Review: Nostalgia is the Reason for Your Tears

17th Dallas International Film Festival

Bring tissues. If you remember the original Dumbo at all..!….

This one fulfills a heartfelt attempt to embrace nostalgia through live-action and relatable drama.

In 1941, only the fourth production out of the Disney universe, Dumbo was released in all color and effervescent effects as was the Disney style at the time.  It released only days before the attack on Pearl Harbor, and its stand against bullies accompanied America toward a mindset of unity and peace.

Tim Burton’s  (Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands) rendition captures as many of those hints of tidbits as is timely possible.  The director also steps out of his style box if only a little.

A real-world modern pallet compliments the intense saturated colors and CG.  Yet feels very organic and original, not only through image but also with a dose of natural settings.  Many conversations carry on no more out of the ordinary than what anyone might have throughout a normal day.

Pleasantly—this is how the beauty unfolds and how the simplicity of relationships become difficult.  Exquisitely cast, Colin Farrell (True Detective, Fantastic Beasts) plays Holt, an injured widower who once was the headliner of a more and more, ever-shrinking traveling circus.

Our hero is soft, subtle, and what he is up against is himself.  Connoisseurs might feel robbed by the subtlety in all relationships that fall into a dispassionate trap.

But Eva Green (Casino Royale, Penny Dreadful) graces the story as a performing artist with soul and is absolutely lovely to watch.  It’s also wonderful to see Danny DeVito (Twins, Romancing the Stone) as usual with all his iconic energy.

This movie is not for critics.  It is for seven-year olds and their parents, because witnessing smiles and laughter on little ones’ faces is priceless.

Little ones will not notice that the editors spent too much time during the slow momentum of the story’s development and conflicts, and they certainly won’t understand that production lost precious opportunities to make the story’s relationships richer by increasing tensions and allowing time for each character to reveal their connections with one another.

Kids will only see magic.  They will fall in love with sweet little Dumbo, and parents will enjoy collecting Easter Eggs all the way through.

A final refreshment?

­­The only political slant in this charming tale focuses on animal rights and a single statement: take the animals out of the circus

15th Dallas International Film Festival