Disney's Live-Action 'Dumbo' Comes With an Unexpected & Magical Twist


Get ready for some magic, because Disney's Dumbo is out on Blu-ray, DVD, and digital today, June 25. The Tim Burton-directed film tells the story of our favorite lovable baby elephant, whose giant floppy ears give him the ability to fly. Set in 1919, the Medici Bros. Circus (headed by Danny DeVito as Max Medici) offers the background for the visually stunning live-action film, which focuses on core themes of overcoming oppression and the importance of family.

  • Family plays a key role in the story of Dumbo.

    Holt Farrier (Colin Farrell) is a single dad who returns home from World War I missing an arm. Along with his children, Milly (Nico Parker) and Joe (Finley Hobbins), he takes over the care of the elephants for the the Medici Bros. Circus. Milly is the one who discovers Dumbo can fly, but unlike the 1941 animated classic, the skill does not solve all of the little guy's problems.

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  • In fact, flying creates a whole new host of challenges for the pachyderm and his circus family.


    When villain V.A. Vandevere (Michael Keaton) swoops in to purchase the whole circus in order to obtain the flying baby elephant, he promises that all the performers will be able to keep their acts -- a promise he quickly recants. He also forces Dumbo to perform with acrobat Colette (Eva Green), exploiting the animal for profit.

  • I recently had my own firsthand experience with the circus, when I got to train with artists from Cirque du Soleil's Mystère in Las Vegas.

    In order to learn more about the movie Dumbo, Disney invited me to join the circus for an afternoon, as well as talk with producer Derek Frey about what makes this movie so special, and why its message is so important share with children today. And I was able to gain an even deeper appreciation for the work that goes into performing for the circus by doing training with some amazing Cirque artists.

    The circus is no joke, people, and I fell flat on my face more times than I care to admit (you can watch a couple for yourself in the video below). While working with these talented artists for an afternoon, I learned a lot about what it takes to be part of a circus family, not just physically, but emotionally as well. Just like the circus performers in Dumbo considered themselves to be family, the artists at Mystère do, too.

  • Take a look at the video to hear exclusive behind-the-scenes secrets about Disney's Dumbo.

    And learn what it's really like when you run away to the join the circus for the day as a 36-year-old mom of four with zero upper body strength.

  • Dumbo is out on digital, Blu-ray, and DVD now.

    Dumbo DVD

    It's one you'll want to watch with your kids -- the story is sweet, the message is lovely, and the effects are so stunning, you won't be able to tear your eyes away. And that baby elephant is just about the cutest thing in the world. 

    *Disclosure: Disney invited me as a guest on behalf of CafeMom, and all travel, meals, and experiences were provided by them. However, all opinions and thoughts expressed in this article are my own, and were not influenced by Disney or anyone involved with the making of 'Dumbo.'