Every one of Disney’s live-action “reimaginings” have made more money at the box office than the title before it. The trend kicked off in 2015 with Cinderella ($543.3 million), followed by 2016’s The Jungle Book ($966.6 million) and 2017’s Oscar-nominated Beauty and the Beast ($1.264 billion). (Titles like Pete’s Dragon or Alice in Wonderland don’t quite count because the original was either animated and live action, or have little to do with the previous iteration.) Disney hopes to keep this endless money train going with Dumbo.
Directed by Tim Burton, whose previous work with Disney includes The Nightmare Before Christmas and Frankenweenie, Dumbo is about a sad circus elephant who gets picked on for having gigantic ears; also, his only friend is a mouse, he gets drunk and sees terrifying pink elephants, and Mama Dumbo sings maybe the saddest song in the Disney canon to her son, “Baby Mine.”
What a dark movie. Tim Burton is the perfect choice.
Here’s the official plot synopsis.
Circus owner Max Medici (Danny DeVito) enlists former star Holt Farrier (Colin Farrell) and his children Milly (Nico Parker) and Joe (Finley Hobbins) to care for a newborn elephant whose oversized ears make him a laughingstock in an already struggling circus. But when they discover that Dumbo can fly, the circus makes an incredible comeback, attracting persuasive entrepreneur V.A. Vandevere (Michael Keaton), who recruits the peculiar pachyderm for his newest, larger-than-life entertainment venture, Dreamland. Dumbo soars to new heights alongside a charming and spectacular aerial artist, Colette Marchant (Eva Green), until Holt learns that beneath its shiny veneer, Dreamland is full of dark secrets.
Dumbo opens on March 29, 2019.