Dumbo is an animated movie by Walt Disney from 1941.Considering the period the animation is seriously good (but then the classic Tom and Jerry are from the same period).It can be best classified as an animated musical.

The movie opens with the storks bringing babies to all the expectant animals of the Circus. Mrs Jumbo (one of the elephants) does not get a baby and is saddened by this. As the circus moves to another town on a train that’s also anthropomorphized a stork delivers the baby to Mrs Jumbo. Initially all the elephants (all are female. Bear in mind this movie was made for children hence the storks bringing the baby in the first place) fawn over the baby and Mrs Jumbo christens it Jumbo Jr. But as they notice its ears which are extremely large the other elephants start making fun of him and name him Dumbo.

The mother loves him dearly in spite of his abnormality and as the circus sets up in the new town there are some touching moments as mother and son bond. Then one of the visitors starts by taunting and then enters the enclosure to pull Dumbo’s ears. Infuriated Mrs Jumbo spanks him and then all hell breaks loose as they try to control her. She’s locked up as a mad elephant and other elephants ostracize him.

That’s when a little mouse sees all this and decides to befriend him. He tries to come up with various acts for him and overhears the ringmaster coming up with an idea for an elephant pyramid but he’s unsure of the climax. The mouse whispers in the ringmaster’s ear while he’s sleeping to finish with Dumbo jumping off a springboard onto the top of the pyramid and waving a flag. But it all goes horribly wrong.

Dumbo is made a clown and as a part of the act has to jump from a burning building. The act is successful but Dumbo misses his mother and remains sad. The mouse takes him to visit her and those moments are truly touching.

As he comes back he does not stop crying and starts hiccupping. The mouse asks him to drink water not knowing that a bottle of alcohol was overturned into the same. As they accidentally become drunk the sequence that ensues is a visual spectacle. Psychedelic, spectacular, colourful are words that can perhaps best describe the sequence.

This episode ends with them waking up in a tree where some crows make fun of them. Then the mouse finally realises Dumbo’s unique talent and makes him show it at an opportune moment. That ensures the trademark Disney happy ending.

The movie is slightly immature in its plot but being interspersed with catchy songs, stunning visual effects (almost scary at times) and the extremely touching mother son interaction it is regarded as one of the best Disney films of all time. I would rate it 8/10 and recommend it to anyone who can consign his adulthood to the background for a little more than an hour.

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