Dumbo is an American animated film produced by Walt Disney Productions and premiered on October 23, 1941, by RKO Radio Pictures. Sound was recorded conventionally using the RCA System. One voice was synthesized using the Sonovox System, but it too, was recorded using the RCA System.
Dumbo, the fourth animated feature in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series, is based upon the storyline written by Helen Aberson and illustrated by Harold Pearl for the prototype of a novelty toy (''Roll-a-Book''.) The main character is Jumbo Jr., a semi-anthropomorphic elephant who is cruelly nicknamed ''Dumbo''. He is ridiculed for his big ears, but in fact he is capable of flying by using his ears as wings. Throughout most of the film, his only true friend, aside from his mother, is the mouse, Timothy - a relationship parodying the stereotypical animosity between mice and elephants.
Dumbo was made to recoup the financial losses of Fantasia. It was a deliberate pursuit of simplicity and economy for the Disney studio, and at 64 minutes, it is one of Disney's shortest animated features.
A flock of storks deliver babies while circus animals are being transported by train from their winter quarters. Mrs. Jumbo, one of the elephant, receives her baby who is soon tormented by the other (female) elephants because of his large ears, and they nickname him ''Dumbo''.
Once the circus is assembled, Mrs. Jumbo loses her temper at a group of boys for tormenting Dumbo, and is locked up and deemed mad. Dumbo is shunned by the other elephants and with no mother to care for him, he is now alone. Timothy Q. Mouse, who feels sympathy for Dumbo and becomes determined to make him happy again, appoints himself as Dumbo's mentor and protector.
The circus director makes Dumbo the top of an elephant pyramid stunt, but Dumbo trips over his ears and misses his target, injuring the other elephants and bringing down the big top. Dumbo is made a clown as a result, and plays the main role in an act that involves him falling into a vat of pie filling. Despite his newfound popularity and fame, Dumbo dislikes this job and is now more miserable than ever.
To cheer Dumbo up, Timothy takes him to visit his mother. On the way back, Dumbo cries and then starts to hiccup, so Timothy takes him for a drink of water from a bucket which, unknown to them, has accidentally had a bottle of champagne knocked into it. As a result, Dumbo and Timothy both become drunk and see hallucinations of pink elephants.
The next morning, Dumbo and Timothy wake up in a tree. Timothy wonders how they got up in the tree, and concludes that Dumbo flew up there using his large ears as wings. With the help from a group of crows, Timothy is able to get Dumbo to fly again, using a psychological trick of a ''magic feather'' to boost his confidence.
Back at the circus, Dumbo performed a stunt which involves jumping from a high building, this time, from a much higher platform. On the way down, Dumbo loses the feather; Timothy quickly tells him that the feather was never magical, and that he is still able to fly. Dumbo is able to pull out of the dive and flies around the circus, finally striking back at his tormentors as a stunned audience looks on in amazement.
After this performance, Dumbo becomes a media sensation, Timothy becomes his manager, and Dumbo and Mrs Jumbo are given a private car on the circus train.
- Edward as Timothy Q. Mouse
- Verna Felton as The Matriarch and Mrs. Jumbo
- Cliff Edwards as Jim Crow
- Herman Ring as the Ringmaster
- Margaret Wright as Casey Junior
- Sterling Holloway as Mr. Stork
- The Hall Johnson Choir as Crow Chorus
- The King's Men as Roustabout Chorus
- Noreen Gammil as Catty
- Dorothy Scott as Giddy
- Sarah Selby as Prissy
- Malcolm Hutton as Skinny
- Billy Fletcher as Clown
- John Macleish as the Narrator
- Look Out for Mr. Stork (sung by chorus)
- Casey Junior (sung by chorus)
- Rock-a-Bye Baby (sung a bit by Sterling Holloway)
- Happy Birthday (sung by Sterling Holloway)
- Song of the Roustabouts (sung by The King's Men)
- Clown Song
- Baby Mine (sung by Betty Notes)
- We're Gonna Hit the Big Boss for a Raise (sung by the clowns)
- Pink Elephants on Parade
- When I See an Elephant Fly (sung by Cliff Edwards, Jim Carmichael and the Hall Johnson Choir)
International releases Edit
For information about international dubs and releases, Dumbo/International.