2019 is going to be a big year for Disney's live-action remakes of their famous animated films. There will be no fewer than three of them coming that year, including Aladdin and The Lion King both coming as big summer releases. The first entry of the year, however, will be the reinvention of Disney's flying elephant, Dumbo. It feels like something of an unusual choice for a remake, but based on the cast and the crew that is making the new Dumbo a reality, it does seem that the right people are involved to make this one something special.
While many of Disney's remakes have been fairly true retellings of the original story, Dumbo is different in that it will be creating a lot of brand new material to complete the tale of the misfit elephant. The basic premise is all still there, but there's a lot more involved. Here's everything we know about Disney's upcoming live-action remake of Dumbo.
What Is Dumbo Rated?
While Dumbo is far from receiving an official rating from the MPAA, we can take an educated guess as to where it will land based on where Disney's previous entries in this series of films have ended up, all four of Disney's most recent, live-action remakes, Maleficent, Cinderella, The Jungle Book, and Beauty and the Beast have ended up with PG ratings. While the original Dumbo was a G-rated affair, it seems quite difficult to secure that rating these days. Although, the live-action 101 Dalmatians remake from 1996 did manage it so it's possible we could see a movie suitable for even the youngest viewers. It's hard to imagine what could be added to Dumbo that might make it unsuitable for young kids, though the original movie did include an elephant getting drunk, which probably gets you at least a PG-rating today.
What Is Dumbo's Release Date?
Dumbo will be Disney's second major release for 2019. On March 8 Marvel will open things with Captain Marvel and Dumbo will follow close behind on March 29, 2019. It releases the week after Godzilla sequel Godzilla: King of the Monsters and the week before DC comics movie Shazam. There are also a number of potential competitors for the family movie dollar being released around the same time. The long-awaited How to Train Your Dragon 3 will open at the beginning of March and Robert Downey Jr.'s The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle will debut in mid-April. While Dumbo is opening outside of the "summer movie season" it's opening in the same window that the Beauty and the Beast remake had, so major box office success is certainly possible.
What Is Dumbo About?
The original Dumbo was Disney's fourth animated feature, and its story is fairly simple, as shown by the film's 64-minute runtime. Dumbo is born, is mistreated due to his abnormally large ears and is befriended by a mouse who then helps him discover his talent for flight which the ears provide. This makes Dumbo a circus star. There isn't a lot more there, which explains why the new film will be adding a lot to the story, primarily through new human characters.
This version of Dumbo will primarily focus on a character named Holt Ferrier, a former circus star who is now a different man having returned from war. He is hired by circus owner Max Medici to take care of Dumbo, a newborn elephant who is a circus laughing stock largely due to his oversized ears. However, after Holt's children discover that Dumbo can fly, entrepreneur V.A. Vandevere and aerialist Colette Marchant insert themselves as they see star potential, and money, in Dumbo.