Dumbo Movie Poster

Trivia for Dumbo

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  • Based off Tim Burton's other previous interpretations of past existing, remake material, this is expected to be a darker, more serious tone and take on the Disney original classic.
  • Filming about to start at the Cardington Hangers in Bedfordshire.
  • Will Smith and Tom Hanks were approached for roles. Smith was interested but backed out to do Bad Boys for Life (2020) and would later sign on for Aladdin (2019). Hanks was courted for a villain role, but turned it down to film Greyhound (2020).
  • Chris Pine was offered a part, but turned it down. He ended up being a cast member of A Wrinkle in Time (2018) after filming Wonder Woman (2017).
  • This is Tim Burton's first live-action remake of a Disney animated film. This does not include Alice in Wonderland (2010) which is a sequel to the original film and not a reimagining of the 1950s animated film.
  • This is Danny DeVito's fourth collaboration with Tim Burton, after Batman Returns (1992), Mars Attacks! (1996), and Big Fish (2003). In the previous films, DeVito has played a circus member. He said that when Burton called him up asking him to be in this film, Burton referred to the project as "the completion of the circus trilogy."
  • This is Danny DeVito's second Disney film after Hercules (1997).
  • This is Eva Green's third collaboration with Tim Burton, after Dark Shadows (2012) and Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (2016).
  • This is Michael Keaton's fourth collaboration with Tim Burton after Beetlejuice (1988), Batman (1989), and Batman Returns (1992).
  • Danny DeVito's first film with Tim Burton' since Big Fish (2003). Burton, DeVito, and Michael Keaton also worked together on Batman Returns (1992).
  • To be released several months before Dumbo (1941)'s 78th anniversary.
  • This is Michael Keaton's fourth Disney film, after Herbie Fully Loaded (2005), Cars (2006), and Toy Story 3 (2010). Keaton also starred in Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017), which is technically distributed by Sony/Columbia but is part of Disney's Marvel Cinematic Universe.
  • First Live Action Reboot of a Disney Animated Feature Film that's completely original and not an adaption of anything.
  • This will be the first time Dumbo is live action and will be the first time Dumbo will be directed by Tim Burton.
  • Both Colin Farrell and Michael Keaton have played Marvel Comics villains: Farrell as Bullseye in Daredevil (2003) and Keaton as Vulture in Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017).
  • This is the first live action reboot of a Disney animated feature film that's completely original and not an adaptation of anything. The original Dumbo (1941) was based on a children's story, but it wasn't a fairy tale, rather, a tool for a miniature panorama toy device.
  • This is the second collaboration between Tim Burton and Alan Arkin, with the first being Edward Scissorhands (1990).
  • This is the third live action reboot of a Disney animated feature film to discard the spoken dialogue of the animal characters. The first had been was Cinderella (2015) with the title character's mice friends, this does not include 101 Dalmatians (1996) which was completely different from and not based on the original 101 Dalmatians (1961).
  • Will Smith declining to star in this film and instead choosing to appear in Aladdin (2019) makes him the second actor to choose a live-action remake of a Disney Renaissance movie over a live-action adaptation of a Walt Disney animated film. Emma Watson was offered the titular role in Cinderella (2015) but chose to play Belle in Beauty and the Beast (2017) instead.
  • A code name for this movie was Big Ears.
  • Is the third live action reboot of a Disney animated feature film to release in March, after Cinderella (2015) and Beauty and the Beast (2017), followed by Mulan (2020); as well as the second Disney film from Tim Burton to release in March, after Alice in Wonderland (2010).
  • Danny DeVito (Medici) and Sandy Martin (Verma) have appeared on It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (2005) together.
  • 3rd Film where Danny DeVito plays a character associated with the circus, after Animal Crackers (2017) and Big Fish (2003).
  • This is the third live-action Disney film to feature Asian or African elephants, after Operation Dumbo Drop (1995) and The Jungle Book (2016).
  • This is the second Disney film to have a heroine named Collette, after Ratatouille (2007).
  • This is the first live action reboot of a Disney animated feature film and the second Disney film overall to feature a biracial family after A Wrinkle in Time (2018).
  • Nico Parker's acting debut. She filmed her part while her mother, Thandie Newton, finished the fellow Disney production Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) on a nearby movie set.
  • The cover of "Baby Mine", used in the teaser trailer, is performed by the Norwegian singer-songwriter Aurora Aksnes, who was on tour in Brazil when she performed the track. This is the first time she contributes to a movie soundtrack. The original rendition was written by Ned Washington and Frank Churchill. It was nominated for a Best Song Academy Award.
  • It's based upon a story written by husband-wife team Helen Aberson and Harold Pearl, and is loosely inspired by Walt Disney's animated film Dumbo (1941).
  • Eva Green's Disney movie debut.
  • The live action Dumbo will be more sad than the cartoon.
  • The film's cast includes one Oscar winner: Alan Arkin and two Oscar nominees: Michael Keaton and Danny DeVito.
  • All three members of the Farrier family fake American accents. Colin Farrell is from Ireland; Finley Robbins and Nico Parker are English.
  • The fifth Disney's live-action/computer-animated hybrid film, after G-Force (2009), The Jungle Book (2016), The BFG (2016), and Christopher Robin (2018).
  • The first Disney movie since Finding Dory (2016) to be filmed in a 1:85:1 aspect ratio.
  • Filmed entirely on a sound stage--not even the outdoor scenes were exterior shots.
  • The original model for Dumbo was somewhat photorealistic, but eventually scrapped for the more expressive one seen in the movie.
  • The film is set in 1919, in the aftermath of World War I. Production designer Rick Heinrichs studied period architecture and photographs from that era, costume designer Colleen Atwood used 90% vintage outfits from that era.
  • Production designer Rick Heinrichs cites the paintings of 20th-century artist Edward Hopper as an inspiration for the look of the film.
  • V.A. Vandermere's Dreamland circus is heavily inspired by three theme parks: Coney Island, World's Fair, and various Disneyland theme parks.
  • Danny DeVito's daughter Lucy DeVito appears in the film as a coat check girl.
  • The first time since Batman Returns (1992) that Danny DeVito, Michael Keaton, and Tim Burton worked together.
  • Colleen Atwood opted not to make a single black and white striped clothing item, saying it was too predictable to use in a Tim Burton film as it was one of Burton's visual trademarks.
  • Released on the big-screen with the Blue Sky Studios short Scrat's Continental Crack-Up (2010) in front of it.
  • Running time (130 minutes) is more than twice the length of the animated original (64 minutes).
  • This is the second Live action version of Dumbo, after the Dumbo's Circus (1985).
  • Boxing announcer Michael Buffer appears as a circus ringmaster. Instead of his trademark line "Let's get ready to rumble!", he says "Let's get ready for Dumbo!"
  • There was a swear jar on set. Whenever an actor cursed, they needed to put money in the jar. At the end of shooting, the total was given to charity. Allegedly, Colin Farrell was the worst offender and was responsible for the majority of the money.
  • When Dumbo first appears in the circus and is being pushed around in a baby buggy, the letters read "Dear Baby Jumbo." Following the damage to the sign and letters falling off/moving around, it reads "Ear Baby Dumbo."
  • Danny Devito and Michael Keaton were also adversaries in another Tim Burton film, Batman Returns (1992).
  • The amusement park in the film has an exhibit about what the future might be like - this is a reference to Disney World's Carousel of Progress as well as other Disney Attractions at Epcot Center.
  • Roshan Seth, who portrays snake charmer Premesh Singh, actually carries a live python around his neck.
  • The production team created a full-scale version of the train Casey Jr. circus train from Dumbo (1941). It had to be given wear and tear to reflect the circus's rundown condition.
  • The tank that houses Miss Atlantis was constructed with double walls - a narrow internal tank that lined the bigger tank was filled with water and fish to create the illusion that she was underwater.
  • Miss Atlantis' costume consisted of more than 100 overlapping hand-stitched scales, which were constructed from 3-4 layers of fabric and given sequin borders to give each scale a reflective quality.
  • The filmmakers brought in real circus performers to bring a sense of authenticity to their circus. This included circus choreographer Kristian Kristof, a Hungarian fourth-generation circus performer who provided extensive circus knowledge and international circus connections to aid the production.
  • The circus troupe assembled for the film hailed from all over the world. Significant language barriers made it difficult for the performers to connect. One day they set up a ping-pong table, which helped the performers to socialize with each other.
  • The circus performers Ivan the Wonderful and Catherine the Greater are portrayed by Miguel Muñoz Segura and Zenaida Alcalde, a real-life couple who are also skilled performers.
  • Dreamland is set in colors of red, white and blue, the traditional American colors.
  • Eva Green is afraid of heights. She was able to overcome her fear during filming, with the help of a professional performer who trained her in her stunts.
  • In Dumbo (1941) a stork visits Mrs Jumbo to give her her baby. While in the film Mrs Jumbo gives birth to her baby, a stork perches itself outside of Mrs. Jumbo's train car.
  • A clown congratulates a successful Dumbo with a bottle of champagne, but Medici shoos him away saying babies shouldn't have booze. This is a homage to Dumbo getting drunk in Dumbo (1941), which set off the "Pink Elephants on Parade" song.
  • Sharon Rooney was tapped to sing "Baby Mine" in the film. The song is special to Rooney, as her grandmother used to sing it to her when she was a child. Rooney also had to learn to play the ukulele for the song; she'd never picked up the instrument before, but it took her just a week to learn to play the song.
  • The plush toys of Dumbo being sold at Dreamland are designed in Dumbo's animated form in Dumbo (1941).
  • The ring announcer introduces Dumbo with lyrics from "When I See an Elephant Fly," a song from Dumbo (1941). The musical theme itself appears at the end of the film.
  • The "Pink Elephants on Parade" sequence, seen by an inebriated Dumbo in Dumbo (1941), was modified into a bubble show, seen through a sober but spellbound Dumbo's eyes.
  • The film does not feature talking animals, focusing instead on the human characters.
  • Kruger wrote the script as a story that "offered a way to tell that story in a framework that expanded it, but without redoing the original [film]", as well as a story that "was simple, with an emotional simplicity, and didn't interfere with what the basic through line of the original is about." Like the original film, Dumbo depicts the character as a symbol of someone who does not fit and turns his disabilities into an advantage. Kruger wrote the script in order to "explore how the people of the circus world would relate to Dumbo's journey", while Springer said that "[the production team] really wanted to explore the human side of [Dumbo's] story and give it historical context. In the animated feature, Dumbo flies for the world at the end of the film. [They] wanted to find out how the world reacts when people learn that this elephant can fly".
  • In January 2017, it was announced that Will Smith was "in talks" to play the father of the children who develop a friendship with the lovable elephant after seeing him at the circus. However, Smith later passed on the role due to scheduling conflicts in his filming for Bad Boys for Life, among other reasons. Smith went on to be the Genie in Disney's live-action remake of Aladdin. Bill Hader, Chris Pine and Casey Affleck were also offered the role, but passed on it before Colin Farrell was cast. Farrell, a fan of Burton, chose to work on the film because "[t]he idea of [acting in] something as sweet and fantastical and otherworldly, while being grounded in some recognizable world that we can relate to, under the direction of Burton, was something he always wanted to do." In March 2017, Eva Green and Danny DeVito, recurring collaborators of Burton's, joined the cast as Colette, a trapeze artist, and Max Medici, the circus' ringmaster, respectively. Due to her fear of heights, Green trained with aereolist Katherine Arnold and choreographer Fran Jaynes in order to prepare for the role. In April 2017, Michael Keaton joined the cast, rounding out the few prominent "adult" live-action roles. Tom Hanks was reportedly in discussions for the role before Keaton was cast.
  • During the summer of 2017, DeObia Oparei, Joseph Gatt, and Alan Arkin joined the film. DeVito said that "[he loves] Tim and [he] would do anything to be in a movie with him." DeVito said that Burton is "[a]lways spirited, always an artist, always thinking about the craft, always painting with his mind" and that he felt like "part of some kind of palette, a color scheme" while filming the movie.
  • Principal photography had begun by July 2017, in England.
  • Two elephant props were used during filming "to give [the production team] an idea of his size and his shape in the scene; an idea of the lighting, and that kind of thing; where he's going to be for camera." Creature performer Edd Osmond used a green suit to represent the character while filming certain scenes, as well as an "interactive reference" for scenes that required the actors to be in contact with the character, and as a guide for Burton to use, with Burton later providing information of his performance to the animation team. Unlike most remakes of Disney's animated films, Dumbo mostly used practical sets during filming.
  • Most of the filming was done at Pinewood Studios and Cardington Airfield in England.
  • Production designer Rick Heinrichs designed the film's scenes in a way that represents both the film's story and the period it is set, stating that the film's story "provided a very specific period, but at the same time, having worked with Tim many times in the past, [he knows] that [Burton is] a little less interested in giving a history lesson as he is in the emotional story being told."
  • Both the "Dreamland" and circus scenes were designed differently in order to showcase their contrasts.
  • The production design crew were heavily influenced by the works of Edward Hopper, with Heinrichs stating that the team tried to create something similar to "[Hopper]'s reductive process of looking at environments and reducing it to its essence." Heinrichs also said that the production design team had "to push the reality, the live action, a bit into the storybook world. [They] certainly make the baby elephant look believable, but [they] also stylized our world, pushing it into an expressive direction with all of the lighting, costumes, props and environments."
  • The production team also created a full-scale version of the train "Casey Jr." from the original film, though it was visually redesigned in order to reflect the circus' state.
  • According to visual effects supervisor Richard Stammers, a motion base, which he described as "essentially a hydraulic round gimbal rig" was used for scenes in which Green's character flies with Dumbo, with Hydraulic pistons used to simulate Dumbo's flying.
  • The visual effects were provided by Moving Picture Company, Framestore and Rise FX, supervised by Patrick Ledda, Richard Hoover, Jonathan Weber, Richard Stammers and produced by Hal Couzens with the help of Rising Sun Pictures and Rodeo FX. Title designer Matt Curtis made the opening titles for Dumbo, marking his first collaboration with Disney since Around the World in 80 Days.
  • Most of the sets in this film look very similar to ones used in Batman Returns
  • The glove over Holt's prosthetic hand bears a striking resemblance to Disney mascot Mickey Mouse's glove.
  • According to Farrell's assistant C.E. Whitaker III, production was stunned at Colin Farrell's ability to perform a great deal of stunts and ride horses with complete ease.
  • Colin Farrell, who had worked with horses in films before, often took action to ensure the horses on set were treated properly.
  • HIDDEN MICKEY REFERENCE - This can be briefly seen at the very beginning of the soap bubble blowing scene prior to Dumbo's debut at Dreamland. The Mickey concerned is one of the first animals blown before the bubbles start to turn into elephant shapes.
  • The role played by Alan Arkin was written with Christopher Walken in mind. Walken had to drop out of the project early on so Arkin was cast instead. However director Tim Burton always liked the hint of menace Walken could bring to his roles and asked Arkin if he could deliver the lines in the same manner that Walken would.
  • There are many references to the original 1941 film of the same name: *A stork perches itself outside of Mrs. Jumbo's train car the night she gives birth to Dumbo, a clear nod to the stork character in the original. *Holt and his two children (Milly and Joe find Dumbo hiding under a pile of hay, just like how Timothy did in the original movie when they first met. *When Dumbo is first presented to the crowds, he has his ears tied in a similar way Timothy tied them on Dumbo's first act in the original movie. *Dumbo's mother's rampage causes the collapse of the circus' tent, just like Dumbo's accident in his first act caused the collapse of the entire circus in the original movie. *Milly also tells Dumbo to "Show 'em" when she gives him the Magic Feather, which is what Timothy said to him in the original film when he flies at its climax. *As Milly brings Dumbo a cage with several mice inside, and one of which is wearing a circus uniform in a nod to Timothy, Dumbo's companion from the orignal movie. *At Dumbo's Dreamland debut, the announcer quotes "When I See An Elephant Fly" almost verbatim.
  • Named by the Adaptation: While the ringmaster in the original Dumbo (1941) was unnamed and simply called "the Ringmaster", here the names of his counterparts are Max Medici and V.A. Vandemere.
  • The circus train has the number 41 on the front - 1941 is the year the original Dumbo (1941) was released.
  • Extras in circus scenes were not actors, but actual circus acts. Over 600 circus performers from around the world were hired for crowd scenes.
  • The film's code name, Big Ears, is a reference not just to Dumbo, but to Tim Burton's other projects, Big Eyes and Big Fish.
  • Though obviously this is a reimagining of original animated feature Dumbo (1941), this also has a new plot that is very similar to Free Willy (1993). Both revolve around a financially struggling attraction with a particular animal as the main event. They both also have a tycoon pulling the strings on the animals, try to cause them harm, and feature a rescue mission to set them free.
  • While Dumbo (1941) ended with Dumbo discovering his flying magic and becoming his circus's star attraction, this adaptation focuses on what happens after Dumbo becomes a success.
  • This is Tim Burton's only second movie not to have opening credits, the first one was Alice in Wonderland (2010).
  • The locomotive engine which pulls the circus cars in Dumbo is a 4-4-0 layout (4 leading wheels, 4 drive wheels, 0 trailing wheels)... The same layout (4-4-0) are what Walt Disney used in both his backyard railroad and Disneyland Railroad engine#'s 1&2.
  • According to Colin Farrell, Tim Burton would act out the scenes from behind the camera as he watched the actors perform.
  • Walt Disney Picture's fifth live-action remake of an animated classic.
  • Walt Disney Pictures's fifth live-action adaption to be a remake after Cinderella (2015), The Jungle Book (2016), Pete's Dragon (2016), and The Beauty and The Beast (2017). This does not include Alice in Wonderland (2010) which was completely different and not based on the original animated classic in 1951, the same said for Christopher Robin (2018) which was a sequel to the Winnie the Pooh series as opposed to being a remake.
  • The font used for the "Dreamland" entrance sign, is also the font used for all of the "Tomorrowland's" throughout the various Disney Parks.
  • The ninth Tim Burton's family film, after Pee-wee's Big Adventure (1985), The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), James and the Giant Peach (1996), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005), Corpse Bride (2005), Alice in Wonderland (2010), Frankenweenie (2012) and Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016).
  • Michael Keaton's first collaboration with Tim Burton in 27 years. The last time they worked together was Batman Returns.

Spoilers

  • Michael Keaton and Danny DeVito previously appeared together in Johnny Dangerously (1984) and Batman Returns (1992). In both films, Keaton was the protagonist and DeVito played a villain. Here, Keaton is the villain and DeVito plays a supporting hero.
  • There are no talking animals in this adaptation; instead the story is revised to include more human characters, focusing more so on their perspective. However, the animals of Dumbo (1941) are homaged in the film: * One of the three silent white mice that Milly and Joe bring to Dumbo is dressed in a ringmaster outfit, which refers to Dumbo's sidekick Timothy Q Mouse * A stork perches itself outside of Mrs. Jumbo's train car around the time Dumbo is born, which refers to the stork who brought baby Dumbo to his mother. * Two elephants in Medici's troupe act hostile to Dumbo during his debut appearance, which refers to the antagonistic elephants. * The last time Dumbo flies he holds a black feather (all the other times the feather was white). This refers to Jim Crow, who gave Dumbo the magic feather.
  • The feather Dumbo uses at the end of the film is black, rather than white like all the others. In the original film Dumbo believed that he couldn't fly without his"Magic Feather," which was plucked from the tail of a crow.
  • At the end of the film, Dumbo and his mother return to the Asian jungles. In The Jungle Book (2016) the Asian/Indian elephants are described as being gods, which could explain Dumbo's flying power.
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