When Tim Burton adapts beloved childhood films, the results are often mixed — but it doesn't look that way for Dumbo. The first full-length Dumbo trailer is here, and in a word, it looks emotional.
Disney surprise-released the trailer on the evening of Wednesday, November 14, and it's a sight to behold. The muted color palette and overall styling are classic Burton, but this trailer has a certain crackling energy to it. It's the first live-action adaptation of Dumbo, and Burton is totally pulling it off. The whimsical blend of live-action and CGI work seamlessly. From the first frame, you're totally invested.
We've all seen Dumbo — that strange, sad, 64-minute Disney staple. Everyone knows it. Everyone's slightly traumatized by the scene in which Dumbo and his mouse buddy *accidentally* get drunk and hallucinate "Pink Elephants on Parade." If the Burton version gets that wacky, this trailer isn't showing it.
The live-action Dumbo has introduced new characters to the story, including — most notably — two children who come to the sweet elephant's defense. Also, fair warning: You are going to see them take Dumbo's mom away. The sad little trumpet sound he makes might be enough to break your heart. That aside, it looks as unusual and unforgettable as Dumbo was the first time you saw it.
Best of all, the trailer begins with a nostalgic wink that will take your breath away.
Did you catch it? The trailer zooms in on the weather vane on top of Disney's Cinderella castle, revealing Dumbo and his mom! Can you even handle it? The Burton team knew how important this adaptation was, but Disney also clearly has faith in it. For fans, that's crucial. Plus, the little detail of the weather vane underscores how important Dumbo is in Walt Disney history. It's a lot! It inspires so many feelings... and that's before the real stuff even starts.
Disney describes the plot of the live-action Dumbo film as one that "expands on the beloved classic story," so you know right off the bat not to expect the traditional tale. In Burton's Dumbo, "differences are celebrated, family is cherished and dreams take flight." Get it? "Flight," because the li'l elephant can use his oversized ears to fly. If you're still not sold on the CGI elephant, his human pals, or that ominous-looking circus set design, just wait.
Here's the complete description of the movie, per Disney:
"Circus owner Max Medici (Danny DeVito) enlists former star Holt Farrier (Colin Farrell) and his children Milly (Nico Parker) and Joe (Finley Hobbins) to care for a newborn elephant whose oversized ears make him a laughingstock in an already struggling circus."
Adorable. We're all on board (and Colin Farrell looks good, but that's a conversation for another time). Unfortunately, life's not all circus popcorn and peanuts:
"When they discover that Dumbo can fly, the circus makes an incredible comeback, attracting persuasive entrepreneur V.A. Vandevere (Michael Keaton)," the plot continues, "who recruits the peculiar pachyderm for his newest, larger-than-life entertainment venture, Dreamland. Dumbo soars to new heights alongside a charming and spectacular aerial artist, Colette Marchant. Until Holt learns that beneath its shiny veneer, Dreamland is full of dark secrets."
Well, it had to get dark eventually, right? This is a Burton movie, after all, and it's also based on the 1941 Disney tale. That little moment when he marches out in the clown makeup? Heartbreaking!
As one YouTube commenter points out, the live-action Dumbo also (weirdly enough) reunites Batman (Keaton) and The Penguin (DeVito) more than 25 years later. That's just a little fun fact for movie goers, right? Also, Burton did direct a Batman film, but not that one.
Dumbo flies into theaters March 29, 2019 but until then, it's fine to watch this trailer over and over again.
Just keep a big box of tissues nearby. A jumbo-sized one, even.