It's the end of winter, and the storks deliver their new babies to the circus dwellers in their winter neighborhood in Florida. All mothers receive their packages except one elephant, Mrs. Jumbo. But after the circus leaves, a lost stork brings him an elephant which, to the general surprise, is characterized by two huge ears. He becomes the object of mockery of all the other elephants, he is immediately nicknamed "Dumbo" (dumb in English means stupid).
Ms. Jumbo tries to remain dignified by surrounding her baby with all her motherly love. However, when a handful of rude little boys once again taunt Dumbo, his mother who is distraught, unable to deal with the permanent evil that her little one is the victim of, takes one with her trunk and gives him a spanking. He will pay dearly for his gesture as the sigr. Loyal, after having whipped her, chained her and put her in a cage. Considered a "different" from the other crew members, Dumbo is now alone. Fortunately, the shrewd mouse Timothy consoles him and decides to make him a real circus star.
Timothy tries to perform several circus numbers with Dumbo but they all fail: while Dumbo has to jump on a trampoline to land on top of a pyramid of elephants balancing on a ball, he trips over his ears and rolling ends up hitting the ball that supported the pyramid , which collapses dragging the whole circus tent with it. In the nearby town, the circus director decides to make Dumbo a clown, much to the shame and embarrassment of the other elephants.
The show is a big hit, and the clowns party after the show. Meanwhile, Timothy, taking advantage of the general euphoria, takes little Dumbo to see his mother imprisoned inside a wagon. They cannot see each other, but only the embrace of their trunks remains. To comfort Dumbo who continues to cry and sob, Timothy takes him to drink in a bowl, where one of the clowns has inadvertently poured a bottle of champagne. Alcohol quickly affects both the elephant and the mouse, so the two friends have dreamlike and psychedelic visions, including the pink elephant walk and many other unlikely hallucinations.
The next morning, the two companions are awakened from their sleep by a band of crows, who are amazed to find an elephant on the topmost branches of a tree. After the astonishment, Timothy realizes that Dumbo has managed to fly up there, thanks to his big ears. She tries to persuade him to use this gift, supported by the raven leader who, after being put in his place by Timothy, offers the young elephant one of his feathers, convincing him that he has magical power to make him fly. The duo climbs from the top of a cliff and the incredible happens: Dumbo knows how to fly.
Back at the circus, Dumbo is ready for his clown act. But thanks to the pen, Timothy proposes to turn the number into a flying show. As he opens his ears, the baby elephant loses his pen and panics. Timothy confesses that it was just a pretext and that he didn't need the feather to fly; he just needs to trust himself. In front of the astonished spectators, the elephant soars like a plane, splashing the incredulous clowns. The flying elephant number is a great success. In the company of Timothy and his mother, finally free, Dumbo becomes the new star of the circus.
It is the moving story of Dumbo, the big-eared elephant, son of the elephant Jumbo. Dumbo is immediately mocked and humiliated by both the circus elephants and the circus staff because of his ears which initially cause him a lot of trouble. His mother will rebel against this situation to protect him, but will be locked up and separated from her puppy. Dumbo, finds in the cheerful little mouse Timoteo the only friend who will be able to understand that his great handycap is also his greatest talent. With a bit of luck, a lot of determination and exceptional courage, Dumbo learns to soar in the air, becoming the flying attraction of the circus. The film has creative moments of great interest, such as Dumbo's dream, one of the most unique songs with an almost surreal taste. Among the soap bubbles Dumbo sees myriads of elephants of various colors that make up a wonderful "Silly Symphony". Dumbo is one of Walt Disney's most beloved films and was the winner of the Academy Award for Best Score.
Dumbo is the fifth animated feature film and the fourth "Animation Classic" from Disney Studios, released in the United States in October 1941. It is based on the eponymous short story written by Helen Aberson and illustrated by Harold Pearl, published in 1939.
The production of this film was intended to compensate for the low takings of Pinocchio and Fantasia, both released in 1940. The original scenario, close to a version of Ugly Duck but with a pachyderm, was developed by Joe Grant and Dick Huemer to become a 64-minute film, one of Disney Studios' shortest short films. Despite its brevity and the numerous savings made during its production, the film has become a favorite of audiences due to its simple but moving story.
||RKO Radio Pictures
October 31, 1941