EAR we go again as the £90million remake of Disney’s 1941 Dumbo hits cinemas tomorrow.
Grant Rollings reveals ten fun facts.
�Disney / Supplied by LMK The remake of Disney’s 1941 Dumbo hits the cinemas tomorrow
Getty Images – Getty The new Disney live-action film is directed by celebrated Alice in Wonderland director Tim Burton
1. The first Dumbo almost failed to fly
POOR ratings for Pinocchio and Fantasia saw the Walt Disney studio going through a tough time in 1940.
More than 200 workers had been laid off and the Dumbo animation only got finished thanks to those who ignored a strike by crossing the picket line.
Alamy Poor ratings for Pinocchio and Fantasia saw the Walt Disney studio going through a tough time in 1940
With money and staff so tight the original film was only 64 minutes long and had a budget of just £750,000.
But it was a huge hit, winning an Oscar for best scoring of a musical picture as well as being nominated for the best song gong for Baby Mine.2. Pint-sized Danny DeVito is back
THE American funnyman hasn’t had a lead role in a major movie since Get Shorty more than two decades ago.
Here the 74-year-old plays kindly circus chief Max Medici, whose show is saved by the flying elephant’s arrival.
AP:Associated Press The 74-year-old plays kindly circus chief Max Medici, whose show is saved by the flying elephant’s arrival
Later this year father-of-three DeVito, who made his name in hit US TV series Taxi, will star in a Jumanji sequel.
In 2017, 4ft 10in DeVito split from Cheers star Rhea Perlman, who he married in 1982.3. It’s had a PC makeover
IT is understandable Disney wanted to avoid recent PC criticism of the first film.
The 1941 favourite saw Dumbo’s mum Mrs Jumbo thrown into a cage and its black crows were branded racist by critics because of their “jazz voices”.
AP:Associated Press Some critics claim the remake dwells for too long on the controversial issue of making circus animals perform
But in the remake we see Danny DeVito’s Max coming to regret locking up Dumbo’s “crazy” mother in chains and separating her from her adorable newborn son.
Some critics claim the remake dwells for too long on the controversial issue of making circus animals perform.4. Thandie Newton’s daughter is in it
IF you think there’s something familiar about Dumbo’s trainer – you’d be right.
Nico Parker, 14, looks like her Line Of Duty actress mum Thandie Newton.
Splash News Nico Parker plays Milly, the science-loving daughter of ex-show rider Holt Harrier (Colin Farrell)
She had never acted professionally before but that does not show.
Nico plays Milly, the science-loving daughter of ex-show rider Holt Harrier (Colin Farrell), who with her brother Joe vows to save the cute elephant.
The young star said: “If I was practising my lines or trying to learn stuff, I actually found it more stressful if Mum was there.”5. It’s a jumbo-sized production
WITH its life-size circus tent and theme park, the new movie required a massive space to work in.
So a five-acre former airship hangar in Bedfordshire was chosen as the location to bring it to life.
AP:Associated Press Filming began in June 2017 and mainly took place at Shed 2 in Cardington, which is five times the size of the largest sound stage in Hollywood
Filming began in June 2017 and mainly took place at Shed 2 in Cardington, which is five times the size of the largest sound stage in Hollywood.
The sheds were originally built to house airships, but were closed after the 1930 crash of a hydrogen-filled craft in France put paid to work on airships.6. The CGI star of the show
LONDON-based aces Framestore and the Moving Picture Company brought the cute character to life using computer-generated wizardry.
Brit Richard Stammers, who supervised the digital animation of Dumbo, said: “The subtlety of his eyes and facial expressions and his ability to interact with the actors was so important.”
AP:Associated Press While Dumbo was added after the actors had filmed scenes, they used life-size versions for reference on set
While Dumbo was added after the actors had filmed scenes, they used life-size versions for reference on set.
Six different coloured versions of Dumbo with detachable ears were built.7. The forgotten authors of the tale
THE husband-and-wife authors who dreamed up the flying elephant story split just a year after they wed.
Helen Aberson and Harold Pearl divorced in 1939 – the year Dumbo was copyrighted as a Roll-A-Book, a tubular cartoon book, and bought by Disney.
The husband-and-wife authors who dreamed up the flying elephant story split just a year after they wed
Aberson, who died in 1999 aged 91, and Pearl, who died in 1975 aged 61, never got rich off their creation.
Helen’s son from her second marriage, Andrew Mayer, said: “She was upset about the manner in which her name was excluded.”8. Sorry, song fans – they’re out of tunes
THE new Dumbo is not a musical so fans hoping for the much-loved tunes will have to wait until the end credits to hear one – and it is very different.
Tim Burton asked Canadian indie act Arcade Fire to record a new version of Baby Mine.
AP:Associated Press Tim Burton asked Canadian indie act Arcade Fire to record a new version of Baby Mine
Singer Win Butler was keen due to his family link to the 1941 movie.
He explained: “There is a scene in the original Dumbo that uses an instrument called a Sonovox, that my grandpa Alvino Rey made famous in the 1930s.
Every time I saw the film I thought it was him.”9. Ex-wildman Colin Farrell plays safe
ONCE the wild man of Hollywood, the Irish star is now one of the movie industry’s most reliable names and a familiar face in family-friendly films.
In this, his second Disney movie following Saving Mr Banks in 2013, Farrell plays war hero Holt Farrier, who returns home, one-armed, to two children trying to cope with the death of their mum.
AP:Associated Press Colin Farrell takes on the lead role as former circus star Holt Farrier
The 42-year-old says: “He and his wife had a horse act where they would do roping tricks and trick riding, but he was sent off to fight.”
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10. The director’s new muse
QUIRKY film-maker Tim Burton cast his Bond girl lover as the enigmatic female lead in Dumbo.
French star Eva Green, 38, is rumoured to have been dating the 60-year-old London-based American for more than two years.
Ironically, her character – trapeze artist Colette – is also romantically linked to her on-screen employer, Michael Keaton’s power-mad circus supremo VA Vandevere.
But it becomes clear Colette is more interested in Farrell’s nice-guy widower.
Watch Dumbo soar in the first teaser trailer for Tim Burton’s live-action remake