the first Dumbo film… the 1940s!

Be sure to go see it if you haven’t!

Who is the Real Dumbo?

Warning: This part of the post contains spoilers so If you haven’t seen Dumbo and/or you’re planning to see it some time then stop here and do something else instead.

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This section is a careful analysis of Dumbo, the 2019 film and how the characters reflect the title of the movie. Or one character to be exact, the Villian.

Vandevere is the real Dumbo

Vandevere was the main antagonist of the film and the first time we would see him, he takes his glasses off and blows them in an attempt to clean them before giving them to his bodyguard. This is pretty stupid considering he had worn it all along and didn’t clean them.

The most noticeable act of stupidity he portrayed in the movie was trying to get the lights back on after Dumbo turned them off. In that scene, one of the guards at the tower warned Vandevere (more than once) not to turn on the lights yet because it would cause a surge but he proceeded to turn the lights on amid the sparks and chaos, causing a surge that burnt down the circus. You would notice Vandevere was fiddling with the switches irrationally when the camera panned on his hands. At some point, he used his walking stick on the switches as well. It was the stupidest thing to do at that point.

His acts in most of the scenes in the movie alluded to the fact that he was stupid and dumb. While the Elephant was easily named Dumbo by everyone at the circus, Vandevere was the real Dumbo.

His stupidity is hard to notice because the first few scenes already established him as a man with a motive. So he was always looking like he was up to something or knew what he was doing, unlike his new partner, Max Medici who is played by Danny DeVito.

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Possibilities

Vandevere: “What is it exactly that we do here, ma cherie
Colette: We make the Impossible possible

I can’t say I have seen most of Tim Burton movies but this particular film had one theme that I really liked, Possibilities.

Dumbo realized he could fly without a feather at the climax of the film while he was rescuing the Farriers.

The central character of the film is an elephant who could fly. Who knew It was possible for an elephant to fly in the first place?

You would notice Vandevere yell “nothing’s impossible”, as he was meddling with the switches of the circus lights just before the surge.

I had to watch it a second time to realize this. One of the themes of the movie is how impossible things could be made possible by those who believe. An Important scene that you might overlook is when we see an elephant (Dumbo’s Mother) for the first time in the film looking out her cage at a Stampede of cattle egrets that flew right above her. At that moment, you could tell she is wishing she could be free like the birds. Somehow, her wish came through through Dumbo, her child, the flying elephant.

That’s all on Dumbo. Please leave a comment if you think there’s more to the movie or have any suggestions. Bye for now

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