The teaser trailer for the 2019 release of "Dumbo" is a sharp departure from the aesthetic of the original film, pictured here. (Illustration by Jesus Acosta).

Disney recently released a teaser trailer for the 2019 production of “Dumbo,and it looks just as poignant as the original. And, it appears that the live action remake of the film, dear to the heart of adults everywhere, is in the masterful hands of none other than Tim Burton.

Disney has seen incredible success with their recent string of live action films. “Beauty and the Beast,” “Jungle Book,” “Maleficent” and “Christopher Robin” tested the limits of using CGI to bring animated fantasies to life. Luckily, there are many more movies to come, including live action remakes of “Aladdin,” “Lion King” and “Mulan.”

Tim Burton is the prolific director behind films such as “Beetlejuice,” “Edward Scissorhands,” “The Corpse’s bride,” “Planet of the Apes,” “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and “Alice in Wonderland,” and the blockbuster list of movies he’s directed speak for themselves. His trademark eccentricity, which features gothic horror and dark fantasy, is a perfect fit for a Disney picture about the life of an abandoned baby circus elephant.

As if the story of “Dumbo” isn’t heart-piercing enough, Burton’s involvement guarantees a wistful beauty that will bring back bittersweet memories for fans of the animated original.

But the constant stream of live action remakes from Disney has met criticism. Many hold the original animated films with childhood fondness, and remakes carry the fear of change from what made these timeless in the first place.

Taking on the challenge of reproducing a classic is a large risk, but it is a gamble that has benefited Disney in past. “Jungle Book” grossed over $100 million in just its first week of release. As skeptical as some adults may be of these live action, CGI-filled films, most fans can’t resist reliving the cinematic joy of their younger years, and Disney may be banking on that exact feeling.

Plus, creating a live action movie that sparks the sentiments of adult fans who will bring their children to the theater with them guarantees that the legacies of these Disney films survive for another generation.

For those unfamiliar with the premise of “Dumbo,” it features a small baby elephant whose abnormally large ears make him a spectacle. The poor elephant is separated from his mother and bullied in the circus until he learns his weakness can be used to his advantage and gives him the unlikely ability to fly.

The general sadness of Dumbo’s early life plus a focus on the inhumanity of the men running the circus gives Burton the perfect opportunity to create a masterpiece. Actors sharing the honor of starring in the live action remake of “Dumbo” include Danny DeVito and Colin Farrell.

If you have not already seen the “Dumbo” teaser trailer, get out some tissues, feast your eyes and prepare your inner child because a beautifully produced tearjerker is on its way. The ingredients for another outstanding live action remake are all there, and there is an excited audience awaiting the opportunity to compare it to the “Dumbo” they love and remember.

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Jamie Lovley

University of Maine
Journalism and Psychology

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