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08/04/19

DUMBO (Movie Review)


Twelve-year-old Milly Farrier doesn't quite fit in her two-bit, fleabag circus world. She's half a twist off and just a bit too, well, smart. I mean, sure, she's definitely a part of the Medici Brothers Circus family, who have all loved and cared for her and her little brother, Joe, ever since their mom died of influenza. But Milly … isn't circus material.

She can't ride a stallion or juggle or flip. She loves science. In fact, she would rather pitch hay, shovel elephant droppings and read a book all day than even think about being part of a circus act. Nobody in the Medici family of performers can really understand that.

Even when Milly's dad, Holt, comes back from World War I, Milly's feelings don't change. And to be honest, she can tell that her dad feels like an outsider these days, too. He used to be the circus' horseman extraordinaire. But then he went to war, returning without his left arm to find that his beloved horses have been sold and that his wife has died.

Circus head honcho Max Medici isn't sending the Farriers packing. But Holt certainly isn't gonna be a lasso-swinging cowboy star any longer. In fact, there's really not much for him to do. So he ends up caring for the elephants alongside Milly.

The one bright spot in Milly's life is the circus' new baby elephant. Some people think the little guy is a freak, and they label him "Dumbo" since he has a tiny little body and enormous floppy ears. Even Mr. Medici only thinks of the baby elephant as an oddity to be added to the clown act.

But Milly thinks he's cute. She knows there's more to little Dumbo than meets the eye.

Like her, Dumbo has something special about him that nobody could possibly understand. And one day as she and little Joe play a game with the baby elephant, the most miraculous thing happens: He accidentally sucks a feather up his trunk, sneezes and, well, flies.

That's right: He flaps his big ears and sorta takes to the air for just a moment. It's incredible. Nobody else knows about this bizarre ability, but Milly begins to wonder if maybe she and Joe could work up a special surprise for the whole circus family.

Dumbo is just a half twist off, just a bit too smart. And from Milly's perspective, that makes him altogether wonderful. Unfortunately, some other folks think Dumbo could be pretty wonderful, too.

As in, wonderful at making them money.

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