Just how weird is Tim Burton’s Dumbo remake going to be?

Will the director borrow any of the original’s surreal elements for his forthcoming live-action version?


John Wadsworth

Disney is currently pulling out all the stops in its quest to update its beloved animation back catalogue for a 21st century audience.

We’ve already been treated to live-action remakes of Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella and The Jungle Book, and there is plenty more kiddie-friendly fare on the way.

Unsurprisingly, each slated project has been met with a great deal of scrutiny. Cashing in on cherished classics makes sense commercially, but inflated expectations comes with the territory, and there will be nowhere to hide should the studio fluff up any of these forthcoming reboots.

Eyebrows have already been raised at Disney’s decision to hire Guy Ritchie to direct a new Aladdin movie, one reportedly made due to his familiarity with street-hustling storylines – despite the marked difference between the fictional Agrabah and London.

The director of the upcoming Mulan remake, Niki Caro, upset fans recently when she suggested that her film would feature no music, a comment she has since rowed back on.

Also on the cards – deep breath – are: The Lion King, with Donald Glover as Simba and James Earl Jones returning as Mufasa; The Sword in the Stone, written by regular Game of Thrones scribe Bryan Cogman; a 101 Dalmatians spin-off featuring Emma Stone as Cruella de Vil; a Mary Poppins sequel starring Emily Blunt; a David Lowery-directed Peter Pan; a Peter Hedges-penned Pinocchio; and The Little Mermaid with new songs from Alan Menken and Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Perhaps most curious of all, though, is Tim Burton’s live-action redo of Dumbo, which is set to star Eva Green, Danny DeVito and now Colin Farrell.

To be fair, the original 1941 film is not without surreal and unnerving elements – most notably the scene where Dumbo hallucinates a parade of shapeshifting pink elephants. Nonetheless, we’re slightly puzzled as to how Burton’s distinct visual style will work in the context of this particular Disney property.

The thought of the gothically-inclined filmmaker running riot in a clown-filled circus is the stuff of nightmares. Which begs the question, just how weird will Burton’s Dumbo remake be?

Which Disney animations would you most/least like to see in live-action form? Let us know @LWLies

Published 27 Mar 2017

Tags: 2D Animation Colin Farrell Danny DeVito Disney Eva Green Tim Burton

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