Document details

Grim Natwick


Speaking of love, 1 would like right now to switch my train of thought to a picture that has been one of my most beloved. Ladie-e-e-es and gentlem-e-en, I give you Dumbo, the flying Elephant! Scene by scene. Dumbo continues to charm me. I call it a long short. It has the effervescent tempo of the shorts and the physical stature of a feature picture. It is lighter spirited than most of the Disney features.

I suppose there is a circus epidemic that afflicts all kids. I guess I was never completely cured. I’m crazy about that little circus train that puffs its way to nowhere in particular and has lots of fun getting there. Remember?

Then there was that idiotic stork sitting on a cream puff cloud, trying to read a map of Florida. Do you remember him? He will deliver the little largeeared baby elephant to his nervous mother. Big Deal!

And how about the gossipy conference of corpulent lady elephants? They caused me to break out with little bumps of giddiness. 1 was elated by their snide remarks when little Dumbo unfolded his big ears. Oh, I knew what would happen! Timothy, the gallant mouse, would scare the daylights out of the pompous pachyderms. Zap! Zing! Zow-ie! My heart tingled.

One scene in the picture was a stroke of genius. It was the cluster of silhouetted clowns in the lamplighted tent. The loss of their flask in a tub of water led to one of the happiest pieces of Picasso-esque art ever attempted in animation. It perfectly complemented the song, ‘Elephants on Parade’. Art and music fit together like a silk chemise on a Swedish barmaid. The animators of this magic were Norm Ferguson and Karl van Leuven.

Later in the story. Ward Kimball performed a little magic of his own. He animated the quintette of hipsy crows who poke fun at Dumbo and then, after almost breaking his heart, do a quick turn-about and help him discover that he really can fly. It is pure melodrama rich, wacky, beautiful melodrama.

If a print of Dumbo survives, it will delight children and old guys like me in the year 2079, and maybe in 3079.



Source type Magazine
Volume 42
Language en
Document type Feature
Media type text
Page count 3
Pages pp. 73-75


Id 5815
Availability Free
Inserted 2021-02-03