Back to IndieWire

‘Dumbo’ First Reactions: Tim Burton’s Latest Is ‘Visually Mind-Blowing’ and His Best In Years

Tim Burton takes big dramatic liberties in this adaptation of Disney's classic 1941 animated movie.




The first reactions for Tim Burton’s live-action “Dumbo” rolled in following the film’s March 11 world premiere in Los Angeles, and so far so good. The release is Burton’s first tentpole after a string of critical and commercial disappointments, including “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” and “Dark Shadows.” Fortunately, buzz on “Dumbo” is already much stronger than Burton’s more recent films, with numerous critics and film journalists calling “Dumbo” by far Burton’s best live-action effort in years.

“It’s a beautiful and whimsical movie, starring a CGI elephant with so much heart,” writes Gamespot entertainment editor Chris Hayner. “It’s also a rather simple tale, so don’t expect tons of character depth. But I still had a blast with the ride it took me on and it’s the best Burton’s been in years.”

/Film critic Peter Sciretta also called it “one of the best live action films Burton has directed in years” and said it was much stronger than recent live-action Disney efforts such as “Beauty and the Beast” and “Mary Poppins Returns.” Unlike “Beauty and the Beast,” “Dumbo” takes dramatic liberties in adapting the classic 1941 animated movie of the same name. Burton and screenwriter Ehren Kruger have expanded the story to include the perspectives of several human characters, played by the likes of Colin Farrell, Eva Green, Michael Keaton, and Danny DeVito. The animated film was told strictly from Dumbo’s point of view. As Sciretta summed it up, Burton’s film is about 25% a remake and 75% something new.

“Dumbo” opens in theaters nationwide from Disney on March 22. Check out the first reactions below.

Sign Up: Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.

This Article is related to: Film and tagged , ,

Get The Latest IndieWire Alerts And Newsletters Delivered Directly To Your Inbox