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"DUMBO" was the third full-length production that Walt Disney has given us. It was also the first in which Disney and his staff did not have to worry about treading on other people's corns. "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" and "Pinocchio" were both well-loved fairy tales and Disney and his staff were more or less tied by book illustrators and by the authors' descriptions of the characters in them. "Dumbo," however, was bought in manuscript form before it was published, so Walt Disney and his staff used their imaginations unfettered. Originally it was purchased to make a "short." But the pathetic little elephant with the big ears made everyone engaged on the original so enthusiastic about making him the hero of adventures that would last an hour and a half that eventually a full-length "Dumbo" was decided on.

To give voices to the characters in "Dumbo," actors were picked from both screen and radio.

Cliff ("Ukelele Ike") Edwards returned to the studio, where he had previously gone for "Pinocchio," to give Jiminy Cricket a voice. This time he was the leader of the five disreputable black crows who helped Dumbo to fly. Edward Brophy was Timothy Mouse's voice. Herman Bing, well known for his reverberating "r's" and excited character studies on the screen, was the ringmaster, and Sterling Holloway the stork.

And well known to American wireless listeners was Verna Felton the voice of the matriarch elephant.

Dumbo did not speak from the beginning to the end of the picture. He was a true pantomime star.

[img]The circus in its winter quarters in Florida, where Dumbo's mother anxiously awaits the arrival of her baby.[/img]

[img]The Ringmaster — left, Herman Bing, who provided his voice.[/img]

[img]The circus elephants gaze on the baby. Right: Verna Felton.[/img]

[img]Timothy Mouse, Dumbo's perky little friend.[/img]

[img]Right: Edward Brophy, his voice.[/img]

[img]The Black Crows who sang, "When I see an elephant fly." Left: Cliff Edwards.[/img]

[img]Dumbo's trial flight – clutching the "magic" feather.[/img]

[img]Dumbo's degradation — his appearance as the "baby in the burning house" — the climax of the clowns' act in the circus.[/img]

[img]The stork messenger catches up the train taking the animals from Florida, to present Mrs. Dumbo with her baby. Right: Sterling Holloway, recording his lines as the stork's voice. Those who have seen him on the screen will realise how cleverly the whole stork character resembles him.[/img]

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