We mentioned Dumbo recently in our post about how Tim Burton is going to ruin it. The 1941 animated film Dumbo was based on a toy. The toy idea was pretty much just a storytelling device anyway, and Disney bought the toy in order to make the movie.
During the making of the movie, there was a strike. What led to the strike – including economic turmoil, the war, more unions, and Disney’s reduction in bonuses to employees – is a whole other story. Although the strike lasted five weeks, Dumbo was finished and released. It was made using approximately $950,000.
After a glorious introduction of circus music during the credits, the movie starts by showing us a bunch of adorable baby animals tumbling out of their blankets after being dropped off by storks, the UPS of the Animal Kingdom. All baby animals appear to only have a mother, except for the lucky tiger litter, who seem to have a whopping two parents. Mrs. Jumbo waits sadly for a delivery of her own.
Then, as if circuses aren’t awful places, and probably especially awful in 1941, a crew of smiling animals calmly walk to their homes, each into the appropriate car on the train. For some reason, the train is also a living thing, named Casey Junior. At least he has a great theme song!
And don’t worry about Mrs. Jumbo. You see she has the same UPS guy as me, and he was just exceptionally late. Also: clumsy and unable to read a map. He chases down the train and hops from car to car in a way that only a cartoon bird would.
He finds her with her nosy elephant cohorts and recites some poetry at her, then asks for a signature. Then he sings happy birthday into the bundle, at little Jumbo Jr., while hiccuping oddly, like some sort of drunk, before falling out the window.
Mrs. Jumbo’s bitchy elephant diva cohorts are bitchy elephant divas. We’ll get back to them.
Baby Dumbo is literally the cutest thing that has ever happened on the earth.
Then, he sneezes, and bitchy diva elephants laugh, point, touch, and gossip when his adorable giant ears flap out. Mrs. Jumbo strikes out for the first time, angrily swatting them away from her baby. The mean ladies nickname him Dumbo, to be mean, but it’s pretty cute.
Whatever, bitches. Mrs. Jumbo is in love with her baby boy and his ears, as any mother would be.