Dumbo is a 1941 American animated film produced by Walt Disney Productions and released by RKO Radio Pictures. The fourth Disney animated feature film, it is based upon the storyline written by Helen Aberson and illustrated by Harold Pearl for the prototype of a novelty toy (“Roll-a-Book”). The main character is Jumbo Jr., a semi-anthropomorphic elephant who is cruelly nicknamed “Dumbo”, as in “dumb”. 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.

Dumbo was released on October 23, 1941; made to recoup the financial losses of Fantasia, it was a deliberate pursuit of simplicity and economy for the Disney studio. At 64 minutes, it is one of Disney’s shortest animated features. Sound was recorded conventionally using the RCA System. One voice was synthesized using the Sonovox system, but it, too, was recorded using the RCA System.

In 2017, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.

A live-action adaptation of the film directed by Tim Burton is scheduled to be released on March 29, 2019.


A flock of storks deliver babies while circus animals are being transported by train from their “Winter Quarters”. Mrs. Jumbo, one of the elephants, receives her baby, who is soon made fun of by the other female elephants, who are Prissy, Catty, Giddy, and Matriarch, because of his large ears, and they nickname him “Dumbo”. After locking the four elephants, Mrs. Jumbo starts to cuddle Dumbo.

When a storm comes, they have to help set up the circus tents together, including the elephants; afterwards, they have a parade through town. However, Dumbo ends up in a muddy puddle, so Mrs. Jumbo has to wash him. When a group of boys torment Dumbo, Mrs. Jumbo responds by attacking the boys, and losing her temper in confusion. Mrs. Jumbo is deemed mad and suspended in a cage. Dumbo is shunned by the other elephants, and with no parent to care for him, he is now alone. Timothy Q. Mouse, who feels sympathy for Dumbo, and becomes determined to help regain his spirits, appoints himself as Dumbo’s mentor and protector.

After being secretly encouraged by Timothy, the circus director makes Dumbo the top of an elephant pyramid stunt. The performance goes awry as Dumbo trips over his ears and misses his target, causing the other elephants to suffer various injuries, and bring down the big top. Dumbo is made into a clown as a result, officially having the other elephants deem him no longer one of them, and plays the main role in an act that involves him falling into a vat of pie filling. Despite his newfound popularity and fame, Dumbo dislikes this job, and is now more miserable than ever.

To cheer Dumbo up, Timothy takes him to visit his mother; on the way back, Dumbo cries and then starts to hiccup, so Timothy takes him for a drink of water from a bucket which, unknown to them, has accidentally had a bottle of champagne knocked into it by the clowns as they decide to speak to the circus director about changing up Dumbo’s stunt, and a pay raise. As a result, Dumbo and Timothy both become drunk, and see hallucinations of pink elephants.

The next morning, Dumbo and Timothy wake up in a tree, but soon fall into a lake; Timothy wonders how they got up in the tree, and concludes that Dumbo flew up there using his large ears as wings. With the help from a group of crows, Timothy is able to get Dumbo to fly again, using a psychological trick of a “magic feather” to boost his confidence.

Back at the circus, Dumbo performs the same stunt, which involves jumping from a high building, this time, from a much higher platform thanks to the clowns speaking to the circus director earlier. On the way down, Dumbo loses the feather; Timothy quickly tells him that the feather was never magical, and that he is still able to fly. Dumbo is able to pull out of the dive and flies around the circus, finally striking back at his tormentors as a stunned audience looks on in amazement.

After this performance, Dumbo becomes a media sensation, Timothy becomes his manager, and Dumbo and Mrs. Jumbo are given a private car on the circus train. The crows say goodbye to Dumbo and his mother as the film ends.  /Gjithqka Nga Pak


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