Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Way Back Wednesday - Dumbo

Dumbo is a 1941 animated film produced by Walt Disney and released in October 1941, by RKO Radio Pictures. This is the 4th film in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series. Dumbo was still the most financially successful Disney film of the 1940s.

Believe it or not, Dumbo was made to recoup the box office losses of Fantasia (which is one of my family's favorite films). Dumbo is considered to be one of Disney's finest films and is generally regarded as a classic of animation. At 64 minutes, it is also one of Disney's shortest animated features.

The main character is Jumbo Jr., a very small elephant with huge ears who is cruelly nicknamed Dumbo. He is ridiculed for his big ears, but in fact he is capable of flying by using his ears as wings. Throughout most of the film, his only true friend, aside from his mother, is the mouse, Timothy — a relationship parodying the stereotypical animosity between mice and elephants.

The film has been criticized as being racist. The crow characters in the film are seen as African-American stereotypes and although the leader crow was originally named "Jim Crow" for script purposes, and the name stuck. The other crows are all voiced by African-American actors, all members of the Hall Johnson Choir.

Favorite quotes:

[the elephants think that Dumbo with his big ears is the reason Mrs. Jumbo has been locked up]
Timothy Q. Mouse: What's the matter with his ears? I don't see nothin' wrong with 'em. I think they're cute.

Crow #1: Did you ever see an elephant fly?
Crow #2: Well, I've seen a horse fly.
Crow #3: Ah, I've seen a dragon fly.
Crow #4: Hee-hee. I've seen a house fly.

Clown: Hey, be careful. Don't hurt the little guy.
Skinny: Aw, c'mon. Elephants ain't got no feelings.
Clown #2: No, they're made of rubber.

Prissy: Girls, girls! Listen! Have I got a trunk full of dirt.

Elephant Matriarch: Take your foot out of my eye... clumsy ox!

"When I See An Elephant Fly"

I saw a peanut stand, heard a rubber band,
I saw a needle that winked its eye.
But I think I will have seen everything
When I see an elephant fly.

I saw a front porch swing, heard a diamond ring,
I saw a polka-dot railroad tie.
But I think I will have seen everything
when I see an elephant fly.

I seen a clothes horse, he r'ar up and buck
And they tell me that a man made a vegetable truck
I didn't see that, I only heard
But just to be sociable I'll take your word

I heard a fireside chat, I saw a baseball bat
And I just laughed till I thought I'd die
But I'd be done see'n about everything
when I see an elephant fly.

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