The next live-action Disney remake is on the way: Dumbo. Like all of Disney’s live-action reboots, the Dumbo remake has enormous potential — profit potential. Disney might once again prove to the world that it is still great at two things: superhero movies and destroying childhood memories.
The original animated film of Dumbo was emotionally endearing. The quiet story of a baby elephant separated from its mother because of abusive circus hands, who eventually becomes world-renowned for its ability to fly, thanks to a group of racially offensive crows and a exploitative mouse.
As a result, Dumbo has millions of fans that will go see the movie, despite whatever critics say. After all, the live-action Alice in Wonderland made over $1 billion despite its Rotten Tomatoes rating of 51 percent. What’s more, Maleficent has made $630 million with 49 percent.
The numbers clearly show that live-action remakes are something of a risk-free investment. A flop, money-wise, seems nearly impossible. It’s no wonder that Disney has a long list of future remakes including Cinderella, Jungle Book, and Beauty and the Beast in mind.
Nevertheless, Disney will have to overcome a variety of obstacles in making a live-action Dumbo.
How much CG overlap is required to make a real elephant convincingly cry?
Will racially offensive computer animated crows help or hurt the future release?
Can Hollywood still make a movie featuring underage drinking and get a G rating? (Dumbo getting drunk and seeing horrifying pink dancing elephants)
And, of course, will the new live-action drunken dancing elephant ghosts be one of the most terrifying scenes in movie history?
To say the least, Disney will have a hard time making this Dumbo movie G by today’s standards. It’s also important to note that this will be the first live-action remake to feature no leading human characters. Meaning that either they have very talented animal actors lined up or this will stretch the definition of “live-action” and be nearly 100 percent computer animation.
The answer to all these problems is probably pretty simple: Don’t worry about it, because the remake will have nothing to do with the original.
Ehren Kruger, the Transformers movie franchise writer, will write the script and Justin Springer, whose works include Oblivion and the recent TRON sequel, will produce. Both movie makers have an impressive resume, but one that seems geared for big budget sci-fi battles rather than subtle emotional works.
The Dumbo remake will also feature a unique family story in the script, that apparently parallels Dumbo’s own story.
Will the live-action remake be as emotionally satisfying as the original, or will Disney fans make another over-priced donation to the CG gods?
All we can say is that, at least, there will be no computer animated fantasy battle scene, right?
(Image Credit: Disney’s Dumbo)