DUMBO – THE FILM & ITS HISTORY
jeanniejeanniejeannie.co.uk BLOG 27th March 2019
Dumbo is a 2019 American fantasy adventure film directed by Tim Burton, with a screenplay written by Ehren Kruger. It is inspired by Walt Disney’s 1941 animated film of the same name, itself based on the novel by Helen Aberson and Harold Pearl. The film stars Colin Farrell, Michael Keaton, Danny DeVito, Eva Green, and Alan Arkin.
Plans of a live-action Dumbo remake were announced in 2014 and Burton was confirmed as director in March 2015. Much of the cast signed on in March 2017 and principal photography began in July of that year in the United Kingdom, lasting until November. It is one of several animated classics that Disney announced would be get live-action treatment in 2019, including Aladdin and The Lion King.
The film premiered in Los Angeles on March 11, 2019, and is scheduled to be released in the UK & US on March 29.
Circus owner Max Medici enlists Holt Farrier to care for a newborn elephant whose oversized ears make him a laughing stock in an already struggling circus. But when Holt’s children discover that Dumbo can fly, persuasive entrepreneur V. A. Vandevere and an aerial artist named Colette Marchant swoop in to make the peculiar pachyderm a star.
History of the original 1941 Disney animation “Dumbo”
Despite the advent of World War II, Dumbo was still the most financially successful Disney film of the 1940s. After its October 23 release, Dumbo proved to be a financial miracle compared to other Disney films. The simple film only cost $950,000 (equivalent to $16,180,000 in 2018) to produce, half the cost of Snow White, less than a third of the cost of Pinocchio, and certainly less than the expensive Fantasia. Dumbo eventually grossed $1.6 million (equivalent to $27,250,000 in 2018) during its original release; it and Snow White were the only two pre-1943 Disney features to turn a profit. The film was re-released in cinemas in 1949, 1959, 1972, and 1976.
How did Dumbo originate?
On June 14, 1939, Roll-A-Book Publishers and the authors, Helen Aberson & Harold Pearl sold Dumbo, the Flying Elephant to Walt Disney Productions. The terms of that contract are not a matter of public record, but in an article by Dick Case in the Syracuse Post-Standard in a 1993 letter in which Aberson says: “The terms were we would get $1,000 and royalties on the first 1,000 books of our original story, which amounted to a very small sum.” That sum—and the prestige of a Disney association—probably outweighed any slim hopes of success with the Roll-A-Book version. The first paragraph of the contract was recorded with the U.S. Copyright Office on April 28, 1940, along with a separate assignment of the copyright on the book from Roll-A-Book to Disney.
Read about Helen Aberson: Dumbo by Calliope Glass
“The new studio-created DUMBO text will run considerably longer than [the book versions of] either SNOW WHITE or PINOCCHIO. … DUMBO is approximately 28,000 words. Helen Aberson’s original DUMBO runs approximately 4,500 words [the rough word count on the galleys]. Ours is not only over five times as long but it also includes many brand new characters and situations.”
INSPIRATIONAL QUOTE FOR THE DAY
Go with the decision that will make for a good story.
Happiness is…the story of Dumbo – the elephant who can fly
GRANDAD’S ONE LINER JOKE OF THE DAY
Boss: This is the third time you’ve been late this week. Do you know what that means? Employee: It’s Wednesday?
TRACK OF THE DAY
Under Pressure – Queen & David Bowie
Highest Chart Position: No.1 21st November 1981
WHAT DAY IS IT?
Wednesday 27th March 2019
World Theatre Day
Quirky Country Music Song Titles Day – as in: “I Still Miss You Baby, But My Aim’s Gettin’ Better”
Women’s History Month
©2019 Phil M Robinson & jeanniejeanniejeannie.co.uk