Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Dumbo

posted by Nell Minow
A
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:G
Profanity:None
Nudity/Sex:None
Alcohol/Drugs:Characters get drunk
Violence/Scariness:Sad and scary scenes, mother caged and separated from her child
Diversity Issues:A theme of the movie, some racial material insensitive by today's standards
Movie Release Date:1941
DVD Release Date:September 19, 2011

A gorgeous new 70th anniversary “Dumbo” Blu-Ray DVD pack is the Pick of the Week.

The stork delivers babies to the circus animals, including Mrs. Jumbo’s baby, an elephant with enormous ears. The other elephants laugh at him and call him Dumbo, but Mrs. Jumbo loves him very much. When Dumbo is mistreated, she is furious and raises such a fuss that she is locked up. Dumbo is made part of the clown act, which embarasses him very much. He is a big hit and, celebrating his good fortune, accidentally drinks champagne and becomes tipsy. The next morning, he wakes up in a tree, with no idea how he got there. It turns out that he flew!  His big ears are aerodynamic.  He becomes the star of the circus, with his proud mother beside him.

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The themes in this movie include tolerance of differences and the importance of believing in yourself. It also provides a good opportunity to encourage empathy by asking kids how they would feel if everyone laughed at them the way the animals laugh at Dumbo, and how important it is to Dumbo to have a friend like Timothy.

Parents should note that while respecting individual differences is a theme of the movie, the crows who sing “When I See an Elephant Fly” would be considered racist by today’s standards. One of them is named “Jim Crow” and they speak with “Amos ‘n Andy”-style accents, but clearly they are not intended to be insulting. Families who see this movie should talk about that depiction, as well as these questions: Why does Timothy tell Dumbo he needs the feather to fly? How does he learn that he does not need it? Why do the other elephants laugh at Dumbo’s ears? How does that make him feel?

Families who enjoy this movie will also enjoy some stories with related themes. The circus train, Casey, Jr., puffs “I think I can” as it goes up the hill, just like “The Little Engine That Could.” Compare this story to “How the Elephant Got Its Trunk,” by Rudyard Kipling (read by Jack Nicholson in the wonderful Rabbit Ears production), in which another elephant finds his larger-than expected feature first ridiculed and then envied by the other elephants. Kids may also enjoy comparing this to “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “The Ugly Duckling,” and other stories about differences that make characters special.



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  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Robin

    I put this on my DVR and watch it often. I love all of the actors. Please make a Part 2 to this movie, with all of the original characters. It is so wonderful and full of love and life, something we all need in this world right now. I would love to see them get married and have a true family together, he so loves all of them and deserves true happiness. Hallmark please listen to your fans and make a Part 2, but do not change any character, it will only ruin it. Thanks for makeing this great movie and just improve it by making a part 2. Jared nees a real father, and he so loves Vince, and Vince needs a real family to love him so very much, not someone to just date. Make a part 2, don’t disapoint anyone.

    • Nell Minow

      Thanks, Robin! I’m so glad you love this wonderful film.

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