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Bringing Disney’s Dumbo to Life

I attended the interviews of the cast of Disney’s Dumbo as a guest of Disney

Disney’s Dumbo is a classic tale that everyone must see at least once in their life time. Recently they have come out with a live action version. I had the privilege of attending the world premiere, and then going to Los Angeles to speak with the creators and actors from the film about their experience.

Premiere of Disney's Dumbo

We began by speaking with the following people Danny Elfman (composer), Collen Atwood (costume), Rick Heinricks (production and design), Ehren Kruge (producer/screenwriter), Justin Springer (producer), Derek Frey (producer), and Katterli Frauenfelde (producer).

Disney's Dumbo press conference

The opening question in the press junket was what it was like to create a Tim Burton. Rick Heinrichs answered that question with, “What I would say is that there is a shared visual shorthand and I’m sure that all of his collaborators would say the same. And the exciting thing about working with Tim is in many respects, you dig deep into the history and the period and all of the things that one normally does.” Dumbo is an older movie, being made in the 1940’s, so time period is a huge thing to remember in this live action version of the film and they did a wonderful job in getting it spot on. With the fashion and the people I felt like I traveled back in time.

Rick Heinrichs from Disney's Dumbo

After talking about the score of the film with Danny Elfman and how he never knew what to expect from Tim, we talked with Ehren Kruger to see if she saw herself in any of the characters. She said, “All of them. Yeah. But in the same way, why is Dumbo a universal character and a universally loved character? Because everyone sees
themselves in the story of a character who has self doubt, who has flaws, who is defined as one thing by someone else.”

Ehren Kruger from Disney's Dumbo

This line particularly stood out to me because Dumbo is all about loving who or what you are for your flaws and that’s what makes you unique. When watching the film you truly understand that everyone can see a little bit of themselves in Dumbo.

Finding love in Disney's Dumbo

Next they opened up the questions to the people in the audience and one question that was asked that got my attention was when writing the script how did they find things to leave out and keep in this new version of Dumbo.

The magic of Disney's Dumbo

Ehren Kruger responded by saying, “it needed to feel real. So early on, we made a decision to not feature talking animals” Talking animals were a part in the original Dumbo, but by not including them in this new film it adds a bit of magic to the film.

The creators of Disney's Dumbo

After the last question was asked all of the brilliant brains behind the film exited the room and we prepared for the actors to come in. The actors that would be joining us were Michael Keaton (V.A. Vandevere), Colin Farrell (Holt Farrier), Danny DeVito (Max Medici), Eva Green (Collette Merchant), Nico Parker (Milly Farrier), Finley Hobbins (Joe Farrier), and Tim Burton.

The actors in Disney's Dumbo

From the moment they all walked onto the stage they were making us laugh. They opened up the interview by each sharing what they loved about making a movie with Tim Burton. Michael Keaton shared, “it’s a rare thing to work with an original. To be right in the middle of a piece of art.”

Michael Keaton in Disney's Dumbo

And that is exactly what Dumbo is… Art. It is a perfectly crafted movie for everyone to watch and love.

Disney's Dumbo Live Action

The actors and actresses began to talk about the deeper meaning of Dumbo and how it felt to be an outsider and if anybody could relate with that. Eva Green told us that she too feels like an outsider, but it is an okay feeling because that is just what makes you special.

Eva Green in Disney's Dumbo

Then the audience members began asking questions and we got into talking about the casting for the film and why they were all chosen to take part in an amazing adventure of a movie. Tim Burton told us that “Having like a family, an weird dysfunctional family, like a film is and like the movie circus is, which is very beautiful and important. And the spirit of all of them really meant the world to me in terms of what the movie is and the spirit that they all put into it.”

Tim Burton in Disney's Dumbo

One of the last questions asked was directed towards Danny Devito and it was that since he was the ring leader if he got his inspiration from Mr. Burton. Danny told us that “Oh. Well, everything I do in the movie is basically fed to me through the insane mind of Mr. Burton. I feel like, I felt really great to be Max Medici and be part of this insane family.”

Dumbo is out in theaters March 29, 2019. Don’t miss bringing your family to watch this wonderful classic tale told again with a new and old perspective.

Bath time in Disney's Dumbo

Learn more about Disney’s Dumbo online, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Share your love for the film on social media using the hashtag #Dumbo and #DisneysDumbo.

Ella is the OC Mom Blog teen blogger. She is an integrated arts student at the Orange County School of the Arts by day, and a fashionista by night. She loves baking, teddy bears and nice people. Read her column here
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