December 11, 2011


Dumbo, 1941. A circus elephant has embarrassingly large ears. Directed by Ben Sharpsteen. Written by Joe Grant, Dick Huemer, Otto Englander, Bill Peet, Aurelius Battaglia, Joe Rinaldi, Vernon Stallings & Webb Smith, based on a book by Helen Aberson & Harold Pearl. Starring Edward Brophy, Cliff Edwards & Verna Felton.

Concept: 2/4 (Indifferent)
Story: 3/4 (Good). The plot could potentially have been very tedious, but this movie is a model of economical storytelling (without ever rushing anything).
Characters: 4/4 (Great)
Dialog: 3/4 (Good)
Pacing: 4/4 (Great)
Cinematography: 3/4 (Good)
Special effects/design: 4/4 (Great)
Acting: 4/4 (Great)
Music: 4/4 (Great)
Subjective Rating: 9/10 (One of my favorites, 4/4 5/4). Sad, and beautifully uncomplicated. When everything turns out happy in the end, it's so sudden and arbitrary and absurdly thorough, it doesn't feel real - like someone was telling a sad bedtime story and realized at the last minute that if it didn't have a happy ending the kids would be up crying all night. The adults in the audience are left to decide for themselves what really happens.
Objective Rating (Average): 3.5/4 (Very good) 3.6/4 (Great)

(update of a previous post - original is here)

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