GUESS WHAT: PETA is unsurprisingly not 100% on board with the planned live action Dumbo. Conveniently, the Tim Burton reboot combines a high profile entertainment story with the legitimately disturbing sh*t human beings have done to animals, so there’s probably some kind of alarm that goes off in PETA headquarters whenever this sort of thing happens.
In an open letter, PETA senior Vice President Lisa Lange writes why she feels as though Disney and Tim Burton should change the ending of the original film into something more positive, via the Hollywood Reporter:
“We’re hopeful that in your adaptation of Dumbo, the young elephant and his mother can have a truly happy ending by living out their lives at a sanctuary instead of continuing to be imprisoned and abused in the entertainment industry.”
Lange, in her letter, added PETA likes the original Dumbo movie and storyline “because it tells the story of the heartbreaking abuse that elephants in circuses endure.”
Well that’s kind of a weird reason to like the original Dumbo movie, but go on:
She adds elephants in film and TV shows, as in the circus, don’t freely perform. They instead react to a bullhook, or a sharp weapon, used to control their movements.
“They [elephants] perform because they’re afraid that they’ll be beaten if they don’t,” Lange wrote, before wishing Burton gook luck while directing Dumbo for Disney.
The reboot announcement is admittedly not the greatest timing being that Barnum & Bailey have recently decided to retire elephant acts from their live shows due to public scrutiny. So as much as I hate to agree with PETA, maybe “Whee! Dumbo and his mom get their own private imprisonment car on the circus train!” is not the most ideal way to end an updated film.